The Sleeping Beauty: ballet magic for the whole family

Words: Christien Coetzee Klingler | Photos: Pat Bromilow Downing

The Sleeping Beauty, complete with fairy tale characters such as Red Riding Hood and Puss in Boots and a big bad Wolf is set to charm Cape Town audiences at Artscape from 10 – 18 August. Cape Town City Ballet’s must-see production of the evergreen classical ballet is the perfect opportunity for a family outing to the theatre.

For not having been invited to her christening, the wicked fairy Carabosse casts a spell on the baby, Princess Aurora. When she turns sixteen, Aurora will be is pricked by spindle and die. The Lilac Fairy comes to the rescue and changes the spell in order for Aurora not to die, but instead to sleep for one hunderd years and to be woken by a handsome prince. Thus on her sixteenth birthday, Aurora pricks her finger and the spell is cast. A hundred years later, the Lilac Fairy leads the handsome Prince Florimund to the sleeping princess. He instantly falls in love with her and breaks the spell by awakening her with a kiss. They celebrate their wedding in the company of nymps, cavaliers, he Songbird, Red Riding Hood and Puss in Boots


The principal roles of Princess Aurora and Prince Florimund will be shared during the run of the ballet. Roberta Marquez and Nehemiah Kish, both principal dancers at The Royal Ballet in London will perform the roles on 14 and 17 August. Cape Town City Ballet’s principal dancers, Laura Bosenberg and Thomas Thorne will alternate in the lead roles with Burnise Silvius, principal dancer from The South African Mzanzi Ballet Theatre, partnered by CTCB’s Trevor Schoonraad. The Lilac Fairy will be performed by Angela Hansford, Kim Vieira and Claire Spector, while the role of the wicked fairy Carabosse will be shared by Johnny Bovang and Mervyn Williams.


Four of the performances will be accompanied by the Cape Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Graham Scott, while two of the performances will be danced to recorded music.


The combination of a fairytale story, Tchaikovsky’s magical score and classical choreography has proven to be a winning recipe since the ballet was first performed in 1890. The Sleeping Beauty was first staged in Cape Town in 1975 by David Poole, with choreography after the famous Russian ballet creator Marius Petipa. In this original production the Lilac Fairy, who plays an important part in the story, was danced by Prof Elizabeth Triegaardt (Executive Director of CTCB), who is producing the current production.


Presented by Cape Town City Ballet at Artscape Opera House from 10-18 August 2013, tickets from R 100 – R 300 can be booked at Computicket or Artscape Dial-a-Seat on 021 421 7695.


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