THE SLEEPING BEAUTY

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THE SLEEPING BEAUTY

Postby Barry » Sat Mar 03, 2018 2:50 pm

February 28th 2018, the Lowry, Birmingham Royal ballet.

I'm not sure what happened to my previous entry that seems to have duplicated itself several times. Anyway, I had not intended to see this production. I had seen it before and I do find Sleeping ballet lacking in any drama or emotion, but I think now I'm wise enough to realise that that is not the point. The point is this is a celebration of dance - each scene is a ceremonial party of some sort and displays of dance explode naturally out of this slimmest of context. The wedding, though, is long, especially for the poor court sitting round watching for ever. Ballet is gloriously bizarre and you just have to accept such conventions as the whole of the court are draped in acres of heavy fabric trailing across the stage, requiring all manner of clever manipulation, but then the main characters arrive and they are wearing next to nothing, showing off their glorious physiques. It happens. In this weather I hope they were warm on stage. But I was offered some free tickets to this and jumped at the chance, especially as Tchaikovsky had been much in the air this week. Oh that music is sensational, and now I can hear all the little themes and subthemes bouncing about in each scene, echoing and commenting.
Since they try to tell a story, I'll ask what happens to the lady who was clearly with the Prince or was anting to be, in the woods. One flash of a tutu and he's off. And the two guards forever gamely standing at the back of the court, drama students presumably, well they were terrible at their job. what were they guarding as Carabosse entered unchallenged quite happily. No security checks for errant spindles. But heck, it's about the long legs, the long arms, the lines, the shapes, the music, the beauty - and in that this production delivered. And with the tchaikovsky story this week, we also had a personal link to the production which was satisfying.
The week before I had also revisited the Kneehigh production of Brief encounter, with some of the cast from our production. I was nervous as we could not have the technology of projections that made the kneehigh production so joyous, but actually we did pretty darn well, and made ours more melancholy and emotional. One criticism of ours was blending the tragedy with the more earthy humour of the other couples......well here that mixture as even more pronounced and no-one battered an eyelid. It is an amazing piece of theatre. very happy to revisit, but it made me desperate, yep very desperate, to be creative. Not one ounce of creativity is happening in my life at the moment.
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