Ballet West's Adam Sklute Breathes New Life Into "The Sleeping Beauty" With Exciting Changes

Ballet West Artistic Director Adam Sklute is pleased to announce his newly conceived and produced staging of "The Sleeping Beauty," February 11, 12, 14 and 16-19, 2011 at the Capitol Theatre, 50 West 200 South, Salt Lake City. Set to Tchaikovsky’s famous score, "The Sleeping Beauty" is a spectacular example of grand classical tradition.

The story of "The Sleeping Beauty" is taken from the famous Perrault fairy tale and begins with the christening of the Princess Aurora. All the Fairies have been invited to attend the ceremony except for one ill-natured Fairy, Carabosse. In her anger, Carabosse presents the child with a spindle and foretells that one day Aurora will prick her finger and die. The Lilac Fairy, as her gift to the baby princess, changes Carabosse's curse. Now, when the princess turns 16 and pricks her finger, instead of dying she falls into deep sleep, along with the entire royal court. One hundred years later, Prince Desire is led to the sleeping princess's castle by the Lilac Fairy. He breaks the spell of the wicked Carabosse by placing a kiss upon the lips of the Princess Aurora.

Sklute’s version of "The Sleeping Beauty" includes a host of exciting changes designed to bring out the magic of the production. For example, the names of the fairies – once known as “Enchanted Garden Fairy,” “Woodland Glade Fairy,” “Song Bird Fairy,” and “Golden Vine Fairy” will now be known as “Fairy of Kindness,” “Fairy of Joy,” “Fairy of Beauty, and “Fairy of Temperament.” The Lilac Fairy becomes “Fairy of Wisdom” and the evil Carabosse is known as “Fairy of Jealousy.” In addition, Carabosse – traditionally played by an older woman – is now just as young as her sisters. She is just evil to the core.

In much the same way, Aurora’s suitors in Act I are now known as The Prince of the North, The Prince of the South, The Prince of the West, and The Prince of the East, and they will each be dressed in clothing to signify their origin. The Prince of the East will be dressed as a Punjab Prince, the Prince of the North like a Viking, the Prince of the South as if he is from Africa, and the Prince of the West as if he is from England.

During Act II, Prince Desire is led to the sleeping princess's castle by the Lilac Fairy. In Ballet West’s former production, The Prince and the Lilac Fairy walked through the woods to find her. Now, the Lilac Fairy transports the Prince to Aurora in a beautiful boat shaped like a leaf, traveling across the land, through the woods, in a sea of fog to where Princess Aurora awaits.

In Act III ( The Wedding), a number of guests join traditional favorites like Puss and Boots for the celebration, including Beauty and the Beast, The Frog Prince, Little Red Riding Hood, and the Big Bad Wolf. Finally, the length of Sklute’s The Sleeping Beauty has been edited considerably. Where the ballet used to run at just over three hours, this new version is much shorter at just two hours and 15 minutes, including one 20-minute intermission.

"The Sleeping Beauty" will be accompanied by the Utah Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Terence Kern. Evening performances begin at 7:30 p.m., February 11, 12, 14 and 16-19, with matinee performances at 2:00 p.m. on February 12 and 19. In conjunction with the performances of "The Sleeping Beauty," Ballet West offers Warm Ups. These fun and informative discussions are free of charge to ticket holders and will begin promptly one hour prior to each presentation of "The Sleeping Beauty." Get the inside scoop on the evening’s program including background on the ballet, information on the choreographer and other interesting behind-the-scenes facts. At Warm Ups, members of the Ballet West artistic staff are available to answer any questions that the audience might have.

Single tickets range from $18 to $75 and are available through ArtTix at www.arttix.org or by calling (801) 355-ARTS. Discounts are also available for groups of 15 or more by calling Ballet West at (801) 869-6900.