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Moscow Festival Ballet: Sleeping Beauty

March 21, 2016 @ 3:30 pm - 5:00 pm

The Sleeping Beauty, a crowning jewel of Marius Petipa’s career, is often considered the finest achievement of the Classical ballet. It is a grandiose and refined blending of the traditional mime, expressive pas d’action and spectacular divertissements in a lavish theatrical setting.

Tchaikovsky was delighted with the invitation to write the music for a ballet based on Charles Perrault’s well-known fairy tale. A baby princess, condemned at her christening by an evil fairy to prick her finger and die on her 16th birthday, is saved by the gift of the good Lilac Fairy, who declares the princess will only sleep until awakened by the kiss of a prince. The fairy tale, replete with a king and queen, fairies both good and evil, a beautiful princess and dream prince, magical stage effects, and courtly splendor, lent itself perfectly to the full evening ballet that was Petipa’s pride.

Although different productions have cast the kingdom of King Florestan and his Queen in varying centuries, it is really a storybook kingdom set in the realm of the imagination. In the Prologue, the hall of the palace where the christening is about to take place is resplendent with color, and imposing with its high ceilings and great stone archways. The master of ceremonies, pages, heralds, ladies in waiting, and finally the King and Queen all promenade into the royal setting, looking most distinguished in their elaborate dress. Next, the fairies of the kingdom join the scene of courtly pageantry with the Lilac Fairy, six cavaliers and maids of honor entering  last. All dance in honor of the King and Queen and baby Aurora, about to be christened. Each of the fairies dances her own solo, presenting a gift to the Princess.

Just as the Lilac Fairy finishes her dance a strange and frightening rumble is heard. Its meaning soon becomes clear: the master of ceremonies has forgotten to invite the evil Fairy Carabosse! The grotesque woman, her face a white mask, her long dress black and tattered, enters in a huge black coach drawn by four ugly rats. Stepping down, she gesticulates with her hand and threatens with her stick that they will have to pay the price for their omission. In mime, she delivers the ominous curse that the Princess will prick her finger on a spindle and die. The master of ceremonies is in disgrace, the King and Queen are in despair. But the Lilac Fairy has not given her the gift. She steps forward and assures the royal court that on her 16th Birthday the princess will indeed prick her finger, but then fall asleep for 100 years. Carabosse speeds off in a rage while the others surround the infant’s cradle as if to protect her from further harm.

The Sleeping Beauty was the first of Petipa’s classics to be seen in Western Europe. Under the title The Sleeping Princess, it was presented by Serge Diaghilev (1872-1929) in London in 1921. In 1939, it was remounted in Great Britain and has been considered the foundation of the Classical ballet repertory in that country ever since. It has now been adopted worldwide, and performance of the leading role remains a kind of initiation rite for aspiring ballerinas.

How to Purchase Tickets

Tickets go on sale Monday, August 10, 2015 at 10:00 a.m.

Tickets – Reserved Seating 
Adults $24 (adv)/$29 (door)
Youth (18 & under)  $5
Artist Series Subscribers $20 (adv)/$29 (door)
Pick 4+ Package  $20 (adv)/$29 (door)
BSU Students  $5 (adv)/$10 (door)
Groups (12+)  $19

Ways to Purchase
Emens Box Office,
all Ticketmaster Outlets,
charge-by-phone at 800-745-3000

Moscow Festival Ballet: Sleeping Beauty


March 21, 2016
3:30 pm - 5:00 pm
Event Category:


Emens Auditorium at Ball State University
1800 W. Riverside Ave. Riverside & McKinley
Muncie, IN 47306 United States
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