We believe in fairytales because it is a reminder that in the end, good triumphs over evil and the most important lesson of all is that magic happens all around us, we just have to pay attention. The audience at the opening night of Sleeping Beauty at the Artscape Theatre on Saturday night, August 17 know exactly what I mean when I talk about magic, the much-deserved standing ovation at the end spoke volumes.
Performed to Tchaikovsky’s delightful music by the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra, Sleeping Beauty is a timeless story that follows Princess Aurora’s 100-year sleep and her magical awakening.
From the minute the curtain raised to the final plié, the dancers had the crowds completely captivated as they glided across the stage in high energy.
Precious Adams of the English National Ballet and Andile Ndlovu of Washington Ballet performed the roles of Princess Aurora and Prince Florimund. You could hear the audience gasp when Adams performed her first scene. Her movements are fluid and entrancing, she is mesmerising to watch. It was hard to follow the rest of the show without wanting her to dash back onto the stage for more of her stellar performance. Ndlovu outdid himself in his performance and as Adams’ partner, it is as if they were trained to dance together, in unison, for the sole purpose of making those around them giddy with pleasure.
The choreography was stellar and had an intricate fluency throughout, there were no missteps or no mishaps. Through each scene, more vigour and more vulnerability flowed through the dancers and you could almost reach out and touch the emotion.
It was a mix of dainty, dark and determined characters that turn an ordinary fairytale into an extraordinary ballet.
Aside from the main characters winning the hearts of the entire audience, the costume and set design by the very talented Peter Cazalet, and Lighting Design for the production by Wilhelm Disbergen, quite literally stole the show. It’s the little touches that count the most.
Sleeping Beauty is on at the Artscape Theatre until August 31, and by all accounts is a phenomenal dance showcase of strength, stamina and exceptional talent by both our local and international dancers. It should not be missed.