February 9, 2017
Everlasting love prevails in Peter Martin’s evening length favorite, “Sleeping Beauty” choreographed on Marius Petipa’s framework and Tschaikovsky’s score. A mixture of seasoned dancers and mavericks joined the ballet fairytale; a land where love conquers evil and Little Red Riding Hood steals the audience’s heart.
In celebration of the royal baby’s birth, the king and queen throw a lavish party. Alas, the savage Fairy Carabosse (Maria Kowroski) swathed in a long black gown crashes. She’s really burnt about not getting an invitation. In retribution, Carabosse curses Princess Aurora with her flickering, nail extended fingers condemning her to death once she grows up.
In defiance, the Lilac Fairy (Sara Mearns) transforms the death wish into a spell that spares Aurora. Through gracefully articulate mime gestures, Mearns explains that when Aurora pricks her finger on the poisoned spindle, she’ll fall into a deep sleep until a gallant prince stumbles upon the virgin princess and gives her the kiss of life.
At her sweet-sixteen palace party, Princess Aurora (Ashley Bouder) sails through the demanding balances and coquettish leaps, asserting her independence in front of the band of suitors.
Some of the newer faces on stage made an impression: Gretchen Smith’s convincing Fairy of Tenderness, Sara Adams ebullient Fairy of Vivacity rounded off Kristin Segin’s sharply etched Fairy of Eloquence. In act II, Abi Stafford as Ruby and Lauren King as Emerald shimmer in the Jewels quartet. Bringing some kittenish humor to his part, Taylor Stanley’s juicily lewd Puss ‘n Boots is a stand out. Brashly masculine, the court jesters Spartak Hoxha, and especially Sebastian Villarini-Velez whiz around the effortlessly bounding Daniel Ulbricht.
To the delight of all, Bouder displays her luminous technique and Mearns her unrestrained lyricism while Jared Angle strikes gold during the grand pas de deux. His sharply splitting legs wrap into bounding leaps and unhurried turns while expertly partnering Bouder.
EYE ON THE ARTS, NY -- Celia Ipiotis