"The Sleeping Beauty"
American Ballet Theatre
Metropolitan Opera House
New York, NY
June 28, 2016 and June 29, 2016, matinee
by Mary Cargill
copyright © 2016 by Mary Cargill
The charming moment when the 16-year-old Aurora celebrates her birthday by dancing along a line of violin-holding pages has, over the years, become a technical tour de force with Aurora rising on point, rolling down through her foot into a series of unsupported arabesque penchées while beaming at the audience. Alexei Ratmansky has returned the diagonal to a more intimate movement by having Aurora lean on the little pages as if listening to their musical offerings, turning this into a gracious and warmhearted gesture to her court. This is just one of the many generous little details that give Ratmansky's (and he would add, Petipa's) ballet emotional richness. ABT danced it with a vivid, gleaming commitment and a coherent style, full of soft torsos, épaulement, demi pointe, and lowish extensions (though they do seem to be creeping higher).
Cassandra Trenary in "The Sleeping Beauty". Photo © John Grigaitis.