The world-renowned Russian National Ballet Theatre will grace the CU community with its performance of “Sleeping Beauty,” a full-length ballet in three acts, at our very own Krannert Center Jan. 23 at 7 p.m. and Jan. 24 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.
In case you haven’t heard, they are kind of a big deal.
During the period of Soviet perestroika, or economic reforms, in the mid-1980s, artistic creativity manifested itself in many forms, of which the Russian National Ballet Theatre, then known as the Soviet National Ballet, was one. Founded in Moscow and led by incorporated graduates from famous choreographic schools in Moscow, St. Petersburg and Perm, the Russian National Ballet Theatre has become its own institution with over 50 dancers of vast experience, many of whom have been with the company since the beginning.
Under the guidance of artistic director Elena Radchenko, “Sleeping Beauty” is a grandiose yet refined performance combining traditional mime, expressive pas d’action and divertissements, or short dance sequences utilized as interludes, in a sumptuous theatrical setting.
Originally choreographed by Marius Petipa, “Sleeping Beauty” is often considered the finest achievement of the Classical ballet. It is also considered the crowning jewel of Petipa’s career.
The ballet’s three acts include: The Spell, The Vision and The Wedding.
Throughout the production, Petipa’s style is evident in the dancers’ steel point work, sharply accented spinning turns, soaring leaps, high extensions, brilliant battery and daring lifts – giving a childhood fairy tale lavish stage treatment.
The production of “Sleeping Beauty” is also significant in that it halted a growing tendency toward shapeless extravaganza in 19th century ballet, according to the program. Instead, it adhered closely to the principle of choreographic symphonism. In other words, the ballet has a formal structure, much like the composition of a symphony.
Recommended for ages eight and up, the Russian National Ballet Theatre performance of “Sleeping Beauty” is the perfect opportunity for an eye-opening, and perhaps jaw-dropping, cultural excursion. Be wary of deeming the show juvenile because of its recommended age. Instead, be reminded of the Russian National Ballet Theatre’s international fame and presence in the world of art.

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