Sleeping Beauty, one of the masterpieces of ballet is viewed as the touchstone of classical ballet repertoire, and is being staged by the Singapore Dance Theatre for the second time. 150 brilliant costumes were marvellously thought out by Tracy Grant Lord, who is based in New Zealand. Her exquisite costume designs was probably the best feature of Sleeping Beauty, as the sophisticated gowns and elaborate tutus created a visual spectacle. This latest staging by artistic director Janek Schergen features choreography by Marius Petipa.
Sleeping Beauty is the pinnacle of classical ballet due to the requirement of rigorous technical demands and skillful balletic mime to narrate the story. The Singapore Dance Theatre cast were technically sound, save for the fact that there was a minor slip-up in the opening Act. Also, Princess Aurora, played by Rosa Park, was seen quivering at some points during her solo dance when she had to hold her pose – could this be due to fatigue?
The numerous pas de deux set against Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky‘s rich score imbued a Romanticist quality and its conventional ballet behaviour won over applause from the pleased audience. Apologies, for I did not share their view – I was not impressed by the trite mix of clichés. The ballerinas and their partners seemed to lack chemistry, and were more focused on getting their steps right rather than conveying an energetic ballet virtuosity. Overall the choreography was decent, but uninspired. The sequences was safe, but did not stun as it lacked the theatrically flawless execution by the dancers. In fact, parts of the sequences were a tad uncoordinated.
That said, I enjoyed the ending of Act 1 when Princess Aurora pricked her finger and the Lilac Fairy cast a spell on everyone. That particular routine was well executed, showcasing several sequences of pirouettes. Chihiro Uchida was a delightful Lilac Fairy, with perfectly-pointed feet and airy jumps. Even though the acoustics of the Esplanade Theatre could be better, Singapore Dance Theatre‘s presentation of Sleeping Beauty adequately captured the holiday spirit. The vibrant set design can be taken right out of a children’s story book – something that the kids would go crazy over. Indeed, a performance fit for the entire family.
Date: 13 – 16 December 2012 (Thursday – Sunday)
Venue: Esplanade Theatre
Time: 13 & 14 December, 8pm, 15 December, 1pm, 8pm, 16 December, 1pm, 7pm
Ticket prices : $90, $75, $50*, $30 (excluding SISTIC charge)
*$50 concession for Students/NSF/Senior Citizens