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  • Writer's pictureYumi La Blanca

Awakening ‘The Sleeping Beauty’ - Theatres Under the Spell

Theatres are sleeping

Once upon a time, the Royal Opera House woke up from a deep sleep and inspired us ever after.

The historical come-back was made in 1946, as the post-war reopening with the production of ‘The Sleeping Beauty’. Since then, this artistic treasure has been one of the most significant repertoires of the Royal Ballet.

This grand theatre is yet again under the sleeping spell, this time joining in an uneasy dream together with other traditional and modern theatres all over the world. Under the spell of lockdown, nobody knows how to wake up these sleeping beauties.

From November 2019 to January 2020, the Royal Ballet restaged ‘The Sleeping Beauty’ with critical success. As this production was chosen for their latest streaming programme on 24th July, I’d like to share how I was rejoiced by its theatrical magic.

The Beauty in the Theatre

During this latest run, I saw two equally beautiful Princesses - Akane and Fumi.

On 9th November, I saw Fumi Kaneko dance the lead role along with Reece Clarke as Prince Florimund. I was fascinated by their fresh, celebrated partnership, without expecting to see her in the cinema later.

On 23rd November, when Akane Takada was cast as Aurora, I was very excited but nervous at the same time, as she’d just recovered from an injury. I was so relieved she nailed the full acts with such artistry.

Akane’s pure, graceful, sweet and heavenly interpretation of Aurora has enchanted me, just as she always does in whatever productions. What I wished was to relish her art on stage as many years as possible, not foreseeing what’d happen to the theatre later on.

The Beauty in the Cinema

On 16th January, the date of the live cinema, I was looking forward to seeing Lauren Cuthbertson as Aurora. I therefore felt heartbroken by the last-minute cast change due to her injury… With a lovely surprise Fumi stepped in, and her role as Lilac Fairy was replaced by Gina Storm-Jensen.

Despite such a last minute, nerve-wracking situation, Fumi’s beauty bloomed. I could feel her fellow dancers on stage sending her their positive, supportive energy. When she executed the Rose Adagio elegantly, my eyes were full of tears.

Her musicality excels - her movements harmonise with the music and she hardly misses the accents. Her charm is now reaching even more people through online streaming, as if sending gifts to all the ballet lovers who miss the theatre.

Hope for Awakening

Our theatre experience usually starts before the curtain goes up, expecting an unforgettable moment, wishing the performers good luck, praying for no accidents... Then, the magnetism continues during the show, and even afterwards, cherishing the energy and the inspirations we received.

Theatres are still sleeping, unable to enchant us - we don’t know exactly how to lift this heavy spell.

Not a day goes by without me remembering the real intensity of theatre experiences. So, even though we can’t dream of a miraculous Prince to come, I’d keep sending best wishes, appreciations, love to all the performers, all the theatre workers, all the fellow audiences, because the theatres are where we meet to be enchanted.

Direct donation to the Royal Opera House:

The Sleeping Beauty – Aurora's Act I variation (Fumi Kaneko; The Royal Ballet)

#OurHouseToYourHouse #royaloperahouse #royalballet #thesleepingbeauty #savethearts #savethetheatre #savethedancer #supportthearts


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