by Martin Brady
Nashville Ballet looks to be pulling out all the stops for its 2012-13 season opener The Sleeping Beauty, offering a fresh take through Sunday on Tchaikovsky’s famous 1890 opus based on the Charles Perrault fairy tale. The ballet’s main company of dancers will be joined at TPAC's Jackson Hall by a youth cast of 5-to-7-year-olds, all working under artistic director Paul Vasterling to achieve the classical beauty inscribed into Marius Petipa’s original choreography, challenging in its day and still so for modern companies with its demanding pointe work. There is also new choreography for the “Garland Waltz,” which opens on the title character Aurora’s 16th birthday party.
The familiar fable will be dressed up in lush costumes and sets that effectively place the story in 17th century France, and former company dancer Eric Harris (seen in the clip above), best known for his role as Drosselmeyer in the ballet’s recently reworked Nutcracker, returns to the stage to play the evil fairy Carabosse. In addition, the casting includes characters from other Perrault stories (e.g., Red Riding Hood, Cinderella, Puss in Boots). Check out the demonstration above of how to read mime technique in ballet, which serves as a good starting point(e).