By Daisy Finefrock
09 March 2020
The traditional Sleeping Beauty story presents cultural challenges to a contemporary audience — a stranger kissing an unconscious woman isn’t the heroic gesture it used to be viewed as. Thanks to State Street Ballet, however, female choreographers are coming to Beauty’s rescue. On Saturday, March 14, the company will present the classic Tchaikovsky/Petipa Sleeping Beauty as reimagined for 21st-century audiences of all ages. Choreographers Cecily Stewart MacDougall, Megan Philipp, and Marina Fliagina have taken on the daunting task of adapting the classic ballet version while altering certain details to deliver a message of women’s self-empowerment.
One of the most eye-catching aspects of this new production comes thanks to UCSB professor Christina McCarthy, who designed a 15-foot wearable dragon to act as sidekick to the wicked fairy, Carabosse. With great props, moving colors, beautiful costumes, and the dancing, this 90-minute version of what was originally a two-and-a-half-hour ballet should keep the kids engaged through every second.
As part of their popular Family Series, State Street Ballet intends Sleeping Beauty to resonate with all ages. MacDougall pointed out some of her favorite moments to watch for, including the Garland Waltz, during which the prince and Aurora fall in love in the forest; as well as any scene with Carabosse, the Maleficent fairy godmother, and her dragon sidekick.
Read the full article and see the gallery here.