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Welcome to The Sleeping Beauty!

Welcome ballet enthusiasts, 

For those of you who don’t know me like the ballet students here at LAFA, classical ballet is my absolute favorite of the myriad forms of dance seen across the globe. It is my passion, it makes me smile, it calms me and excites me and stirs such an emotional depth to my daily life. It still blows my mind when I watch some of my favorite dancers execute a simple step so eloquently and deliberately and exquisitely. As a dancer myself, I understand the challenges, the nuances, the ins and outs of various steps, and variations and moments in dance. I introduce to you Marius Petipa, the original choreographer for The Sleeping Beauty, which premiered at the Mariinsky Theatre, January 15, 1890. His choreography is incredibly musical, fun to dance, challenging, and has withstood the test of time. Most of the choreography you will see on stage today is the original and has been staged by us dancers. Adapted, when necessary, but the essence of Petipa still resonates. The multitude of variations, Pas de Deux and corps work are a central part of a student’s dance education. It is a piece of dance history that is best told and understood and felt, only by immersing oneself as a dancer in it. It has been a joy and a rejuvenating experience to share it with not only the students but the teachers as well as we all brushed off the cobwebs of some of the old memories, and awakened a creative excitement learning the parts we didn’t already know. 

But how can I continue to rave over Petipa and not bring in Tchaikovsky, the composer of The Sleeping Beauty to be recognized. Working sometimes side by side with Petipa, they collaborated and choreographed, and composed together, leaving us with a score that tells the story itself. You can hear each of the characters so clearly and the music is incredibly recognizable thanks to the Disney classic movie, of the same name. I used to think that the music was pompous, and I struggled with listening to it. But now, after listening to it for an entire year almost daily, and intertwining it with Petipa’s choreography and the story, I have the utmost respect for it and find so much delight in all of it now. 

This is the first time I have directed this ballet, promising many that I would never do The Sleeping Beauty, but I decided that the time was right for it this season. We needed a challenge, a piece of classical history, and an opportunity to grow as artists. Even the costumes have been made to stay within the traditional look and style of this ballet.

I am excited to share with you, our audience, our devoted fans, our premiere of this beloved ballet. I am beyond thankful and proud of the entire dance and costume department for their passion and commitment on this journey with me. This ballet will now be a favorite in our repertoire! 

Enjoy the ballet, pass the word along to other balletomanes, the delight in watching these students carry on the tradition of The Sleeping Beauty. 

 

Sincerely,

Julie McWilliams

 

~ No flash photography ~

~ No video recording ~

~ This production is being professionally recorded ~

~ DVDs can be ordered in the lobby or by emailing us at ms.julie.louafa@gmail.com ~

WARNING Flashing lights and other intense lighting will be used during this show. It will not be safe for those with epilepsy and other conditions with sensitivity to light.

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