These past two weeks I was at the London Coliseum performing Sleeping Beauty with English National Ballet. We did 13 performances in 2 weeks and the corps de ballet and soloists were in all of them, so I think we’re all enjoying our rest day today!!
For those of you that don’t know the ballet, the story line is a bit like the Disney film, but the last act, which is Aurora’s wedding to the prince reminds me of a serious version of Shrek.
What I love about this ballet is that, as I said previously, it is the epitome of classical ballet and one really feels it when you perform it! We are really lucky that for this production all of our costumes are gorgeous!! They really are very beautiful and stylised. I think we all were delighted to be wearing them!
During the run, I was fortunate enough to perform several roles, so it kept the performances fun and interesting. Some roles I had more time to prepare before I got onstage, which meant I could see how other dancers interpreted them and decide how I wanted to do it myself, which I think is a very important part of the process.
At the beginning, I started doing the Lilac Fairy Attendants (who are the helpers of Aurora’s fairy godmother), the Garland dance (with the music “Once upon a dream” from the Disney film version), and Nymphs which are the beings that Prince Désiré encounters in his vision of Aurora scene.
During the opening night, a friend of mine got her garland stuck in the wing and we almost didn’t make it onstage in time for the dance! For Nymphs, we had to hold an arabesque (standing on one leg and holding your other leg at a 90 degree angle up behind you) for 12 counts, so there couldn’t be any walking or moving around in the wings during that part, and I always had one of my technician friends to stand in my wing so I had a point of focus, and he did every single show!!!
As the performances went on, I started performing Jewels, who are some of the guests in Aurora and Désiré’s wedding in act III. I performed the Silver variation with different casts, and it was so much fun!
Then the second week came, and I got to perform Aurora’s friends (who are present at her birthday celebration), as well as Little Red Riding Hood, who is also a guest at the wedding, perhaps as a mistake, seeing as she is trying to find her grandmother’s house and has to run away from the Big Bad Wolf.
The last day of the run was the most special for me because I had the opportunity to perform one of the fairies that gifts baby Aurora a part of her personality, and my gift was the gift of song. Having to wait til the last day of performances to debut was hard, but I was so excited and happy on the day! It really was a very special moment for me.
I had a great time performing Sleeping Beauty and seeing my colleagues flourish in their different roles, it was very inspiring!!! We had great times on and off the stage!
Our next stop now is Hong Kong, so stay tuned in for my next blog.
Until next time,