‘The Sleeping Beauty’ comes to Three stages

By From page B4 | February 01, 2013

Under the artistic direction of the legendary Elena Radchenko, a principal dancer with the Bolshoi Ballet, the Russian National Ballet Theatre brings “The Sleeping Beauty” to Three Stages.

Founded during Perestroika, the company is today its own institution comprised of exquisite dancers of singular instruction and vast experience. The performance is sponsored by Capital Public Radio.

“Since opening in 2011, Three Stages has brought a number of strong Russian companies to the capital region,” said Executive Director Dave Pier. “’The Sleeping Beauty’ will be elegantly performed and lovely to see.”

The Russian National Ballet Theatre’s “The Sleeping Beauty” will be performed at Three Stages on Tuesday, Feb. 5, Wednesday, Feb. 6 and Thursday, Feb. 7; all performances begin at 7:30 p.m.

“The Sleeping Beauty” is often considered the finest achievement of the classical ballet. Tchaikovsky was delighted with the invitation to write the music for a ballet based on Charles Perrault’s well-known fairy tale.

A baby princess, condemned at her christening by an evil fairy to prick her finger and die on her 16th birthday, is saved by the gift of the good Lilac Fairy, who declares the princess will only sleep until awakened by the kiss of a prince.

“The Sleeping Beauty ” was the first of Marius Petipa’s classics to be seen in Western Europe. Born Victor Marius Alphonse Petipa, he was the inventor of modern classical ballet. During the latter half of the 19th century, Petipa elevated Russian ballet to international acclaim and recognition.

Under the title “The Sleeping Princess,” it was presented by Serge Diaghilev (1872-1929) in London in 1921.

In 1939, it was remounted in Great Britain and has been considered the foundation of the classical ballet repertory in that country ever since. It has now been adopted worldwide, and performance of the leading role remains a kind of initiation rite for aspiring ballerinas.

The Russian National Ballet Theatre was founded during the transitional period of Perestroika in the late 1980s. The company, then titled the Soviet National Ballet, incorporated graduates from the Russian choreographic schools of Moscow, St. Petersburg and Perm. The principal dancers of the company came from the upper ranks of the great ballet companies and academies of Russia, and the companies of Riga, Kiev and even Warsaw.

In 1994, the legendary Bolshoi principal dancer, Elena Radchenko, was selected by presidential decree to assume the first permanent artistic directorship of the company.

Today, the Russian National Ballet Theatre is its own institution, with more than 50 dancers of singular instruction and vast experience, many of whom have been with the company since its inception.

Radchenko notes, “what makes the Russian ballet tradition so great is that we preserve the original intent of the work, which is eternally new and fresh.”

Tickets are $29 to $49, Premium tickets are available for $59. Tickets may be purchased online at or from Three Stages ticket office at 916-608-6888 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and two hours before show time.

Three Stages is located at 10 College Parkway in Folsom.

Harris Center for the Arts

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