A Review Of The Russian National Ballet’s “Sleeping Beauty” Performance

A Review Of The Russian National Ballet’s “Sleeping Beauty” Performance

Some classy entertainment.

On Saturday, April 7, I attended a performance of “The Sleeping Beauty” by the Russian National Ballet at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark. I ordered a seat in the first row of the balcony and had to watch through the metal bars of the gate, all while trying not to look down, and taking notes on the performance at the same time. However, despite all of this distraction, I was able to really get swept away by the performance and the dancers. Here is my review of the performance.

I’m not going to go through each act and the story because I think we all know how Sleeping Beauty goes. I’ve never seen the Disney movie, cue large gasp from people reading, but I can tell you that this version wasn’t the Disney movie with utmost confidence. However, Disney fans do not fret, because this performance was pretty amazing.

Firstly, the costumes worn by the dancers were amazing. They looked like they were straight out of, whatever year this story was originally written. Even from my seat, I could see the details in the costumes. Good job costume designer!

But I’m burying the lead here: the dancing was incredible! The Russian National Ballet casts some stellar technicians and performers for this piece. Since the brochure didn’t have a cast list, and the announcer didn’t specify how to spell any of the lead performers’ names, I’m just going to talk about them in the context of their roles.

Some of my favorite performers in the piece were the ones who had smaller roles. I could tell they really made the most of their role and really had fun with the piece. During the wedding scene between Princess Aurora and Prince Charming, there were three guest duets: two bluebirds, Little Red Riding Hood and the Wolf, Puss N Boots and a mouse. The former was very technical and featured impressive jumps, while the latter two were very comedic. Other comedic roles were the Evil Fairy and her henchman. The Evil Fairy seemed to have two different people playing her; her upper body was hunched over and flailing her arms, while her lower body showed off some impressive calypsos. She wasn’t given that much technique but managed to deliver an impressive performance. The henchmen were wearing animal masks, and one appeared to be wearing socks on his arms. The weirdest scene was when the Evil Fairy petted them on the head.

The dancer playing the royal page was a scene-stealer as well. (I couldn’t tell if they were male or female.) One of the funniest scenes came when the page was trying to hide knitting needles from the town and was fiddling with them on stage. Even when the page was sitting on the sidelines watching other sections of the dance, they were in character and managed to catch my eye. The last performer I wanted to highlight is the dancer who played the gold fairy and the dancer who played the pink fairy; at least I think they were fairies, in Act 1. I could see the gold fairy’s face and excitement from my seat and felt happy watching her dance. Although, the pink fairy’s arabesque was ridiculous.

Now onto the main performers. Who better to start with than Princess Aurora herself? She was absolutely amazing. Her turns were beautiful and her performance was light, airy, and bubbly, straight out of a Barbie movie. She also really sold the scene where she pricks her finger and falls asleep. Her chemistry with Prince Charming during their pas de deuxes, especially during the wedding scene, was amazing.

Speaking of the Prince, we don’t meet him until Act 2. His jumps were pretty spectacular and looked like he could clear a small child. I also loved that the choreographers gave him some traditionally feminine movements to do. An example is when he dances with the Lilac Fairy and has the vision of Princess Aurora. He has great turns and extensions, and I am glad that was highlighted. Lastly, the MVP goes to the Lilac Fairy. She seemed to have the most dancing to do, and we never saw her break a sweat. I loved her sections in Act 1 with the other fairies and her duet with Prince Charming. Her turns were flawless and her performance was phenomenal.

The few criticisms I have of the show were the scene where Princess Aurora dances with four men just seemed like she was being passed off from one man to the next, and during the fairies section in Act 1, it seemed like the spacing was a bit off. (However, that might have just been the angle I was seeing them from, I might be wrong on the latter.)

So if you ever see that the Russian National Ballet is in town, I recommend getting tickets. Also, you should see any ballet performance, because ballet is awesome.

Cover Image Credit: Flickr.com

Popular Right Now

14 Stages Of Buying Jonas Brothers Concert Tickets As A 20-Something In 2019

"Alexa, play "Burnin' Up" by the Jonas Brothers."


In case you missed it, the Jonas Brothers are back together and, let me tell you, they're giving us some major jams. For those of us who were there when it all began back in 2007 with their first album, It's About Time, this has been one of the most important events of the year. But nothing, and I mean nothing can rival the excitement every twenty-something felt as the Jonas Brothers announced their Happiness Begins tour. I, for one, put my name in for ticket presale, have been following every single social media site related to the tour/group, and, of course, listening to the Jonas Brothers on repeat. And if you did manage to snag tickets, then you know that this is how your brain has been ever since they announced the tour.

1. Finding out that they're going on tour

2. Hopefully entering your name into the lottery to get presale tickets

3. Finding out that you actually get to buy presale tickets

4. Impatiently waiting for your presale tickets by listening to their songs on repeat

5. And remembering how obsessed you used to be (definitely still are) with them

6. Trying to coordinate the squad to go to the concert with you

7. Waiting in the Ticketmaster waiting room...

8. ...And feeling super frantic/frustrated because there are about 2000 people in line in front of you

9. Actually getting into the site to buy the tickets

10. Frantically trying to find seats you can actually pay for because, let's be real, you're twenty-something and poor

11. Managing to actually get the seats you want

12. Joyfully letting your squad know that you've done it

13. Crying a little because all of the dreams you've had since 2007 are coming true

14. Listening to every single Jonas Brothers song on repeat (again)

If you, like me, have finally fulfilled one of your dreams since childhood, then congrats, my friend! We've made it! Honestly, of all the things I've done in my adult life, this might be the one that child me is the most proud of.

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

Severus Snape Is The Worst, And Here's Why

Albus Severus, sweetie, I'm so sorry...


I grew up being absolutely obsessed with the Harry Potter franchise. I read the books for the first time in second and third grade, then again in middle school, and for the third time in my last year of high school. Recently, I had a somewhat heated argument with a fellow fan of the books about Severus Snape. As I've reread the Harry Potter books, I've noticed that, although J.K. Rowling tried to give him a redemption arc, he only got worse because of it. Here's why I still think Severus Snape is the absolute worst.

His love for Lily Potter was actually really creepy. When I was younger and reading the books, I always found the fact that he held fast in his love for Lily to be very endearing, even noble. However, rereading it after going through a couple of relationships myself, I've come to realize that the way he pined over her was super creepy. It was understandable during his time at Hogwarts; he was bullied, and she was the only one who "understood" him. However, she showed zero interest, and if that didn't clue him into realizing that he should back off, her involvement with James Potter should have. She was married. He was pining after a married, happy woman. If he truly loved her, he would have realized how happy she was and backed off. Instead, he took it out on her orphan son and wallowed in bitterness and self-pity, which is creepy and extremely uncool. When a girl is kind to a boy during high school (or in this case, wizard school), it's not an open invitation for him to pine for her for the literal rest of his life and romanticizes the absolute @#$% out of her. It's just her being a decent person. Move on, Severus.

He verbally abused teenagers. One of the most shocking examples of this is in The Prisoner of Azkaban when Snape literally told Neville Longbottom that he would kill his beloved toad, Trevor if he got his Shrinking Potion wrong, and then punished him when he managed to make the potion correctly. Furthermore, poor Neville's boggart was literally Snape. The amount of emotional torture Neville must have been enduring from Snape to create this type of debilitating fear must have been almost unbearable, and even if Snape was simply trying to be a "tough" professor, there is no excuse for creating an atmosphere of hostility and fear like he did in his potions class for vulnerable students like Neville. In addition, he ruthlessly tormented Harry (the last living piece of Lily Potter, his supposed "true love," btw), and made fun of Hermione Granger's appearance. Sure, he might have had a terrible life. However, it's simply a mark of poor character to take it out on others, especially when the people you take it out on are your vulnerable students who have no power to stand up to you. Grow up.

He willingly joined a terrorist group and helped them perform genocide and reign over the wizarding world with terror tactics for a couple of decades. No explanation needed as to why this is terrible.

Despite the constant romanticization of his character, I will always see the core of Severus Snape, and that core is a bitter, slimy, genocidal, manipulative trash being. J.K. Rowling's attempt to redeem him only threw obsessive and controlling traits into the mix. Snape is the absolute worst, and romanticizing him only removes criticism of an insane man who just so happened to be capable of love (just like the vast majority of the rest of us). Thank you, next.

Related Content

Facebook Comments