Thursday, 26 September 2013

The Sleeping Beauty with the Kirov Ballet

Though not the first ballet version of La Belle au Bois Dormant, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky's version is the most renowned. Still smarting from the poor reception of Swan Lake, the young Russian composer was coerced into writing his Opus 66 for debut in St. Petersburg in 1890. He never lived to see it become the success that it did. Tchaikovsky passed away in 1893, but by the end of the next decade, Sleeping Beauty was already on its way to becoming one of the most influential ballets in history.

The story of Tchaikovsky's trials was well-told in the fifth season Disneyland episode "The Peter Tchaikovsky Story," a standard bonus feature on home video releases of Disney's film. Few take the time to watch the whole ballet, unless they're lucky enough to see it performed live. To address that oversight, here is the complete 1989 Kirov Ballet of Leningrad's (now Saint Petersburg) performance of Tchaikovsky's The Sleeping Beauty.

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