From Scottish Ballet Wednesday 7 March 2007
SCOTTISH BALLET PRESENT WORLD PREMIERE
OF ASHLEY PAGE'S THE SLEEPING BEAUTY
Bank of Scotland sponsors
THE SLEEPING BEAUTY
CONCEIVED BY: ASHLEY PAGE & ANTONY MCDONALD
CHOREOGRAPHY: ASHLEY PAGE MUSIC: PYTOR ILYICH TCHAIKOVSKY
DESIGNS: ANTONY MCDONALD LIGHTING: PETER MUMFORD
Scottish Ballet has received its very own kiss of life, with Bank of Scotland today announcing a commitment of over £350,000 in support of the Company's brand new festive production, The Sleeping Beauty, which tours to Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Inverness from early December.
Marking twenty-two years of successful partnership between the two companies, this renewed commitment will also ensure that even more children across Scotland than in previous years will have the opportunity to experience dance, through creative workshop specially devised by Scottish Ballet.
Presented with the delicious twists synonymous with Artistic Director Ashley Page's full-length story ballets, the Company will stage a brand new version of the classic fairy story The Sleeping Beauty. A truly spellbinding coming-of-age tale, The Sleeping Beauty unfolds through the kaleidoscopic perspective of over one hundred years.
"Once upon a time there lived a king and queen who were grieved, more grieved than words can tell, because they had no children. They tried the waters of every country, made vows and pilgrimages, and did everything that could be done, but without result. At last, however, the queen found that her wishes were fulfilled, and in due course she gave birth to a daughter."
Charles Perrault; La Belle au Bois dormant (The Sleeping Beauty in the Wood)
Princess Aurora is born into an enchanted world where mortal members of Europe's sovereign court mingle with the celestial beings of the forest and their fairy kings. While at the royal baby's christening, each of the kingdom's fairies gift the child a number of virtues including truth, grace, beauty, intelligence and kindness.
A jealous fairy fallen from grace watches on, enraged that she was not invited to join the celebrations, and casts the ultimate curse, that Aurora will, on her 16th birthday, prick her finger and die. Countering the spell, the Lilac Fairy declares that a profound slumber for 100 years can save the innocent child, until she is woken by a truelove kiss.
Marking the transition period between the simple elegance of 1830s Regency fashion and the opulent glamour of neo-gothic Victorian dress, through to the austere silhouette of 1940s post-war Europe, Sleeping Beauty showcases the era's fashions, sometimes graceful, sometimes outrageous, but always lavish, through the vision of designer Antony McDonald. The score, composed by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, is alive with musical motifs full of exquisite poetic images, and will be performed live by the Scottish Ballet Orchestra.
Scottish Ballet's Artistic Director, Ashley Page comes to this new version of The Sleeping Beauty with memories of a former production, which was integral to the history, and international reputation of The Royal Ballet, the Company with which he was formerly a Principal dancer and choreographer. In turn, Page acknowledges the Company's original production by awakening his Sleeping Beauty from her 100 year sleep in 1946, the year in which the newly anointed Royal Ballet reopened the Royal Opera House following the Second World War with Nicholas Sergeyev's version of The Sleeping Beauty, led by Margot Fonteyn.
This production of The Sleeping Beauty comes from the creative force behind the Company's last two hugely successful story ballets, firstly Ashley Page and Antony McDonald's re-telling of The Nutcracker, a production that established an important precedent - continued in their version of Cinderella two years later - of reinvestigating the way in which the Company look at these fairytale ballets. This helped forge a new identity for Scottish Ballet, alongside the Company's adventurous programming of more modern/contemporary work.
Karen Tighe, Head of Group Sponsorship at Bank of Scotland said:
"We are delighted to continue our long standing partnership with Scottish Ballet. A particular highlight will be the enhanced education programme which will see 3000 young people across Scotland directly benefit from Dance Workshops."
Cindy Sughrue, Executive Producer, Scottish Ballet added:
"Bank of Scotland's generosity and vision has enabled Scottish Ballet to produce a number of innovative and successful productions and associated education programmes, and we remain grateful for the level of dedication and support provided by this long-term and significant relationship"