Experience all the magic of the classic storybook tale with original costume designs, dazzling scenery, and a host of characters as the Downtown Dance Conservatory presents “The Sleeping Beauty.” This year the performances will take place at the Mort Glosser Amphitheater in downtown Gadsden on May 20, 21, and 22 at 8 pm.
Tchaikovsky’s “Sleeping Beauty” is one of the most widely performed ballet and musical scores in the world. DDC Artistic Director Linze Rickles McRae has taken inspiration from the original Marius Petipa choreography and story from Charls Perrault and added an interesting twist on the origins and culture of the tale.
Housed in the Hardin Center, the DDC has been the heart of the local classical ballet community for more than 19 years. The organization has collaborated, staged, and hosted many productions. The DDC staged the original production of “The Waking Beauty” in 2008 and is excited to bring the story back to life in 2022.
The story begins with the christening of Baby Aurora to her new kingdom. Amongst their guests are her fairy queens who each bestow a magical gift on the child: beauty, Song, grace, joy, generosity, & dancing. Before the Lilac Fairy can present the final gift, dark Ravens fly into the celebration. Alongside the ravens is a strange and disguised fairy. It is Carabosse, the fairy of darkness. She is in a rage because Princess Florentine forgot to invite her to the ceremony. As revenge for being overlooked she pronounces that Aurora will one day prick her finger on a sewing needle and die. The Lilac Fairy, unable to completely overturn the curse, changes it by promising that Aurora will not die but rather fall into a deep sleep. This deep sleep is one that only can be awakened by the magic of all the realm’s fairies combined.
It is Princess Aurora’s 16th birthday and all of the fairies arrive to present their gifts at the celebration. All sharp objects have been banned at court. Carabosse snuck needles to the knitting women. when these village women are found to have knitting needles, the Lilac fairy banishes them from the kingdom for endangering Aurora’s life.
Aurora enters the celebration of her birthday and is introduced to the Fairy Queens. She dances with each of them in turn, Accepting her rose as each gift is presented. Carabosse sneaks into the birthday celebration without invitation. A mysterious guest arrives with a gift for Aurora, a rose for peace. Having never seen such a rose before, Aurora dances with it, fascinated. Disguised within the rose, is a needle carefully placed by the mysterious guest. Aurora pricks her finger on the rose and the hooded guest reveals herself as Carabosse, reiterating her curse before disappearing.
Come enjoy the show to see Aurora awaken and be crowned the Queen of the woodland realm. Tickets are available online at culturalarts.org/boxoffice , at the Hardin Center, and at the gate on the evening of each performance. The Downtown Dance Conservatory is a project of the Gadsden Cultural Arts Foundation.
May 20th, May 21st, and May 22nd at 8PM each night. Tickets will go on sale, TOMORROW, April 21st.