Even before the curtain rises, a figure in a billowing hooded cloak rushes to the ramp of the Deutsche Oper and gives the audience a malicious look. Dinu Tamazlacaru embodies the evil fairy Carabosse in “Sleeping Beauty”. He stars in Marcia Haydée’s new production. In April, Haydée, the former ballerina and longtime director of the Stuttgart Ballet, celebrated her 85th birthday.
She has now rehearsed her version of “Sleeping Beauty” with the Staatsballett Berlin. It’s not exactly new, but very successful. Haydée designed it for Stuttgart in 1987; where the classic is still one of the most popular narrative ballets in the repertoire today. Companies from all over the world have adopted their version.
With the Staatsballett, it only worked on the third attempt – initiated by Johannes Öhmann, who left the company after a short time. The premiere, scheduled for February 2020, had to be postponed because the costumes were not ready in time. The financing of the complex equipment also had to be managed. And then Corona came.
“Sleeping Beauty” is not just a festival of dance art; the ballet also beguiles with the opulence of the decor. Jordi Roig, who designed the sets and costumes, revels in velvet, silk and rhinestones. The royal couple and their court struts through a magnificent palace with outside stairs and balustrades decorated with garlands.
Roses come in all forms here. Haydée is strongly based on the traditional choreography of Marius Petipa, but sets his own accents. At the center of their production is the fight between Lilac Fairy and Carabosse, who personify the fight between good and evil.
The fairy Carabosse was not invited to the christening of Princess Aurora – angry, she utters a curse on the child. Haydée greatly upgraded the role of Carabosse. In her case, the evil fairy is not an ugly old witch, but with her long black hair and black robe is reminiscent of a character from the Japanese Kabuki theater. And she dances!
Dinu Tamazlacaru captivates viewers as a demonic diva. The Moldovan not only inspires with high jumps. He whirls and rages across the stage in incredibly expressive movements – and drives the court society in front of him.
Elisa Carrillo Cabrera resolutely confronts Carabosse – she is a lilac fairy who has superpowers. In an interlude you see how she protects the adolescent princess while the offended Carabosse plots revenge.
Polina Semionova shines as Princess Aurora. With her flawless lines and musicality, she is an outstanding interpreter of the Petipa style. Marcia Haydée has also given the four princes courting Aurora more dancing. You gain contour. In general, it is striking that the State Ballet has many talented men at its disposal. Alexandre Cagnat embodies Prince Desiré with elegance. When a vision of Aurora appears to him and he finally kisses the sleeping beauty awake, that is one of the highlights of the evening.
The three-hour production drags on. The divertissement in the third act with the appearance of nothing but fairy tale characters offers pretty miniatures. Haydée has placed Ali Baba alongside the four ballerinas, who shine as jewels, and Murilo de Oliveira lends his phenomenal bounce to him. In the end, the wedding is celebrated – but evil is still lurking.
The Staatsballett Berlin has already danced various versions of “Sleeping Beauty”, most of which did not last long in the repertoire. Haydée’s version is not a reinterpretation. But the collaboration with the dance icon has been good for the dancers. The ensemble is in top form at the premiere. Marcia Haydée gave both thumbs up when she took the stage at the end. Big cheers.