I can’t believe Carolina Ballet has already concluded its 2013-14 Season. It only seems like yesterday that we were performing Giselle last season. (Check out my post on Giselle.)
Sleeping Beauty finished my first season as an Apprentice in 2010 and now my fifth season as a Soloist in 2014. I was thrilled to be able to revisit this ballet because of its true classicism. It is rare in this day and age that we, as dancers, can go back to the roots of our training. Pure ballet. Personally, I love this challenge of perfection. Of course, each time we are on stage, dancers aim for their best, but pure classical ballet exposes mistakes so easily.
In my first Sleeping Beauty, I performed the corps roles as a Lilac fairy attendant, a Nymph in the Vision Scene and a Courtier in the Wedding. I was an understudy for the Fairy of Goodness, but I never had the opportunity to perform it.
This time around, I was fortunate to be cast as the Energy Fairy, otherwise known as the “finger fairy.” Every variation in SB has a challenge: graceful “porte de bra” or carriage of the arms, difficult hops/runs on Pointe, controlled balances, fast footwork, etc. The Energy Fairy is notable for its jumping and fast footwork and is usually performed by a shorter dancer. As the tallest female in the company, I loved the challenge! I attempted to add the quality of soft “porte de bra” with the speedy legs.
In Robert Weiss’ version, the fairies from the Prologue remain throughout the ballet into the Garland Dance, the Garden Scenes and the Wedding Scene. The four soloist fairies have ten dances in total, including our two variations. That is a lot of Pointe work, resulting in many dead shoes. I needed a new pair each show; those shoes don’t include the numerous studio or stage rehearsals.
Below are a few beautiful photos by our wonderful Tim Lytvinenko. (Check out Tim‘s website.)
Now, the dancers have a 2.5 months layoff over the summer before the start of the 2014-15 season. I will be catching up on some reading. I hope to share with you a few of my thoughts over the next months. Have a wonderful summer!