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The tale of the French writer Charles Pierrot “Sleeping Beauty”, as it turned out, hides many secrets. At least, the creators of the ballet of the same name – composer Pyotr Tchaikovsky, choreographer Marius Petipa and director of the imperial theaters Ivan Vsevolozhsky, who became the author of libretto and costumes – filled the work with hidden meaning, elusive for a superficial look.

One thing is certain with confidence: the ballet Sleeping Beauty is far from a naive tale for children.

Political motives
The director of the imperial theaters, Prince Ivan Aleksandrovich Vsevolozhsky, gave the idea to put Sleeping Beauty. Former attaché at the Russian embassy in Paris, he adored everything French and actively supported the course of Tsar Alexander III towards the rapprochement of the two countries.

What could flatter France, the birthplace of ballet, if not a magnificent ballet extravaganza ?! The director wrote the libretto himself, taking as a basis the French tale. The fabulous ballet king was named Florestan XIV in honor of the great king Louis XIV, the founder of the ballet genre. The choreographer of the new production was the chief choreographer of the St. Petersburg Bolshoi (Stone) Theater, also a Frenchman, Marius Petipa.

“Not danceable” ballet music
The dramaturgy of Tchaikovsky’s ballet score was not much different from the dramaturgy of his symphonies. Pyotr Ilyich wrote a philosophical and romantic story about the struggle for fate and happiness. For the first time, St. Petersburg dancers came across music of such a high artistic level and many claimed that it was too complicated and not danceable. Sleeping Beauty, but Petipa, 72, was inspired. The French princess seemed to give him a second youth. Marius’ imagination was also inspired by the 23-year-old Italian virtuoso ballerina – Carlotta Brianza, who was recently taken into the troupe.

Twice older than Princess Aurora was her prince Desiree, Paul Gerd. During the premiere, he turned 46 years old, but in the grace of manners, the ability to support a lady and effectively wear magnificent costumes – he had no equal. Variations Pavel Gerd did not dance, but it was not important. “Ballet is the kingdom of women,” said Petipa.

The plot of “Sleeping Beauty”
Fairies of goodness came to congratulate Princess Aurora from the beginning of her life: Candide, Fleur-de-Farin, Carefree, Baby, ballet Sleeping Beauty Violanta and Playfulness. They give the baby the best that is in the world – human qualities and talents. Supervises the forces of the good fairy Lilac. She also teaches her goddaughter regal manners. The first fairy of the Lilac was Petipa’s daughter, the beautiful Mary. In classical dance, she did not shine, so the father reduced it to a minimum, inviting his daughter to walk majestically on the stage.

The seventh fairy, the ugly Carabos, was forgotten to invite. She invades like a hurricane and predicts the princess death from a spindle prick.

The appearance of an adult princess, the audience has to wait, and Petipa and Tchaikovsky took care of the intensity of interest and prepare her exit. Adagio with four gentlemen, pretenders to her hand and heart, Aurora is dancing, not yet knowing what Amur’s arrows are, her feelings are still sleeping. Aurora is destined to fall into a long sleep in order to wake up in a hundred years. Only love will revive it for a new life, because without love there is no life.

His heart is free, and he dreams of love for a mysterious stranger. Soon, the Lilac Fairy and the Prince set off on the huge river of life. Desiree floats in a boat to the castle of a sleeping beauty in order to wake her senses with a kiss.

At the wedding of Aurora and Desiree, the newlyweds are congratulated not only by the royal court, but even by flowers and precious stones, birds and fairy tale characters. Now the fairies give the bride jewelry. Fairies of Gold and Silver, Sapphires and Diamonds perform their variations.

The wedding masquerade crowns the festive pas de deux of Princess Aurora and Prince Desiree – the future king and queen.

In the final, Petipa built a baroque painting on stage. The apotheosis concludes with a solemn French ballet Sleeping Beauty Anthem. “Long live Henry IV!” Many are surprised: “It sounds great, but why in the minor?” One can only guess. Perhaps because the French king Henry IV – the founder of the Bourbon dynasty – was killed by a dagger? Or from the fact that the wedding, the birth of a new family and the birth of a new person inevitably entails aging and leaving the old? And maybe in these minor colors Tchaikovsky colored the memories of his sad experience of marriage? The composer himself once remarked: “There is no light without darkness. Will we still get to know Carabos? ”
The fate of the ballet beauty born in the 19th century continued in the 20th century and in the third millennium. Having received the title of “Encyclopedia of Russian Ballet”, a philosophical tale by Pyotr Tchaikovsky and Marius Petipa adorns the sleeping ballet, the beautiful ballet scenes of the world.

It was “The Sleeping Beauty” that was destined to open the first season in the restored Bolshoi Theater. More than 100-year-old beauty has not lost its charm and fabulous appeal. She is not subject to time, and her age, as can be seen, is only for the benefit.

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