“Sleeping Beauty” is the gem of the world ballet.
Ballet “Sleeping Beauty” is a masterpiece of the world’s musical heritage. Russian composer Pyotr Tchaikovsky who wrote the musical score for it brought ballet music to the rank of stand-alone symphonic work. A wonderful union of a genius talent of the composer Tchaikovsky and no less talented choreography by Marius Petipa made “Sleeping Beauty” a crown of world ballet.
by unknown author
Symphony for “Sleeping Beauty”: the story of creating the ballet
The gem of the Russian ballet appeared thanks to the curator of the Bolshoi Theatre Vsevolozhsky. It was he who thinking about the level of performances directed on the stage of the largest metropolitan theater, decided to impress the audience by a new bright and memorable performance that would surpass everything that ever took place on that stage before. Ordinary ballet music was not suitablefor such purpose, so the director of the Imperial Theatres decided to turn to a professional of the highest class – composer Pyotr Tchaikovsky.
The composer wrote the music for the ballet in full accordance with the ideas of Petipa and Vsevolozhsky. Tchaikovsky, as actually it was originally decided, composed a ballet extravaganza, unleashing colorful decoration and melodic tone-painting. In “Sleeping Beauty” the lightest partof the composer’s soul is almost completely personified. Tchaikovsky’s music for the ballet is filled with joy, brilliance and lyrical graceful dancelike quality. The audience is immersed in a world of romance, enlightened feelings, pomp and upbeat festive mood.
“Sleeping Beauty” was created by Tchaikovsky from 1888 to 1889 – after writing the Fifth Symphonyand before creating the opera “The Queen of Spades”. Beholders recalled that choreographer Petipa, who received from the composer completed drafts of music, had some difficulty due to the fact that previously he never had to choreograph by having to unfold ideas and images carried in the symphony.
The success of the premiere in 1890 at the Mariinsky Theatre was not staggering as it was expected by the creators of the ballet. Critics in their publications often spoke quite harshly, calling the ballet a melodramatic symphony, which does not belong in the Bolshoi Theater. But precisely because of “Sleeping Beauty” a completely new kind of ballet music was established and more demanding attitude towards choreographic performances.
The brilliant Russian ballet first went overseas 6 years after the premiere in St. Petersburg and was staged at the “La Scala”, directed by Giorgio Saracco. However, real success and international acclaim “Sleeping Beauty” received only in 1921.
The ballet “Sleeping Beauty” was the beginning of Pyotr Tchaikovsky recognition as the greatest ballet Russian ballet composer, despite the fact thatafter a controversial premiere of “Swan Lake” the composer’s desire to work in the ballet genre grew a little cold, and only 13 years after composing “Swan Lake” Tchaikovsky began working on “Sleeping Beauty.”