THE EVOLUTION OF THE SLEEPING BEAUTY

Ballet's most lavish pageant parades through the decades

Amber Scott as Aurora and Valerie Tereshchenko as the Lilac Fairy in David McAllister's The Sleeping Beauty (2017)The Australian Ballet

The Evolution of the Sleeping Beauty

The original version of The Sleeping Beauty, by Petipa, was a triumph of excess, loaded with silk, velvet, fur, fountains and visions of gods and kings. Modern productions may not equal this splendour, but they certainly try to evoke it, showcasing dancers at the peak of their art and featuring the giddy heights of designers' invention. At The Australian Ballet, The Sleeping Beauty has been a lodestone, appearing down the decades as a celebration of the company's strength and prestige. 

Artists of The Australian Ballet in Peggy van Praagh's Aurora's Wedding (1964)The Australian Ballet

1964

The Australian Ballet is two years old. Its founding artistic director, Peggy van Praagh, danced with London's Sadler's Wells Ballet, and The Sleeping Beauty is part of her heritage. She mounts a production of Aurora's Wedding (the last act of Beauty) to show off her budding stars. 

Marilyn Jones and Garth Welch as Aurora and the Prince in Peggy van Praagh's Aurora's Wedding (1964)The Australian Ballet

Artists of The Australian Ballet in Peggy van Praagh's Aurora's Wedding (1964)The Australian Ballet

Puss in Boots and the White Cat in Peggy van Praagh's Aurora's Wedding (1964)The Australian Ballet

Lucette Aldous as Aurora and Garth Welch as the Prince in Peggy van Praagh's The Sleeping Beauty (1973)The Australian Ballet

1973

The company's footing is assured. Peggy van Praagh stages a full-length production of The Sleeping Beauty, with jewel-bright designs by Kenneth Rowell. It is the first ballet to be performed at the newly opened Sydney Opera House. 

Lucette Aldous as Aurora and Francis Croese and Gary Norman as Foreign Princes in Peggy van Praagh's The Sleeping Beauty (1973)The Australian Ballet

Detail of costume for Aurora (Act I) in Peggy van Praagh's The Sleeping Beauty (1973) by Kenneth RowellThe Australian Ballet

Artists of The Australian Ballet in Peggy van Praagh's The Sleeping Beauty (1973)The Australian Ballet

Costume for Princess Florine in Peggy van Praagh's The Sleeping Beauty (1973) by Kenneth RowellThe Australian Ballet

Costume for the Bluebird in Peggy van Praagh's The Sleeping Beauty (1973) by Kenneth RowellThe Australian Ballet

Detail of costume for the Bluebird in Peggy van Praagh's The Sleeping Beauty (1973) by Kenneth RowellThe Australian Ballet

Alida Chase as the Lilac Fairy and Ray Powell as Carabosse in Peggy van Praagh's The Sleeping Beauty (1973)The Australian Ballet

Costume for the Lilac Fairy in Peggy van Praagh's The Sleeping Beauty (1973) by Kenneth RowellThe Australian Ballet

Detail of costume for the Lilac Fairy in Peggy van Praagh's The Sleeping Beauty (1973) by Kenneth RowellThe Australian Ballet

Costume for Carabosse in Peggy van Praagh's The Sleeping Beauty (1973) by Kenneth RowellThe Australian Ballet

Detail of costume for Carabosse in Peggy van Praagh's The Sleeping Beauty (1973) by Kenneth RowellThe Australian Ballet

Patricia Cox as the Fairy Canari in Peggy van Praagh's The Sleeping Beauty (1973)The Australian Ballet

Costume for the Fariy Canari in Peggy van Praagh's The Sleeping Beauty (1973) by Kenneth RowellThe Australian Ballet

Detail of costume for the Fariy Canari in Peggy van Praagh's The Sleeping Beauty (1973) by Kenneth RowellThe Australian Ballet

Costume for Puss in Boots from Peggy van Praagh's The Sleeping Beauty (1973) by Kenneth RowellThe Australian Ballet

Artists of The Australian Ballet in Peggy van Praagh's The Sleeping Beauty (1973)The Australian Ballet

Adam Marchant, Sian Stokes and Lisa Pavane in Maina Gielgud's The Sleeping Beauty (1984)The Australian Ballet

1984

After a succession of directors and patches of instability, The Australian Ballet passes into the hands of Maina Gielgud, who, like van Praagh, will reign for over a decade. A new generation of stars emerges, and Gielgud's production of The Sleeping Beauty opens Arts Centre Melbourne before moving on to wow Covent Garden. Hugh Colman wins a competition to design Gielgud's Beauty; it is his first full-length ballet. Airy pastels for the fairies, storybook blues and golds for the court, a Carabosse with a flaming cloak, a white cat in harem pants and a Rose Adage tutu of soft pink petals make this a Beauty to remember. 

Lisa Bolte on dancing Aurora in The Sleeping BeautyThe Australian Ballet

Sian Stokes as Carabosse in Maina Gielgud's The Sleeping Beauty (1984)The Australian Ballet

Costume for Carabosse in Maina Gielgud's The Sleeping Beauty (1984) by Hugh ColmanThe Australian Ballet

Costume for Carabosse in Maina Gielgud's The Sleeping Beauty (1984) by Hugh ColmanThe Australian Ballet

Lisa Pavane as Aurora in Maina Gielgud's The Sleeping Beauty (1984)The Australian Ballet

Costume for Aurora (Act I) in Maina Gielgud's The Sleeping Beauty (1984) by Hugh ColmanThe Australian Ballet

Detail of costume for Prince Florestan in Maina Gielgud's The Sleeping Beauty (1984) by Hugh ColmanThe Australian Ballet

Linda Ridgeway as Princess Florine and Steven Woodgate as the Bluebird in Maina Gielgud's The Sleeping Beauty (1984)The Australian Ballet

Tutu for Princess Florine in Maina Gielgud's The Sleeping Beauty (1984)The Australian Ballet

Detail of tutu for Princess Florine in Maina Gielgud's The Sleeping Beauty (1984)The Australian Ballet

Miranda Coney as the Lilac Fairy in Maina Gielgud's The Sleeping Beauty (1984)The Australian Ballet

Justine Summers as the Fairy Miettes qui tombent in Maina Gielgud's The Sleeping Beauty (1984)The Australian Ballet

Detail of tutu for the Fairy Miettes qui tombent in Maina Gielgud's The Sleeping Beauty (1984) by Hugh ColmanThe Australian Ballet

Artists of The Australian Ballet in Maina Gielgud's The Sleeping Beauty (1984)The Australian Ballet

Costume for the White Cat in Maina Gielgud's The Sleeping Beauty (2012) by Hugh ColmanThe Australian Ballet

Artists of The Australian Ballet in Maina Gielgud's The Sleeping Beauty (1984)The Australian Ballet

David Ashmole as Prince Florimund, Lisa Pavane as the Lilac Fairy and Christine Walsh as Aurora in Maina Gielgud's The Sleeping Beauty, 1988 (1988)The Australian Ballet

Lucinda Dunn as Aurora and Robert Curran as Prince Florimund in Stanton Welch's The Sleeping Beauty (2009)The Australian Ballet

2005

Stanton Welch, son of two of The Australian Ballet's greatest dancers and a former member of the company, returns at the invitation of Artistic Director David McAllister to create a new production of The Sleeping Beauty. He highlights the struggle between good and evil, with an ice-queen Carabosse who keeps the kingdom in perpetual winter. The rich and eccentric design, veering from the space age to Bollywood, is the last work of the legendary Kristian Fredrikson. 

Lana Jones as the Lilac Fairy and Amy Harris as Carabosse in Stanton Welch's The Sleeping BeautyThe Australian Ballet

Costume for the Lilac Fairy in Stanton Welch's The Sleeping Beauty (2005) by Kristian FredriksonThe Australian Ballet

Costume for a Lilac Cavalier in Stanton Welch's The Sleeping Beauty (2005) by Kristian FredriksonThe Australian Ballet

Costume for Carabosse in Stanton Welch's The Sleeping Beauty (2005) by Kristian FredriksonThe Australian Ballet

Detail of costume for Carabosse in Stanton Welch's The Sleeping Beauty (2005) by Kristian FredriksonThe Australian Ballet

Lucinda Dunn as Aurora and artists of The Australian Ballet in Stanton Welch's The Sleeping BeautyThe Australian Ballet

Artists of The Australian Ballet as Puss in Boots and the White Cat in Stanton Welch's The Sleeping BeautyThe Australian Ballet

Lucinda Dunn as Aurora and Matthew Donnelly as a Foreign Prince in Stanton Welch's The Sleeping BeautyThe Australian Ballet

Artists of The Australian Ballet in David McAllister's The Sleeping Beauty, 2015 (2015)The Australian Ballet

2015

After 13 years as artistic director, David McAllister stages his first ballet: The Sleeping Beauty. The new production gives the historically haloed roles of Aurora and Désiré, Carabosse, the Lilac Fairy and the Bluebird to the stars he has nurtured. A wildly imaginative, luscious design by Gabriela Tylesova frames the dancers in Baroque gold and candy-bright colours. Petipa would be proud. 

Behind the Scenes of The Sleeping Beauty pt. 1The Australian Ballet

Amber Scott as Aurora with artists of The Australian Ballet in David McAllister's The Sleeping Beauty (2017)The Australian Ballet

Costume for Aurora in David McAllister's The Sleeping Beauty (2015) by Gabriela TylesovaThe Australian Ballet

Detail of tutu for the Fairy of Joy in David McAllister's The Sleeping Beauty (2015) by Gabriela TylesovaThe Australian Ballet

Lana Jones as Aurora in David McAllister's The Sleeping Beauty (2015)The Australian Ballet

Detail of costume for the Queen, Act I, in David McAllister's The Sleeping Beauty (2015) by Gabriela TylesovaThe Australian Ballet

Costume for the King, Act III, in David McAllister's The Sleeping Beauty (2015) by Gabriela TylesovaThe Australian Ballet

Gillian Revie as Carabosse in David McAllister's The Sleeping Beauty (2017)The Australian Ballet

Valerie Tereschenko as the Lilac Fairy and Gillian Revie as Carabosse in David McAllister's The Sleeping Beauty (2017)The Australian Ballet

Detail of tutu for the Lilac Fairy in David McAllister's The Sleeping Beauty (2015) by Gabriela TylesovaThe Australian Ballet

Costume for Carabosse in David McAllister's The Sleeping Beauty (2015) by Gabriela TylesovaThe Australian Ballet

Detail of costume for Carabosse in David McAllister's The Sleeping Beauty (2015) by Gabriela TylesovaThe Australian Ballet

Fairies in David McAllister's The Sleeping Beauty (2015)The Australian Ballet

Jill Ogai as the Fairy of Temperament in David McAllister's The Sleeping Beauty (2015)The Australian Ballet

Amanda McGuigan and Valerie Tereshchenko as Aurora's Girlfriends in David McAllister's The Sleeping Beauty (2015)The Australian Ballet

Detail of tutu for a Girlfriend in David McAllister's The Sleeping Beauty (2015) by Gabriela TylesovaThe Australian Ballet

Artists of The Australian Ballet in David McAllister's The Sleeping Beauty (2015)The Australian Ballet

Detail of a costume for a Garland Dancer in David McAllister's The Sleeping Beauty (2015) by Gabriela TylesovaThe Australian Ballet

Adam Bull as Prince Désiré in David McAllister's The Sleeping Beauty (2015)The Australian Ballet

Lana Jones as Aurora and Kevin Jackson as Prince Désiré in David McAllister's The Sleeping Beauty (2015)The Australian Ballet

Artists of The Australian Ballet as Courtiers (Act III) in David McAllister's The Sleeping Beauty (2015)The Australian Ballet

Detail of costume for Courtier (Act III) in David McAllister's The Sleeping Beauty (2015)The Australian Ballet

Dimity Azoury as the White Cat in David McAllister's The Sleeping Beauty (2015)The Australian Ballet

Ako Kondo as Princess Florine and Chengwu Guo as the Bluebird in David McAllister's The Sleeping Beauty (2015)The Australian Ballet

Detail of costume for Bluebird in David McAllister's The Sleeping Beauty (2015) by Gabriela TylesovaThe Australian Ballet

Kevin Jackson as Prince Désiré, Benedicte Bemet as Aurora and artists of The Australian Ballet in David McAllister's The Sleeping Beauty (2015)The Australian Ballet

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