ENB's Tamara Rojo delivers 'ravishing' Sleeping Beauty

Jan 15, 2013

English National Ballet's artistic director and principal dancer 'controlled and audacious' as Princess Aurora

Patrick Baldwin

What you need to know
The English National Ballet's production of The Sleeping Beauty has opened at the London Coliseum. The staging is based on legendary choreographer Kenneth MacMillan's production and features Tchaikovsky's musical classics such as the Rose Adagio.

The story is based on the well-known fairytale of Princess Aurora, who is cursed by an evil fairy to prick her finger and die on her 16th birthday. The princess is saved from death by a kind fairy, and instead falls asleep until true love's kiss can awaken her and undo the evil spell.

Spanish ballerina Tamara Rojo, the recently appointed artistic director of the English National Ballet, also appears as Princess Aurora. At the Coliseum until 19 January, then on tour until 2 March.

What the critics like
Beautiful dancing, sterling musicianship, and a strong production by Kenneth MacMillan make this Sleeping Beauty a real treat, says Mark Monahan in the Daily Telegraph. Then there's the "ravishing spectacle" of ENB's new dancer-director Tamara Rojo. "What a glorious Aurora she makes."

The best Sleeping Beauty in Britain, says Zoe Anderson in The Independent. Kenneth MacMillan's production shows off the ravishing dances, gorgeous costumes and "a
vivid sense of atmosphere". 

Rojo is controlled and audacious, says Donald Hutera in The Times. She appears a young woman in her prime: "gracious, direct, self-possessed". With Vadim Muntagirov, every inch a fine Prince, they made "a smooth pair".

What they don't like
It's a beautiful production, but not a gripping story, says Lyndsey Winship in the Evening Standard. It's just "party, sleep, dream sequence, wake up and wedding", so "the dancing has to do all the work". Still, Rojo and co just about pull it off.

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