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Hush… a beauty sleeps

By Maria Gregoriou

We might be in the twenty-first century but the tales of princesses and princes on white horses (referring to the movie Cinderella set to grace our movie screens in March of this year), of wicked witches and wolves (does the recently released block-buster Into the Woods ring a bell?) are still very much what we place our fantasy worlds around.

Apart from Cinderella and Little Red Riding Hood, there is Sleeping Beauty and this fairytale is the one we will set our sights on.

The story will be brought to life on screen by the professional dancers at the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow. The famous ballet by Russian composer, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, has been abridged for children.

So get ready to enter the world of fairytale and visit the world of wonder and magic made famous by the Brothers Grimm.

Witness the scene at the palace during the christening of the princess, a child the king and queen have wanted for so long. Seven fairies have been invited to share in the celebrations and golden boxes containing jeweled utensils are placed before them. While they are all seated, an eighth fairy (or the wicked witch Carabosse in the ballet) shows up but has no golden box because she was in a tower for many years, a detail that the king and queen did not know, and so they presumed she was dead.

When the other fairies give the princess gifts of beauty, wit, grace, dance, song and music, the eighth fairy gives the young infant a very different kind of gift. Because she has been overlooked, she is very angry, and decides to get her revenge by casting a spell on the princess, saying that the princess will prick her finger on a spindle and die.

One fairy has a gift left to give, and tries to attempt to reverse the spell, but the curse is so evil that she can only alter it. Instead of pricking her finger and dying, the princess will sleep for 100 years and only be awakened by a kiss from a prince.

You see where this is going. The king forbids any sort of spinning throughout the kingdom, the princess grows-up and one day she wanders through the palace rooms and comes across an old woman spinning her spindle. As the princess has never seen such a thing before, she is curious to try it and, yes, she pricks her finger and falls into a deep sleep.

Now after the curse is over, and the princess awakens she will find herself all alone (100 years is a long time for anyone to survive) and be very distressed. To prevent this from happening a fairy goes to extreme measures and puts the whole kingdom to sleep. Skip forward 100 years, a prince just happens along, sees the princess, falls in love with her beauty, kisses her and breaks the spell.

The ballet can be watched by children over five-years-old and anyone who enjoys a good story, in Paphos on Friday, in Nicosia on Saturday morning and in Larnaca on Saturday afternoon and lastly on Sunday morning and afternoon in Limassol.

The Sleeping Beauty
Screening of an abridged children’s version of the ballet performed at the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow. January 30. Markideo Theatre, Paphos. 6pm. €12. Tel: 96-302770

January 31. Satiriko Theatre, Vladimiros Kafkarides Cultural Centre, 11-15 Vladimiros Kafkarides Street, Aglantzia, Nicosia. 11am.

January 31. Skala Theatre, 15 Kyriakou Matsi Street, Larnaca. 5pm.

February 1. Cultural Events Hall Pano Polemidia, Pano Polemidia, Limassol. 11am and 5pm.

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