REVIEW: SLEEPING BEAUTY at the Colorado Ballet

by Taylor Jo Oxley

I had the pleasure of attending The Colorado Ballet’s production of Sleeping Beauty at the beautiful Elle Caulkins Opera House. This performance was rather enjoyable, but be prepared for a long evening at the theatre.

The first overture performed by The Colorado Ballet Orchestra left something to be desired. The lackluster beginning had me nervous about the rest of the performance, but the pace and the excitement quickly picked up. The fairy soloists, regally donned in tulle and jewels, struggled with timing in the prologue. However, the Cavaliers made up for that lack with an impeccably tight and highly skilled variation. Antagonist Carabosse, played by the powerful Gregory Gonzales, storms in on a incredibly detailed chariot by Michael Eagan. Carabosse and attendants are coming to ruin the party, but adversely brought life to the prologue. The attendants played by Sean Omandam, Liam Hogan, Tyler Rhoades, and Joshua Allenback executed the choreography in a vigorous and seamless fashion, capturing every eye in the house.

Act I is full of fun which can be mostly credited to Princess Aurora, played by Dana Benton. Benton tirelessly danced through her birthday party giving off light in every pirouette. Her interactions with suitors were articulate yet youthful, and she brought an energy to the stage that was unmatched. Lilac Fairy, Asuka Sasaki, was not only the saving grace of the fairytale but also throughout the evening, bringing importance to otherwise dull moments.

The second act begins on quite a lovely note with what we know as the familiar tune “Once Upon a Dream”. The corps create a light and fun frame of mind for this act with flower garlands, weaving formations, and a very nice presentation from the children’s corps. It mostly goes downhill from here. We meet Prince Desiree, Yosvani Ramos, whose first solo was a bit sloppy and lacked energy. The rest of the second act continues this way, save from the appearance of Sasaki and Benton. Their skill and technique keep the audience engaged through this long and tedious act.

The third and final act of the performance was likely the best. The Jewel Variations were pleasant, and the costumes (provided by the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, designed by Anne Armit and Shannon Lovelace) were very appropriate for a wedding scene. Puss-N-Boots, Nicolas Pelletier and Melissa Zoebisch, as well as Red Riding Hood and The Wolf, Arianna Ciccarelli and Jeremy Studinski, stole the act with their comical duets. The Bluebird variations were flawless; kudos to Francisco Estevez and Sarah Tryon. Ramos and Benton perform their final duets and we are not left disappointed. The energy from Act II to Act III has changed immensely and their performance is revered by the audience. A final Mazurka by the cast is a perfect, dynamic ending to such a long piece.

Overall The Colorado Ballet does a wonderful job with Sleeping Beauty. However, I would suggest a cup of coffee before the show, as it is long and it may be difficult to make it through Act II.

Colorado Ballet’s SLEEPING BEAUTY is enchanting audiences now through October 14th at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House. Visit COLORADOBALLET.ORG or call Patron Services at 303-837-8888 ext. 2 to purchase tickets.

To continue to reduce the number of ticket resellers, please purchase directly through Colorado Ballet via the website or phone number listed above. Tickets purchased through resellers may not be valid.


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