Review: Sleeping Beauty Enchants
By Ken DeLaat
Photo by Rhonda Buter
The Russian National Ballet Theater came to the Dogwood Center Tuesday evening for an endearing performance of Sleeping Beauty and succeeded in capturing the hearts and imagination of their audience.
Especially the younger segment of the crowd.
Before the performance we watched as a parade of young lasses dressed up in their finest fare and accompanied by ample accessories from tiaras to tutus entered the theater looking more than a little excited to be there.
When the Dogwood’s Tracy Streichhirsch came on stage for the intro she remarked on the number of young ladies there for the show and...
...asked those who were about to see a ballet for the first time to clap their hands.
A ripple of applause went through the crowd, applause that echoed the sounds made by tiny hands, some even gloved for the occasion and produced smiles throughout the theater.
Then the curtain drew open and the show began.
The talented troupe poured out a show that drew rapt attention from all in attendance but particularly from the little ones who were taken in by the lavish sets, brilliant costumes, the thunderous then gentle musical accompaniment and, above all, the dancing.
The scenes when a sextet or dozen dancers filled the stage generated ample excitement as did the exquisite solo performances. The company lived up to their billing and did not disappoint even when a short (but perhaps eternally lengthy to them) glitch left them without music in mid dance and they methodically finished their steps in silence then stood in frozen animation until the accompaniment returned.
This drew a pair of ovations from the appreciative Dogwood crowd who recognized the sheer professionalism and poise on display during a hiccup that only served to augment what was a truly admirable performance.
When Charley Buter’s Mom Rhonda saw the N3 article about the show she decided, despite a spate of rather wind-whipping weather, to bring young Charley to the performance. After all, being nearly four years old and all, she was more than ready for her first venture into the dance world.
And Charley loved it.
In fact, according to her Mom since the show she has decided she wants to be a ballerina and was excited to learn that another ballet would soon be coming to the Dogwood Stage.
And even more excited that it would be Peter Pan.
For those of us who appreciate the art form, for those of us who are drawn to dance, for those of us who simply enjoy any kind of talented performance, and even for those of us who maybe just wandered in because it was raining, it was a remarkable show.
But for the little ones in the audience like Charley?
It was magic.
And Bravo to those who helped them discover it.
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