Sleeping Beauty

A Fairy Tale of a Ballet

Sleeping Beauty. Jeff J Mitchell / Getty Images

The Sleeping Beauty was the first successful ballet composed by Tchaikovsky. However, it was no more popular than his first ballet, Swan Lake. The production was heavily criticized for being too lavish, even though the music was incredible. Within three years, however, the ballet gained enough popularity to be performed at least 50 times.

Plot Summary of Sleeping Beauty

As the ballet begins, baby Princess Aurora is being christened.

The evil Carbosse storms in and curses the baby, as her invitation to the event had been overlooked. The curse states that on her 18th birthday, the princess will prick her finger and die. However, the Lilac Fairy weakens the curse. She proclaims that instead of dying, Princess Aurora will fall into a deep sleep for 100 years. She will then be awakened by the kiss of a handsome prince.

During Aurora's 16th birthday party, a mysterious guest (the evil Carbosse) offers her a gift...a lovely spindle. Aurora pricks her finger and the whole court falls into a deep sleep.

Several years later, the Lilac Fairy produces a vision of Aurora which Prince Desire notices while hunting. The Prince is led to the castle, where he battles the evil Carbosse. After the battle, he kisses the sleeping princess, upon which everyone wakes up. A beautiful and joyous wedding ceremony follows.

Interesting Facts About Sleeping Beauty

The Sleeping Beauty presents many challenges for both the principal dancers and soloists, and plenty of active choreography for the rest of the ballet cast.

Aurora is one of the greatest and most challenging female roles, as it demands tremendous athletic ability as well as extremely clean technique.

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Your Citation
Bedinghaus, Treva. "Sleeping Beauty." ThoughtCo, May. 2, 2016, Bedinghaus, Treva. (2016, May 2). Sleeping Beauty. Retrieved from Bedinghaus, Treva. "Sleeping Beauty." ThoughtCo. (accessed November 22, 2017).