The Atlantic City Ballet Presents Sleeping Beauty at The Strand Theater

By Spotlight Central. Photos by Love Imagery

On Saturday, August 27, 2016, The Atlantic City Ballet presented their version of Tchaikovsky’s Sleeping Beauty at the historic Strand Theater in Lakewood, NJ. Featuring mesmerizing choreography by Phyllis Papa, the gifted members of the ACB transported an enthralled audience of all ages to another world — a world of magnificent music, magic, and movement.

The story of Sleeping Beauty opens in a magical kingdom where King Florestan (Marius Iorgulescu) and his Queen (Srna Kocevska) celebrate the birth of their new baby daughter, Princess Aurora.

Guests at the celebration include the fairy of protection — the Lilac Fairy (Ryoka Chiba) — in addition to all of the other kingdom’s fairies.

The royal family, however, has forgotten to invite the wicked fairy, Carabosse (Tsubasa Nozaki), who shows up to the celebration uninvited.

Angry for being disrespected, Carabosse casts a spell over Princess Aurora so that on her 16th birthday, she will prick her finger and die.

Quick to save the Princess, the Lilac Fairy casts a counter spell in which the Princess will not die but will, instead, fall asleep for 100 years, only to be awakened by true love’s kiss.

Sixteen years pass and the kingdom now celebrates Princess Aurora’s 16th birthday.

Suitors arrive to the celebration and dance for Princess Aurora in an attempt to win her hand in marriage.

As the celebration continues, a mysterious woman arrives. It is Carabosse bearing a gift of flowers. No one notices, however, that among the flowers, Carabosse has hidden a needle. As Aurora (Nagisa Suzuki) accepts her gift, she pricks her finger.

Aurora collapses as Carabosse escapes from the castle.

The Lilac Fairy appears, and remembering the counter spell she had cast 16 years earlier, ensures that the Princess is only in a magical sleep. Then, in order to keep the royal family safe, she casts a second spell which makes everyone else in the kingdom fall fast asleep as well.

One hundred years later, following a royal hunting party, Prince Florimund (Tullio Cata) is seen relaxing with friends. As his friends depart, the Lilac Fairy — sensing the Prince’s loneliness — tells him a story about a beautiful princess and, in doing so, entices him to follow her to the magic castle.

When Florimund arrives, he finds the entire kingdom asleep. The Lilac Fairy tells him that the Princess can only be awakened by love’s kiss, and that once the Princess has awakened, the entire kingdom will awaken as well.

The Prince kisses Princess Aurora and she awakes — only to find Carabosse waiting to destroy her.

Prince Florimond defeats Carabosse and the Princess instantly falls in love with him. They announce their intention to marry.

A magnificent royal wedding for Prince Florimund and Princess Aurora follows.

The noble celebration is filled with merriment, entertainment, and much dancing!

Magical creatures from the kingdom including Puss and Boots (Kristaps Kikulis and Caitlin McElroy) attend the celebration.

Little Red Riding Hood and The Wolf (Sara Lonngren and Robin Heijmans) attend the royal wedding, as well!

Dancers leap in celebration for Prince Florimund and Princess Aurora.

And, of course, they all live happily ever after.

A lovely and thrilling performance, The Atlantic City Ballet’s production of Sleeping Beauty is just one of many spectacular programs in the ACB’s current repertoire, which also includes the stunning Visions and the exciting Carmen, in addition to such other popular classics as Swan Lake, The Nutcracker, and many more.

For information on future performances by The Atlantic City Ballet at The Strand Theater in Lakewood, NJ — including Dracula on October 28, 2016, and Caught Up in the Swing with Papa and Sinatra: Their Way on March 25, 2017 — please see strand.org. For more on upcoming performances by The Atlantic City Ballet at other NJ venues including Caesars’ Circus Maximus Theater in Atlantic City, Boardwalk Hall, StocktonPAC and more, please see acballet.org.

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