I’m a big Disney fan, and Sleeping Beauty is one of my favs and a big reason why is the music. Then I grew older and found out the music was by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky and fell in love with the music again. Then a few years ago, I had some free time, not COVID-19 free time because I fear going out of the house but between holidays free time, and watched the Ballet. My thought was even if I don’t like Ballet, I will still love the music, and that’s when the Absinthe fuel daydream started.
I’m sure everyone knows, but just in case, the Disney Animated Fairytale movie (Little Mermaid, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Snow White….) is a happier version of the Fairytale, usually the Brother’s Grime version. However, they are multiple version or variations across the world. This means I went into this expecting some differences and maybe the death of Sleeping Beauty, but these are related in the same way the Four Chris’s are related. FYI Hemsworth is the best Chris with Chris Pratt in an almost tie runner-up.
Fairies. In the Disney version, we have three good fairies and one bad fairy (Maleficent), the ballet has SIX good fairies, and the bad fairy is called Carabosse. That’s not a scary name that a off-brand coffee store. Carabosse is generally performed by a male ballet dancer in drag, which I love, but I didn’t know Ballet or Russian culture was into camp? The main fairy, the Lilac Fairy who gives off Glenda the Good Witch vibe. You know, like she could have fixed everything in five minutes but wanted to teach Dorothy a lesson. She changes the curse from Death to 100 Years of sleep that happens.
Aurora. In this version, Aurora, AKA Sleeping Beauty, gets to live with her parents, and the first Act is her sweet sixteen birthday. She dances with her four suitors during said birthday, and I guess none of them had a great horse like Prince Philip. In my mind, Prince Philip’s Horse is the great-grandsire of Maximus in Tangles. Surprise, old Carabosse shows up, the entire kingdom is knocked out for 100 years, and the castle is covered in thorns. Then the Lilac Fairy lures this random prince to awake Aurora with a Kiss, and she doesn’t know him; how is that love in the Disney version at least they meet first. Aurora wakes up and agrees to marry Prince Désiré (still not making this up), and that’s it. There’s no fight, no turning into a dragon, nothing.
Wedding. The last part of the ballet, when the guest arrives to wish the couple well, is differently the weirdest part of the ballet. The guest list is some hodgepodge of characters from other fairytales, and some are B-list characters. Puss in Boots and the White Cat, Goldilocks and the Three Bears; Cinderella and her Stepsisters; the Bluebird and Princess Florine; Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs; and Little Red Riding Hood and the Wolf. I have no idea who the White Cat and Princess Florine are, but the big question is, why is Cinderella there with her Stepsisters? Is this a prequel to Cinderella when they are all friends or some cruel act where the Stepsisters are servants to Cinderella and must watch in envy? Also, in most tales, her Stepsisters die, so is this a retelling directed by Tim Burton (which I kind of want to see now)?
This leads to the last question of this tale. Did Tchaikovsky wait until the last min to come up with this idea and style it out like the tailors in the Emperor has no clothes? Only smart people with artistic versions will understand this ballet.