WASHINGTON -- The Stuttgart Ballet under the artistic direction of the legendary Marcia Haydee opened its two-week engagement last night at the Kennedy Center Opera House with its magical, full-length ballet "The Sleeping Beauty."
This three-act ballet with prologue created by Ms. Haydee in 1987 is a remarkable production.
Its wondrous, two-tiered courtyard set and period costumes by Jurgen Rose were totally integrated with soft, muted and sophisticated colors.
What keeps this work, which was modeled after Marius Petipa's ballet, from being a museum piece is Ms. Haydee's skillful blending of contemporary theatrics with the classical idiom. She's updated the work.
Yet it is the Stuttgart company that makes Ms. Haydee's ballet of good and evil resonate with dramatic relevance.
The first thing one notices about this ensemble is that the dancers interact with one another.
From the glorious pageantry of the prologue's christening scene, the cheery playfulness of Princess Aurora's birthday party to the joyous celebration of the wedding in the third act, the dancers are totally involved with the drama. They are an animated crowd of party-goers. They chat and flirt with one another. It's as if there were a subtext subtly weaving through the main story.