Sleeping Beauty, with Cuthbertson and Golding, Royal Ballet, Covent Garden, 22 February 2014Posted on 22 February 2014
This is a brief review of the Saturday matinee on 22nd February, in which Matthew Golding made a wonderful replacement for Rupert Pennefather as the Prince. The easy grace of his entrance in Act II, followed by his solo adagio exhibited a glorious lightness of being, complemented by an air of quiet authority as he commands the game of blind man’s buff. This was a dream prince, beautifully expressing his yearning for a world beyond the confines of the stuffy court, a young man ready to awake desire in Princess Aurora, danced with elegantly musical precision by Lauren Cuthbertson.
Unfortunately the Prologue lacked inspiration, only really coming to life half-way through with the dramatic arrival of Elizabeth McGorian as Carabosse, despite the best efforts of Claudia Dean in the fifth fairy variation. McGorian was terrific, far more compelling than Melissa Hamilton’s Lilac Fairy, who appeared more decorative than powerful.
Musically there was also a lack of inspiration early on, but under the direction of Valery Ovsyanikov the orchestra warmed up considerably later. The solo violin in Act II was sublime, and in Act III there was strong musical support for the various dances.
The pas-de-trois for Florestan and his sisters was beautifully danced by the excellent Tristan Dyer, along with Yasmine Naghdi and Beatriz Stix-Brunell, followed by huge fun with Kenta Kura and Sabina Westcombe as Puss-in-Boots and the White Cat. James Hay’s fluid movements as the Bluebird could have used slightly sharper definition, but he and Akane Takada sparkled together. Finally it was Golding and Cuthbertson who brought this fairy tale to its apogee, as he whisked her off the ground, inspiring his princess with limitless energy and excitement.
Performances with various casts continue until April 9 — for details click here.