‘Sleeping Beauty’ brings tutus and princesses to the Tarkington
By Adam Aasen
The Central Indiana Dance Ensemble will stage the familiar tale of “The Sleeping Beauty” at the Tarkington Theatre on May 17, and the cast believes it should appeal to a wide audience.
“It’s a princess story, so of course you’ll get the little girls, but it’s also a very technically proficient ballet so it’s great for those who really know ballet,” said Erika Cole, who plays Princess Aurora.
It’s one of the most well-known fairy tales, but the ballet version varies slightly from Disney’s animated film. There’s no Maleficent, the evil villain created for the 1959 film. The original tale was turned into a ballet in Russia in 1890 and features the evil fairy godmother Carabosse who casts a spell on the princess because she is jealous that she isn’t invited to her christening. As a result, Princess Aurora will prick her finger on her 16th birthday and fall into a timeless sleep until a handsome prince wakes her with a kiss.
Artistic Director Suzanne Delay carefully picked costumes and dance movements to portray the forces of good versus evil in this production.
“The good fairies, the lilac fairies, are in all beautiful, colorful tutus with sparkles and soft movements and beautiful lighting, but the Carabosse character, the evil fairy, is in black and has evil dancers with him with heavier music that is more ominous,” she said.
Delay conducted open auditions to fill out the cast of more than 80 dancers. The Central Indiana Dance Ensemble has a company of about 50 dancers ages 8 to 18, so plenty of new faces were added for this production.
Three professional guest performers were brought in for the show. Cole, who plays Aurora, will be dancing with Grant Dettling, who plays the prince.
Both Cole and Dettling danced together for the Dayton Ballet company for about eight years, so they have chemistry. Cole recently retired from the company and moved to Carmel. Professional dancer Steven Wright plays Carabosse.
Cole said she hopes that families will come see a beautiful interpretation of a classic fairy tale.
“People enjoy seeing a different version of the story without words,” she said, “And it’s a ballet with a happy ending.”
“The Sleeping Beauty” ● Tarkington Theatre at the Center for the Performing arts in Carmel ● 2 and 7:30 p.m., May 17 ● Tickets start at $23 ● For more information call 843-3800 or visit www.thecenterfortheperformingarts.org