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The Sleeping Beauty

Alexander Devora
In its earliest incarnation as part of the Arthurian collection Perceforest (penned in the 1300s and printed two centuries later), the legend of Sleeping Beauty involves a beautiful young princess named Zellandine who suffers a flax-spinning accident, falls into a coma, gets raped by a knight and only wakes up after giving birth to a son. While key elements of this medieval folktale carried over into later versions stylized by the likes of Italian poet Giambattista Basile (who dubbed the compromised heroine Talia) and German duo the Brothers Grimm (who renamed her Briar Rose), the Sleeping Beauty burned into our collective consciousness more likely resembles Disney’s Princess Aurora, who’s awakened from her enchanted sleep by a modest kiss. Collaborating with theater director Ivan Vsevolozhsky and choreographer Marius Petipa, legendary composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky adapted French author Charles Perrault’s late 17th-century iteration as a three-act ballet first staged in 1890. Now a beloved staple of the ballet repertoire that continues to inspire creative shifts and unexpected interpretations, The Sleeping Beauty arrives on the Tobin’s stage via local nonprofit Ballet San Antonio in a full-length production choreographed by BSA artistic director Willy Shives.

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