By Kathi E. B. Ellis for WFPL
April 9, 2017
Friday’s opening performance of “The Sleeping Beauty” began with three generations of Louisville Ballet leadership taking their place in front of the grand drape — and it represents, in some ways, the group’s progress over the 65 years being celebrated this season.
This version is one that former artistic director Alun Jones created for the Louisville Ballet in 1987. Former principal dancer Helen Starr staged it. And Jones’ sets and costumes (the latter co-designed with Peter Farmer) have been carefully restored from that previous production.
In the Prologue alone, this production fields about 60 performers. An impressive feat, as the full-time company numbers 26 dancers and the trainee company 15. The crowd scenes fill the stage, and their groupings complement the massive palace sets Jones provides.