The Sleeping Beauty is the 1972 filmed performance of Tchaikovsky’s three-act ballet, performed here by the National Ballet of Canada and the Orchestra of the National Ballet of Canada. It stars renowned dancer Veronica Tennant, and ballet superstar Rudolf Nureyev.
The story is based on what seems to be a rather simple children’s fairy tale, about the sleeping princess who can only be awakened by love’s first kiss. The tale was written in 1697 by French writer Charles Perrault as one of the Mother Goose Tales. Deemed by Nureyev as the “ballet of ballets,” it is considered the most accomplished, brilliant and spectacular representative of 19th century classical dance. The work remains a staple in the repertoires of most of today’s ballet companies, especially during the holidays.
The work was inspired by famed choreographer Marius Petipa, who commissioned an original score by classical composer Tchaikovsky. It was premiered in 1890 in St. Petersburg, Russia. This version was a 1966 adaptation, choreographed by Rudolf Nureyev, after Marius Petipa.