Friday, September 4, 2009

A few favorite ballets

I'm very excited that Pacific Northwest Ballet is doing Sleeping Beauty and Coppelia this season. The lineup seems very romantic starting with Romeo et Juliette, Sleeping Beauty and Coppelia, ending with a fun and light Hansel and Gretel.

Sleeping Beauty has the most beautiful music by Peter Tchaikovsky. Here's a clip of the Overture played by the Royal Ballet in 2006. The Fairy dances, especially the Lilac Fairy are some of my favorite. The most recognizable song is Act 1. No. 5.: Valse. All of Tchaikovsky's music is breathtaking and lovely. His music makes is such an integral part of this ballet. (Most people recognize his music from the Nutcracker and even Swan Lake, but I love Sleeping Beauty the most.)

Coppelia is heralded as a great ballet comedy. Here is a wonderful sample clip from the 2000 Royal Ballet's ballet, where the doll maker Dr. Coppelius tries to make Coppelia come alive. He doesn't know that a local girl, Swanilda, has dressed in Coppelia's clothing and is playing along.

Romeo et Juiette and A Midsummer's Night Dream are my favorite Shakespeare plays but also ballets.

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