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Ballet Review: The Sleeping Beauty at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion

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In center, Julie Kent, Michele Wiles and Ethan Stiefel in The Sleeping Beauty at the Music Center this weekend. | Photo by Gene Schiavone
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- by Ellen Reid for LAist

Make no mistake, The Sleeping Beauty is a bona fide ballet: There are tutus, fairies, sparkles, flowers, lots of little girls and even an American Girl Doll you can buy at the T-shirt stand.  But, the American Ballet Theater’s (ABT) execution of The Sleeping Beauty is an amazing union of the strength, athleticism, grace and precision of the dancers on stage with the fluff that makes an evening at the ballet both lavish and glorious.
 
The men in this ballet could jump. With original choreography by the late Marius Petipa, who also choreographed Swan Lake, and additional choreography in this ABT production by Kevin McKenzie, Gelsey Kirkland and Michael Chernov, The Sleeping Beauty featured jump sequences that challenged the pull of gravity. Marcelo Gomes, who played the Prince Desire, commanded the stage from the moment he entered. It seemed as if he leapt half way across the stage in one single bound.  What a way for the prince to enter! The chemistry between Princess Aurora (Gillian Murphy) and Marcelo Gomes was definitely believable. Murphy, a powerful and graceful dancer, gave a compelling performance as the fated princess.