Sleeping Beauty Dance Upon a Dream

28279642_2089532911063728_8232851195457985082_nThe second installment of Lincoln Park Performing Arts Center’s 2017-2018 ballet performances was Sleeping Beauty Dance Upon A Dream. This ballet featured the Charter School’s own Dance Department. The performance is unlike its Disney counterpart and is more based on the original story by Charles Perrault. This show is the condensed two act version, rather than the true three act one.

Instead of three fairies who bicker over everything, there are seven fairies – which stays true to Perrault’s story. The three fairies seen in the movies are Flora, Fauna, and Merryweather. While in the ballet, there are Fairy of Goodness (Katy Coulson), Grace (Morgan Faircloth), Beauty (Elena Turner), Song (Brooke Jonas), Dance (Kayla Rush), Cleverness (Paige Mathieson), and the Lilac Fairy (Lexy Bittner).

Overall, the fairies were beautiful dancers. I especially adored the short tulle dresses they adorned. There were two fairies in particular that out-did themselves extremely: the Lilac Fairy (Lexy Bittner) and the Fairy of Cleverness (Paige Mathieson). Both of these dancers made an outstanding impact. They executed each move with grace and perfection, along with using clear facial expressions.

Even though ballets typically do not have any spoken word in it, this performance had a form of it. Any time a dancer had to communicate something of the utmost importance within the show, they would use sign language. It was a great experience to have been able to watch as the dancers told the story through the hand motions of ASL (American Sign Language).

A favorite part of mine was in the first act when the audience gets to watch Aurora grow up with the fairies in the woods. The audience was able to see young, teen, and then the present Aurora. It was fascinating to watch as with each growth, the choreography became more advanced. With young Aurora (Cadence Verba), it was all basic movements and some running around. When teenage Aurora (Ciara Mikula) came out, she did an astonishing job with keeping up with the fairies. Out of the three, the teen version was my favorite because she seemed very enthusiastic to be on stage. Then the adult Aurora (Jocelyn Scullion) we all know came out and executed a beautiful dance that matched each of the fairies’ expertise.

Having young kids in any production contains the possibility of being messy. Yet, the children in this production did a wonderful job at remaining professional and following the directions and steps of the choreographer(s) that taught them.

A helpful addition to have in a performance is great chemistry – which there was plenty of between Princess Aurora and the Prince (Jacob Butterfield). It adds on to an improved understanding for the spectators. I enjoyed being able to watch the two dance around with each other while having smiles on their faces.

In the Disney movie, everyone knows of the evil witch as being called Maleficent. Although, in the ballet, the antagonist is called Carabosse. Much like Maleficent, this wicked character is clad in all black with ravens that swarm her. The dancer that portrayed Carabosse, Katie Johnson, did an outstanding job at showing emotion and feeling through her actions and facial expressions. I felt as though she was right in character throughout the entire performance.

You can see Sleeping Beauty Dance Upon A Dream at Lincoln Park Performing Arts Center in Midland, Pennsylvania from March 23-25. Tickets range from $15, $18, and $20 and can be purchased online at lincolnparkarts.org.

Categories: Archived Reviews

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