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Singapore Dance Theatre - Sleeping Beauty (Dec 2018)


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Rather on the belated side, I'm afraid - caught this production in early December but it took a little while to write up. Beautifully accompanied by the Metropolitan Festival Orchestra (MFO), which lent a depth to the experience. There's much to be said for having a live orchestra (which is usual in many places but hasn't been seen for a long time due to costs) - you can truly hear unexpected mellow notes in the Diamond-Gold-Silver pas de trois, for instance, and the piano scale in the wedding pas de deux sounds richer and sweeter on real ivories.

 

There were two casts: at night, Uchida Chihiro as the sweet Aurora with vivacious lively dancing, and Nakamura Kenya turning in solid dancing as always (there's the added sweetness to performance in knowing that the couple is married in real life); in matinees, Nakahama Akira (newly-promoted to First Artist this January) in her debut as a very stable Aurora without a single show of nerves, and Etienne Ferrère in his debut as a charming, graceful Prince and steady partner.

 

One wonders if there could have been room for a third cast to let Li Jie (Principal Artist in her last performance with the company) dance Aurora - as it was, she was a marvellously graceful Lilac Fairy with exceptionally touching miming; Elaine Heng was the other Lilac Fairy and turned in a clean performance as always. Special mention must be made of Princess Florine and Bluebird - the reliable Tanaka Nanase and Yorozu Kensuke can always be counted on to bring on sharp, speedy, step-perfect performances, and matinees saw the well-deserved debuts of the nimble Beatrice Castañeda and spritely Huo Liang.

 

The performances were given additional spark by the unforgettable Carabosses, played with exceptional fire by First Artists Elaine Heng (night performances) and May Yen Cheah (matinees). They milked every second for all it was worth -- fire and ice ran through the veins of Elaine's majestic Queen Carabosse, while poison ran through the veins of May Yen's smirking, slinking Carabosse.

 

To be truthful, there were (a few) moments during a couple of the shows which were a little ragged or startling, but overall it was a very pleasant, enjoyable experience. The company's presenting Don Quixote next - their 2014 performance was lauded by Dance Europe, so I'm looking forward to seeing it - this time with the MFO's accompaniment, which should add to the performance.

 

Separately, here's a very lengthy review (so to speak, as it's on a personal blog) - marking out some of the music, and including pictures of the cast at curtain call.

Edited by squadron
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Just as a matter of interest, am I right in thinking that some of the dancers' names in the above post are presented surname-first and others are presented surname-last, depending on how the dancer's native language would do it?

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Thank you for the kind words, @Sim- a pleasure to know someone enjoys hearing about them too :)

 

14 hours ago, RuthE said:

Just as a matter of interest, am I right in thinking that some of the dancers' names in the above post are presented surname-first and others are presented surname-last, depending on how the dancer's native language would do it?

@RuthE

Yes, absolutely :) Surname-first for names of Chinese and Japanese origin, the only exception being May Yen Cheah - somehow I've gotten into following the brochure on how her name's presented given it's specifically different from the others' (though I note also that she grew up in Australia and hence perhaps surname-first would be the convention to follow). As such - first names would be e.g. Chihiro, Kenya, Akira for the principal roles.

 

Edited by squadron
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