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The Sleeping Beauty - history - from the ROH programme

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The critic Mark Ronan has posted my 2019 article about The Sleeping Beauty on his website (with permission from the Royal Opera House: the piece appeared in their programme for the latest revival). Perhaps people might like to have the link:-


The article focuses on the first production in order to try and rediscover the original intentions of Petipa, Vsevolozhsky and Tchaikovsky. Although not mentioned in this short piece I also have a personal interest in such issues as tempi and choreographic style, the key research question for me being one of meaning, both of the Sleeping Beauty as a whole and also of the individual scenes, mimes, variations and so on.

Please note that the Royal Opera House did not allow me to write this article academically - with footnotes etc - and asked me just to assert my findings. This may be controversial (for example when I appear to contradict well-known books or leave out stories "everyone knows") but all is drawn from - mostly - primary sources.

I am looking for more material, specifically private documents (e.g. diaries, memoirs, correspondence) that might cast light on what was going on in St Petersburg and Paris around 1890. So if anyone knows of a family archive - even just forgotten papers in an attic somewhere - relating to Russia and/or France during the relevant period, I would be delighted to learn more.

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