Scene: Sleeping Beauty Ballet comes to Central


This quarter, Central Theatre Ensemble and Central’s Orchesis Dance Company have  collaborated with Central Washington Dance Ensemble. Together, they will be putting on the Sleeping Beauty Ballet for the first time at Central.

Bringing together different departments to produce this masterpiece is a huge opportunity for the students at Central. The performance will be traditional yet demonstrate different characters through drama and dance.

The ballet is based off of the popular story of Sleeping Beauty,  a fairy tale about a handsome prince who saves the beautiful princess Aurora from a spell with a “true love’s kiss.” The original story was transformed into a Walt Disney animated classic in 1959.

The ballet, however, is fairly different than the popular Disney film. The Sleeping Beauty Ballet was first performed in 1890. It is a classical ballet  and is a masterpiece composed by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky.

Allie McKay, a freshman who hopes to one day turn ballet into a career, is excited for her first production at Central

“The original ballet is very long. It has been cut a little bit, but it is still true to Sleeping Beauty,” McKay said. “Since it is a studio, we have to work with varying age groups.”

The dance ensemble has been working on this ballet since before winter quarter began.

“Working with the drama kids has been fun,” sophomore and psychology major, Annelise Bogue said. “It is a lot different, but everyone wants to work and they are all very nice.”

Hannah Portolese, a freshman dance minor, has been dancing since she was five years old, and Sleeping Beauty will be her first full ballet performance.

“I’ve never been in an actual ballet. I have just been in studios, so this is very new for me,” Portolese said. “I am doing .this for the experience and to be able to perform in a full production.”

The production has brought Heather Wallace and Mark Tucker, two professional dancers from Eugene Ballet Company in Oregon to play Aurora and the prince. The professionals provide a huge learning opportunity for all of the dancers.  There are several different roles to be portrayed in the ballet and the dance ensemble.

“I have been understudying switching the role of the lilac fairy from the professional company,” Bogue said.

Bogue will be portraying the blue bird as well as the finger fairy in this production.

“It is pretty cool that we will be able to work with professionals; it is a good variety of people,” Bogue said.

McKay and Portolese will both be portraying carabosse, minions and garlem dancers. Both of the girls are part of the “corps de ballet.” There are soloists in the ballet, and the corps makes up the rest of the group numbers.

“Even though I have done ballet my whole life, the rehearsals have been unlike anything I have ever done,” McKay said.