Great Performances Presents Sleeping Beauty
This week on Great Performances, Matthew Bourne’s Sleeping Beauty sees the popular choreographer return to the music of Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky to complete his trio of the composer’s ballet masterworks that started in 1992 with Nutcracker! and, most famously, in 1995, with the international hit Swan Lake.
Perrault’s timeless fairy tale, about a young girl cursed to sleep for 100 years, was turned into a legendary ballet by Tchaikovsky and choreographer, Marius Petipa, in 1890.
Bourne takes this date as his starting point, setting the christening of Aurora, the story’s heroine, in the year of the ballet’s first performance; the height of the fin-de-siecle period when fairies, vampires, and decadent opulence fed the gothic imagination
As Aurora grows into a young woman (Hannah Vassallo), we move forward in time to the more rigid, uptight Edwardian era, a mythical golden age of long summer afternoons, croquet on the lawn, and new dance crazes. Years later, awakening from her century long slumber, Aurora finds herself in the modern day, a world more mysterious and wonderful than any fairy story.
Matthew Bourne’s haunting new scenario is a gothic fairy tale for all ages; the traditional tale of good vs. evil and rebirth is turned upside-down, creating a supernatural love story, across the decades, that even the passage of time itself cannot hinder.
• Friday, April 25 at 9:30/8:30 pm CT on KET
See a complete listing of this week's arts programs.
Chinese Folktale Now in PBS Learning Media
The first tale in KET's Folktales of the World series is now available on PBS Learning Media. The Little Rabbits is a Chinese folktale that has elements of “Little Red Riding Hood” and "The Three Little Pigs.” You can watch the beautifully animated folktale in English or Chinese.
In the story, a mother rabbit leaves her three little rabbits at home alone while she goes out to get food. She warns her little rabbits to not open the door for anyone unless they hear her singing at the door. However, a clever wolf overhears the mother’s warning and tries to trick the little rabbits by singing the mother’s song.
A World of Arts
Learn about music and dance around the world at the Arts Toolkit website. Two popular resources from the Toolkits are now available online. A World of Music offers a music world tour plus videos and activities to explore instruments, the element of music, and song writing. World of Dance and Music is an interactive resource showcasing music and dance from many cultures.
Blind and impoverished, John Milton sold the copyright of Paradise Lost for £10 (about $18 at the current exchange rate) on April 27, 1667.
Find out what happened in the arts today and every day in the Arts Toolkit's This Day in the Arts calendar.
State of the Art
PRESS: Artist & Machine runs through June 1 at the Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft (KMAC) in Louisville. Through photos, books, prints, sculptures, and contemporary art installations, KMAC examines a series of labor processes that have informed and shaped culture for centuries.
Anchoring the show is an exploration of the historical use of the printing press and its ongoing relationship to art, music, literature, and material culture.