La Bella, Durmiente del bosque

October 31, 2008

After two evenings of
Sleeping Beauty,
the talk here at the Festival Internacional de Ballet de La Habana among critics and other dance insiders is of the contrast between the two principals who perform the role of Aurora. Viengsay Valdes, with her unwaivering balances, nailed the rose adagio on opening night. (Full disclosure: I saw only Anette Delgado in the second night of the ballet.) But Anette Delgado, with her youthful charm, is Sleeping Beauty, and just right for Joel Carreño’s bright-faced Prince Desiree. Viengsay has an exotic beauty and technical brilliance that makes her the perfect Black Swan (I’m told), while Anette’s innocence gives her the edge on Aurora and Giselle.


I ran into the French costume designer for this production, Philippe Binot, on the hotel elevator before opening night. He told me it was very difficult to accomplish here. I thought his costumes were beautiful—except for the wigs in the wedding scene of Act III. But I hear that some of the dancers were still waiting for their costumes during the opening performance.