This site has limited support for your browser. We recommend switching to Edge, Chrome, Safari, or Firefox.

When Beauty Awoke

How many ways to think about “Sleeping Beauty”? In the first written Italian and French versions, the plots outline the fate of a young girl as the object of family jealousy, trickery and, after being drugged asleep, ravishment. By the mid-19th century, the Brothers Grimm toned down the storyline, romanticized and adapted it as a story fit for children. Ivan Vsevolozhsky, Tchaikovsky, and Marius Petipa’s 1890 landmark ballet further refashioned it. But another few generations of scholarly research recognized the darker undertones and representations of girls in the fairy tale tradition. Apart from handsome swains or huntsmen who save damsels like Beauty or Red Riding Hood from stepmothers or disfigured crones, the producers of even the most treasured classics should take some measure of the plight of characters, even if fantasy.

subscribe to continue reading


Starting at $49.99/year

  • Unlimited access to 1000+ articles
  • Weekly writing that inspires and provokes thought
  • Understanding the artform on a deeper level

Already a paid subscriber? Login

MARINA HARSS


comments

Blog posts

Dancing with You
REVIEWS | Karen Hildebrand

Dancing with You

The stage is strewn with potatoes. Single straight back chair, overturned. A canteen. At center is a life scale charcoal sketch, unframed on canvas. It looks like a human figure topped by a dark smudge of a head—the shape calls to mind a famous work of Gustav Klimt. 

Continue Reading
Fifth Avenue Blooms
REVIEWS | Faye Arthurs

Fifth Avenue Blooms

How long is their nap?” my three-year-old asked about halfway through the Trisha Brown Dance Company’s performance of “Group Primary Accumulation,” a 20-minute supine dance for four.

Continue Reading
They Were There
BOOKSHELF | Candice Thompson

They Were There

In her new biography, The Swans of Harlem, journalist Karen Valby is witness to the testimony of five pioneering Black ballerinas intimate with the founding history of Dance Theatre of Harlem. 

FREE ARTICLE
Level Up
REVIEWS | Rachel Howard

Level Up

Sacramento Ballet executive and artistic director Anthony Krutzkamp dresses sharp and gives a memorable pre-curtain speech. The way he tells it, the Central California company was in rehearsals for “Swan Lake” last year when he realized he faced an enviable problem: the dancers were too good for the ballets he’d programmed under a five-year plan. 

Continue Reading
Good Subscription Agency