The Siberian dancers will return to Sheffield to perform Romeo and Juliet.
The Siberian dancers will return to Sheffield to perform Romeo and Juliet.

The Sleeping Beauty

Russian State Ballet of Siberia

Sheffield City Hall

Sunday, February 6

UNKNOWN to the audience, Sleeping Beauty’s dashing hero, Prince Desire, apparently slipped into the City Hall in the interval of this Tchaivoksky classic, to administer a huge kiss to the entire cast.

For the first 30 minutes of this ballet, the audience might have been forgiven for thinking evil fairy Carabosse had bewitched the dancers and the orchestra as well as Princess Aurora, into a slumber.

With hesitant footwork and stilted playing, they were perhaps taken aback by a huge turnout for what was a Sunday matinee performance.

But no matter – they all awoke after the break to deliver a stunning second half of precise and dazzling dancing from a clutch of principals, including a show-stopping turn by Yury Vyskubenko, as Desire.

This just stole the thunder of his co-star, Maria Kuimova as Princess Aurora. Natalia Vyskubenko added a memorable display as the Lilac Fairy.

The State Orchestra’s exquisite violin and woodwind sections also did full justice to their countryman’s magnificent score, lifting a brass section which might have been behind the door when the half-time oranges (and kisses) were handed out.

Bedecked with lavish costumes and backdrops, the overall was an excellent production, well worth the money.

There were a few empty seats in the gods though – and if you’re now sorry you didn’t go… the Siberians are back on Sunday (February 13, 3pm) with Prokofiev’s arguably even more wonderful Romeo and Juliet.

– Alex Vessey