The Sleeping Beauty is perhaps the world’s most beloved, and famous, ballet. It is the enchanting story of Princess Aurora who is bewitched by the evil Carabosse and placed, along with her kingdom, into a deep and protective sleep by the benevolent Lilac Fairy. She and the kingdom are awakened by the noble Prince whose kiss breaks the spell. The idea for the ballet came from Ivan Vsevolozhsky, the director of the Imperial Theatre in St. Petersburg, Russia, at the end of the 19th century. He tasked choreographer and ballet master Marius Petipa with creating the ballet, which turned out to be, arguably, his (and some would say the world’s) finest. He also commissioned Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky to compose the music; Tchaikovsky had written the score for Swan Lake 11 years prior.
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