Entering the 10-story Fine Arts Chicago landmark, soft yellow lighting fills the auditorium, against a sea of red seats, an adorned ceiling looms overhead, as many spectators excitedly wait for the curtains to part while Tchaikovsky’s melodic score commences. Outside, cold wind gusts scurried pedestrians along Michigan Avenue yet inside the Studebaker theater, spring arrived early in the form of A&A Ballet’s superior ‘Sleeping Beauty’ fairy tale spectacle, which was expertly choreographed by Anna Reznik and Alexei Kremnev. Projections of original illustrations by 19th century illustrator Gustave Doré, known for his prolific dream-like creations, set the background. Lisa Weller, Carolyn Fay and Laura Skarichand’s fitting costumes combined to form an elegant storybook subtle style. Lighting by Cat Wilson added an ethereal vibe to each space. Arresting athleticism artistically brought to life right before the audience as Princess Aurora, Grace Curry, and Prince Desire, Michael Sayre led the way in this enchanting performance.
Communicating moods through masterful movement, scenes play out the classic story of Princess Aurora who from birth is cursed due to a wicked fairy. Three acts encapsulated an intoxicating experience highlighting each performer’s dedication to dance. Scrolls start off the journey in celebrating Princess Aurora’s birth, with invitations for the good fairies who brightly dazzle. Carabosse, the evil fairy, shows up upset at not being on the list and wreaks havoc on stage, her evil minions surrounding and pouncing around, cursing newborn Aurora to death when she pricks her finger. Green flashing lights and stealthy sauntering create an ominous and threatening setting as the King orders any sharp object banned from possession. On her 16th birthday, as she has never seen one before, Princess Aurora is ultimately entranced by a spindle brought by a stranger as she pricks her finger, slowly losing her energy at every step, her body eventually falling limp and the entire kingdom falls asleep. The only way to wake her is by true love’s kiss.
Splendidly showcasing an impressively talented cast, chock-full of precision in attitudes, dexterous ballonés, effortless extensions, and fearless fish dives. Flawless finger turns reached fine lines, demonstrating Grace Curry’s endless energy and positively breathtaking pirouettes. Michael Sayre’s nimbleness nearly defied gravity. The duo delivered mouth dropping agility and strength. Roaring applause sounded at the finale, cheering the company of dancers fascinating feat of enthralling execution.
At the 2019 Youth American Grand Prix, which provides training and performance opportunities, scholarships for dancers 9-19 and serves as the world’s biggest ballet competition, A & A recently received “Outstanding School” and “Outstanding Choreographer” awards, among other notable distinctions. Both founders are internationally acclaimed artists and have previous roots working as Founding Directors of the Joffrey Academy and the Joffrey Studio Company. A & A’s “Dreams Come True” 2019-2020 season will include two full-length ballet performances, “Art Deco Nutcracker” along with the premiere of “Pinnochio”. Insure a spot for both features as tickets for such prowess will surely sell out!
For more information visit A&A Center for Dance or call 312.545.2142.