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Columbus’ BalletMet set to reawaken ‘Sleeping Beauty’

Courtesy of Will Shively

Breathing life into a fairy tale is often a task reserved for movie executives, but for Columbus’ BalletMet, that role has been taken head-on.

BalletMet is scheduled to present “The Sleeping Beauty” Friday through Sunday at the Ohio Theatre.

The ballet, which is set to Pyotr Tchaikovsky’s 1889 score, centers on Princess Aurora, who has been placed under a spell resulting in a 100-year slumber. The spell can only be broken by a kiss from a handsome prince.

Cheri Mitchell, executive director of BalletMet, said this production is unlike many others that they perform.

“You have princes, and castles, and fairies, so it becomes a wonderful ballet for all ages,” Mitchell said. “You have the fairy tale, and then you have the amazing dancing, so one of great classical ballets of all time. We are building all-new costumes. There are over 300 costumes in this production, so it is just luscious. … The costuming is just gorgeous … which kind of lends to kind of the grandeur of this production and the fairy-tale quality.”

Although costumes are traditionally created for each production, or as necessary, Erin Rollins, assistant costume shop manager for BalletMet, said the number of costumes for this production far exceeds the norm.

“It’s enormous, at least for us,” Rollins said. “To put it in perspective, probably the largest show that we own before this one is ‘The Nutcracker,’ which we perform on a regular basis and that has about 250 costumes in it. … So, it’s pretty enormous, especially to be making it all from scratch.”

Rollins said production of the costumes began last summer and a trial of each costume is made prior to the final product to ensure fitting and function.

In addition to the overwhelming task of creating costumes, the production sticks out because it features student dancers from their academy to accompany the professional dancers on stage.

Susan Brooker, BalletMet academy director, said the experience is irreplaceable for children.

“They not only get to perfect the roles that they’re in to a high standard, but to be in the rehearsal process with the professional dancers,” Brooker said. “It makes a great close-working relationship with academy and company and makes it something special for the children who come to study here, and many other students have not had that opportunity.”

Tickets start at $19. Students with valid BuckID can purchase tickets for $15 or through D-Tix for $5.

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