Magazine article Dance Magazine

Dominic Walsh Dance Theater's Sleeping Beauty

Magazine article Dance Magazine

Dominic Walsh Dance Theater's Sleeping Beauty

Article excerpt

Hobby Center for the Performing Arts, Houston, TX October 18-20, 2007

Reviewed by Nancy Wozny

Choreographers can't seem to let Sleeping Beauty sleep. Dominic Walsh is the newest kid on the block to have his way with the classic tale. After researching the origins of this fairy tale, Walsh fashioned his own version drawn from points of relevance to today's world. The rebellion of adolescence, the transfer of family baggage in the form of a curse, and sexual awakening are key themes in Walsh's not-a-bluebird-in-sight production.

This is Walsh's most consistent and theatrical full-length ballet thus far and demonstrates a keen eye for visual style and a way with wit. If you are going to mess with a story that Disney and Petipa already cemented in our consciousness, you should at least have some fun, and Walsh's dance is a blast. A story, albeit a different one, gets told using a smattering of mime, some choice moments of onstage talking, animated dancing of every genre, and clever scenic design.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

This Beauty plays out like a graphic novel, except the violence is more of the psychological sort. Walsh sets his story in the 1980s with some futuristic touches. Aurora suffers from narcolepsy and prefers to hang with a tough crowd that turns her on to drugs and other nighttime naughtiness. So it follows that it's not a spinning needle, but a hypodermic needle, that lands Aurora in the hospital with a drug-induced coma. …

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