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The Boston Globe

Theater & art

Dance Review

Boston Ballet’s ‘Sleeping Beauty’ awakens the senses

Boston Ballet’s spectacular “The Sleeping Beauty” walks a tightrope between the real and the visionary — in its themes, its history, and the very steps and notes that shape it.

On the surface, the ballet — one of the most famous in the classical repertoire — is a coming-of-age tale about good against evil and how love conquers all: The fairy Carabosse, slighted at not being invited to the christening of Princess Aurora, casts a spell that condemns the princess, at age 16, to prick her finger on a spindle and die. The Lilac Fairy defangs that “gift”: Aurora will not die but rather sleep for 100 years, and be awakened by a Prince’s kiss. We know this story, based on Charles Perrault’s 17th century “La Belle au Bois Dormant,” from The Tales of Mother Goose.

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