6 fun facts about Tchaikovsky’s “Sleeping Beauty”


Courtesy of Mattel, Inc.

Two Tchaikovsky ballets are animated Barbie movies, “Swan Lake” and “The Nutcracker.” “Sleeping Beauty” will not be done, due to a trademark on the name Princess Aurora.

Maggie Curry

Share these fun facts with friends before watching the Moscow Festival Ballet’s production of “Sleeping Beauty” at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 22, in C.Y. Stephens Auditorium.

Tickets for “Sleeping Beauty” are priced by section: $59, $50, $45, $35, $25; for Youth & ISU Students: $59, $25.

Tickets can be purchased in the Iowa State Center Ticket Office in the north entrance of Stephens Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; at all Ticketmaster centers; by Phone: 1-800-745-3000 or online via Ticketmaster

Interested in learning more? You can also listen to Beth Clarke, owner of Beth Clarke Studio of Dance in Ames, present a short preview and insights into “Sleeping Beauty.” She will speak before the show at 7 p.m. in the Celebrity Café, located on the ground level of Stephens.

1. The last time the Moscow Festival Ballet brought “Sleeping Beauty” to Ames, in 1999, the company performed to a full house – on Super Bowl Sunday. (Guess men in tights are better than men in pads.)

2. The Moscow Festival Ballet was created in 1989 by Sergei Radchenko. (You know who else was created in 1989? Daniel Radcliffe. Fantastic year.) 

3. The show was originally performed in January of 1890. At ISU, the Iowa Agricultural College Student begins publication. From 1897 through 1947, it is known as the Iowa State College Student, and as of 1947, becomes the Iowa State Daily.

4. Tchaikovsky composed “Sleeping Beauty,” “Swan Lake,” and “The Nutcracker.” The only one without a Barbie adaption is “Sleeping Beauty,” due to trademark issues with Disney over the name “Princess Aurora,” which is also the name of Tchaikovsky’s princess. (That’s the reason you won’t see a film adaption after 2012. Thanks, Disney.)

5. The ballet centers around Aurora’s 16th birthday. Luckily MTV wasn’t around, because her “My Super Sweet 16” episode would have been catastrophic. Who gives a spindle as a present, anyways?

6. Performing the role of Aurora is considered a rite of passage for ballerinas. During a dance with suitors, she holds her leg curved behind her while they spin her like a music box. It’s an iconic image – lovely to look at, but to do? Um, ow. 

For more information, visit the Iowa State Center website at www.center.iastate.edu.