The Saint Petersburg Classic Ballet brought a taste of imperial Russia to Bromley this week with two fantastic Tchaikovsky ballets for us to enjoy: Sleeping Beauty and The Nutcracker, performed by dancers steeped in the traditions of classical dance, writes Michael Holland.

I was there for the premiere of the company’s brand new staging of The Sleeping Beauty; the enchanting and romantic story of Princess Aurora, who is rescued from a deep sleep by her valiant Prince, which features Wicked Carabosse, the beautiful Lilac Fairy and a host of fairytale characters such as Puss in Boots and Little Red Riding Hood.

There did appear to be a bit of a shaky start with one of the chevaliers appearing on stage without his flowing wig, which was quickly rectified for his next appearance; some very minor mistiming from the corps de ballet, and a little distraction from the lights seemingly taking on a life of their own. But these can be waved away as mere trivialities that can and do occur on first nights with new shows on a new stage; non-problems that will be worked out for future performances.

More important was the quality and beauty of the dancing. The ballerinas were without doubt the stars of this ballet, with the Lilac Fairy and Princess Aurora both giving excellent performances, which should not detract from the other dancers who all had their own solos that allowed them show-off time to draw audience appreciation.

Sleeping Beauty is a wonderful story and this ballet brought it to life magnificently. I was quite mesmerised by it all, transfixed by the graceful movement and transported to another world where elegance reigns supreme and life is played out to a Tchaikovsky soundtrack. With the Hungarian Sinfonietta Orchestra conducted by Vadim Perevoznikov providing that fantastic music, Sleeping Beauty was a real delight.

Nutcracker Doll, Act 1

The Saint Petersburg Classic Ballet is on at Churchill Theatre, High Street, Bromley, BR1 1HA until 5th January. Times:(Nutcracker) Jan 5th 2.30pm & 7.30pm. Admission: £27.50 – £42.50. Phone: 0203 285 6000

www.churchilltheatre.co.uk

Photos: credit Kristyna Kashvili