The original Sleeping Beauty ballet was first produced in 1890, with music by Tchaikovsky and choreography by Marius Petipa. Petipa had already been working in the Imperial Russian Ballet for over 30 years, making him one of the most experienced choreographers of his time. He was commissioned to create a large-scale ballet based on Charles Perrault’s classic fairytale, and he rose to the challenge with great success.
Petipa’s version of Sleeping Beauty has been hugely influential for its technical difficulty and expansive scope. The production called for 64 dancers, who were required to learn challenging steps like the pas de carabosse and pas de quatre. Petipa also included a variety of folk dances from different countries to give the production an international flavor.
The sets used in Petipa’s production were also highly detailed, with many of them being inspired by works of art from renowned painters such as Botticelli and Raphael. This added to the grandeur of the performance and allowed audiences to be transported into a magical world full of fairies, princes, and castles.
In addition to his work on Sleeping Beauty, Petipa is credited with creating or revising a number of other ballets including Le Corsaire, La Bayadere, Swan Lake, Don Quixote, The Nutcracker, Coppelia, and Giselle. His legacy lives on today through these productions which are still performed around the world.
Marius Petipa is widely regarded as “the father of classical ballet,” due in large part to his work on Sleeping Beauty which set a new standard for choreography at the time. He demonstrated his skill as both a dancer and choreographer with this iconic production that continues to be enjoyed by audiences over 125 years later.
Who Choreographed the Original Sleeping Beauty Ballet? Marius Petipa was responsible for creating the original Sleeping Beauty ballet in 1890 with its iconic music by Tchaikovsky and challenging choreography that established him as “the father of classical ballet.” His influence on this beloved production continues to resonate today through its performances around the world.