By Myra Hassaram
Princess Aurora and Prince Desire danced their way to matrimony at the Trustees Theater Saturday night, and all of Savannah was invited to join them for the intimate affair. The Savannah Danse Theatre Company presented the grand occasion in “Sleeping Beauty Act III: The Wedding,” a quirky ballet accompanied by P.I. Tchaikovsky’s classical score.
Based on Charles Perrault’s classical fairy tale act three of Sleeping Beauty shows us what happens after Prince Desire kisses Aurora and wakes her up after 100 years of slumber. The festivities included a dance of the jewels to commemorate King Florestan and Queen Eleanor, a birdsong of Bluebird and Princess Florine and a number of contemporary group pieces at the end of the show.
Some of Perrault’s other characters attended the ceremony: Little Red Riding Hood came in as she escaped the Big Bad Wolf, and Cinderella arrived in her magical carriage, which was carried in by two adorable little girls dressed as her enchanted horses.
They all honored the royal party in a “pas de caracteré,” a series of character dance solos before the bride and groom tied the knot. Each of them gracefully leaped and twirled around the stage, leaving the audience close to no time to stop their inspired clapping.
Elizabeth Pennington, a member for the Savannah Danse Theatre since 2009, said this was her favorite performance yet.
“It was so much fun,” said Pennington, who played the mischievous White Cat alongside Puss in Boots. The two felines pounced back and forth in their brilliant costumes, playfully acting out their roles. “Being a dancer, it feels so awesome to step into a different type of character to entertain the crowd.”
And the crowd certainly was entertained. “The show was great,” said audience member Jessica Owens. “I don’t think I put my hands down once.”
Snow White entered the stage with her seven dwarves, played by the youngest members of the Savannah Danse Theatre Company. The group eagerly pranced to Tchaikovsky’s classical arrangement, with smiles on their faces the entire time.
The combination of experienced and novice dancers showed a great and honest appreciation for the arts in the Savannah community.
“Everyone was equally … fun to watch,” said Owens. “I know ballet can be a serious art sometimes, but you could tell they all loved being up there and supported each other up on that stage.”
The ceremony ended with a romantic “grande pas” of Aurora and Desire, followed by the Lilac Fairy’s final blessing of their marriage. The bride and groom took their bows, mimed their vows, and in true fairy tale fashion, they lived happily ever after.