The sleeping beauty
Once upon a time a grand party was held by a king to celebrate the birth of his baby daughter. All the fairies of the kingdom were invited to bless his daughter Aurora. The fairies presented their gifts of beauty, grace, generosity, song, and temperament. But one fairy, Carabosse, interrupted the party. She was angry and insulted because the king had forgotten to invite her.
Carabosse announced a curse on Aurora: that one day she will prick her finger and die. Luckily the Lilac Fairy had not yet given her present to the baby girl. She declared that although Aurora would one day prick her finger, she would not die. Instead she would fall into a deep sleep from which she will be awoken after a hundred years by the kiss of a prince.
The image of the three Ivans and film footage is taken from Peggy van Praagh’s 1974 production of The sleeping beauty, directed by Sir Robert Helpmann and designed by Kenneth Rowell. In the premiere performance Lucette Aldous performed the role of Princess Aurora with Garth Welch as her Prince. During the season both Maina Gielgud and Marilyn Jones danced as Princess Aurora.
Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra