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In the late ’80s—as many of the Soviet Union’s greatest dancers and choreographers took advantage of new creative freedoms—the Russian National Ballet Theatre was founded with the goal of rejuvenating the country’s classical ballet traditions with new influences from around the world.

The company, under the artistic direction of Elena Radchenko, formerly of Moscow’s Bolshoi Ballet, continues this vision today, staging Russian classics with fresh creative vision. On Friday, Feb. 8, at 8 p.m., the Russian National Ballet Theatre comes to the Cal Poly PAC’s Christopher Cohan Center with a performance of Tchaikovsky’s Sleeping Beauty.

The baroque story ballet follows the Princess Aurora, who, upon her christening, was blessed by six good fairies and cursed by one wicked fairy, Carabosse, who was jealous at her exclusion from the ceremony. Carabosse declares that Aurora will, on her 16th birthday, prick her finger and die—a sentence one of the good fairies has lessened to a mere 100 years of sleep. Fast-forward 16 years, and the disguised Carabosse returns with Aurora’s birthday gift: a spindle, on which the princess promptly pricks her finger. When Aurora falls into dreamland, the entire kingdom sleeps with her. That is until, 100 years later, when—well, you already know. True love and all of that.

Tatiana Andreeva dances the part of the Princess Aurora in this staging, opposite Norlan Abugaliyev as Prince Desire.

Sleeping Beauty is part of a lengthy repertoire of Russian and other classic ballets staged by the Moscow-based company. Previous performances include Don Quixote, La Bayadere, Swan Lake, Raymonda, Paquita, Coppelia and La Sylphide, The Nutcracker, Sylvia, and La Fille Mal Gardee.

The Feb. 8 performance of Sleeping Beauty takes place at 8 p.m., but come early for a pre-show lecture led by Cal Poly Theatre and Dance Department faculty emeritus Moon Ja Minn Suhr, taking place at 7 p.m. in the PAC’s Phillip’s Recital Hall.

Tickets to this one-night-only performance by the Russian National Ballet Theatre range from $21 to $56. Call 756-aTIX (4849) or visit

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