Before anyone gives a half-thought to forking over $149 to see Nacho Duato's "new" Sleeping Beauty when the Mikhailovsky Ballet visits Lincoln Center next June, it would be best to take a peek at the video of the production's premiere performance right here on the company's website.
Haglund won't waste his money.
Duato, a respectable contemporary choreographer, has made Sleeping Beauty into a sleep-inducing bore with his nip & tuck, change this & delete that, borrow this & borrow that revisions. Haglund only watched the video once – and won't waste time watching it again – but it was hard to find one of Duato's choreographic alterations that registered as an improvement or even an interesting alternative. Every thing he changed came off as being different just for the sake of being different – as did his messing around with some of the orchestration. It all made a good case for the need for choreography police like the Balanchine Trust. What would Duato think if someone decided to take his work and make the same kind of changes to it? Do unto others . . . even if they're dead and can't object to revisions.
Svetlana Zakharova and Leonid Sarafanov were woefully under-employed until the final PdD which was more traditional than not. They seemed positively relieved to get to that final pas.
Duato was actually educated in ballet, but he seems to have remembered very little of its vocabulary – about as much as Mark Morris uses in his "ballets". (The thought of a Mark Morris Sleeping Beauty is something that should keep everyone awake at night. Imagine during the first part of the Rose Adagio when Aurora skips over to the four Princes and sniffs under their tails.)
The costumes were lovely but not overwhelmingly so. The only item that won hands down over every production that Haglund has ever seen was Aurora's lace wedding veil which was about the length of a football field.
Consider saving money for the Paris Opera Ballet's Giselle which arrives at Lincoln Center in July – unless you, like the Mikhailovsky Ballet, have plenty of money to waste.