from the jazz age to the space age

Tag Archives: sleeping beauty

aurorabardotweb

aurorabardotwebview2

6″x8″ Pencil and watercolor
I’ve been wanting to do something with Disney princesses for a while and have had a very specific idea that I wanted to get out. Luckily, Charleen Juliet organized “Storybook Sundays” on Instagram which gave me the push to get to it.
A few years ago, Mikael and I saw an exhibit at the Cartoon Art Museum which featured Sleeping Beauty concept art. Turns out she was originally based on Audrey Hepburn in “Sabrina”. They also considered making her brunette, but Walt decided to make her blonde to round out the princesses. Snow White is brunette, Cinderella is strawberry blonde/redhead, and Aurora is the blonde.
Briar_Rose_Concept_Art_3 tumblr_lj350dm1rh1qdfv3oo1_500sabrina-1

I have a suspicion they based Aurora’s formal gown of Audrey’s Roman Holiday dress (which was also the inspiration for Bell’s gown in Beauty and the Beast).
tumblr_ms7rd7Ck4S1qbilh4o2_1280Aurora2
But after Eyvind Earle created the amazing, highly stylized backgrounds, the characters were redesigned to match.
-beauty sad fate

Instead of basing Aurora on Audrey (who I am an enormous fan of), I chose brigitte Bardot, who I feel matches the sculptured backgrounds better. I think it’s her cheekbones 😀 She’s holding a briar rose flower.

She was available in my Etsy shop, but someone purchased her through Instagram.

Next up- Rumpelstiltskin!


With the movie “Maleficent” due to be released May 30th, I got into a discussion about the different ways the “wicked” fairy has been portrayed in the fairy tale, Sleeping Beauty and it reminded me of this book floating around on my book shelf, “Behind the Scenes at the Ballet: Rehearsing and Performing The Sleeping Beauty.”. It combines two of my favorite things, fairy tales and ballet. The ballet, with a score by Tchaikovsky, was based on Perrault’s version of the story, “La Belle au Boise Dormant.” But, instead of being completely faithful, it takes off in a rather brilliant direction and embraces its fairy tale-ness with an almost meta quality.

IMG_1975 IMG_1977 IMG_1978

The wicked fairy, Carabosse

IMG_1979

The benevolent and powerful Lilac fairy

IMG_1982 IMG_1983 IMG_1984 IMG_1986 IMG_1987 IMG_1988

On the Princess Aurora’s 16th birthday there is a grand party.

IMG_1989 IMG_1992

She receives gifts from many people, including (while her parents are distracted) a bouquet of flowers. The old woman is the fairy Carabosse in disguise. Hidden in the bouquet is a spindle, which Princess Aurora pricks her finger on, fulfilling the curse. This is also one of the best explanations for how Aurora manages to prick her finger. The versons where her parents are away on a trip didn’t make sense to me even as a child. Come on! They knew the curse was supposed to happen on her 16th birthday and they’re not watching her like a hawk?

IMG_1993 IMG_1994

100 years later Prince Florimund is dancing with his fiance, the Countess at a hunting party. He does not love her and finds her cold. He wanders off into the forest.

IMG_1995

The Lilac fairy appears and shows him a vision of the Princess Aurora.

IMG_1996

The Prince and Princess dance and the Lilac fairy explains the curse.

IMG_1997

Prince Florimund is guided to the castle by the Lilac fairy, finds Aurora, and kisses her, breaking the enchantment.

IMG_1998

The wedding guests include many fairy tale charcaters

IMG_1999

The White Cat dances with Puss in Boots

IMG_2001

Princess Florine and the Bluebird

IMG_2002

Red Riding Hood and the Wolf

IMG_2003

And finally Aurora and Florimund dance their pas de deaux.

IMG_2004 IMG_2005

The book also has behind the scenes photos. There are people sewing the ballet costumes. Dancers practicing. Ballet stage makeup being applied. And at the end a couple of photos of famous dancers such as Robert Helpmann as Carabosse (who can be played by either a man or a woman)-

IMG_2006

and Margot Fonteyn and Rudolf Nurevev

IMG_2007

I love the costuming of the Birmingham Royal Ballet production of Sleeping Beauty. The costumes are incredibly detailed and baroque.