CULTURE & ARTS
01/17/2017 08:53 am ET Updated Jan 17, 2017

Bolshoi's Youngest Prima Ballerina To Star In 'Sleeping Beauty'

Olga Smirnova describes her experience playing the role of a classic fairy tale princess.

You know the story. The lovely Princess Aurora, cursed by the evil Carabosse, falls into a deep slumber on her 16th birthday. Only true love’s kiss could break the spell.

No matter how many times you’ve read Sleeping Beauty by Charles Perrault or “Little Briar Rose” by the Brothers Grimm ― or, for that matter, watched the Disney movie ― there is no experience quite like “The Sleeping Beauty,” the ballet. Tchaikovsky’s enchanting 19th century score brings the classic fairy tale to life, as it pulses through the movements of Olga Smirnova, Bolshoi Ballet’s youngest prima ballerina. 

Olga Smirnova in "Sleeping Beauty." Photo by Pierce Jackson for Pathe Live.
Bolshoi Ballet in Cinema
Olga Smirnova in "Sleeping Beauty." Photo by Pierce Jackson for Pathe Live.

“I danced as Aurora only once before on the Bolshoi stage,” Smirnova explains in a video interview. “I have to say that for a ballerina, this ballet is a celebration. It’s such a true combination of youth, energy, the beginning of life, it’s no wonder Aurora means the dawn of light. And you can see it in the dancing.” 

See Smirnova discuss what the role means to her, and hear from Bolshoi prima Ekaterina Shipulina, who has danced the role of Lilac Fairy, in the behind-the-scenes interview above. 

Bolshoi Ballet in Cinema’s production of “The Sleeping Beauty” will play at theaters across the country on Sunday, Jan. 22. Visit the Bolshoi website for tickets and more information. 

Svetlana Zakharova in "Sleeping Beauty." Photo by Damir Yusupov.
Bolshoi Ballet in Cinema
Svetlana Zakharova in "Sleeping Beauty." Photo by Damir Yusupov.
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