#TBT: Élisabeth Platel in Sleeping Beauty (1989)

With a sparkling princess-pink tutu and equally sparkling technique, Élisabeth Platel floats through Aurora’s first act variation in this 1989 clip of Sleeping Beauty. Rudolf Nureyev chose Platel, a celebrated étoile of the Paris Opéra Ballet, for his restaging of Petipa’s quintessential classic. The role of Aurora is one of classical ballet’s most challenging. In the first act variation, the ballerina must evoke the naiveté of adolescence and the royalty befitting a princess.


Platel achieves this dichotomy with sweet smiles and smooth transitions. Her serene showcasing of the simplest steps is equally as impressive as her effortless quadruple pirouette. Even in the potentially tedious diagonal of rond de jambe hops on pointe, Platel transfixes with soft arms and dynamic épaulement. Platel is currently the director of the Paris Opéra Ballet School; with such artistic coaches, POB’s newest ballerinas are sure to value refinement as well as technical prowess. Happy #ThrowbackThursday!

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