Carabosse: a lesson in evil

Monica Mason, the artistic director of the Royal Ballet, coaches Kristen McNally in the role of Carabosse in The Sleeping Beauty in this clip.

Fascinating to see Mason tell McNally how Nanette de Valois wanted the curstey to have a touch of sarcasm.

I once saw Irina Baronova coach the Lilac Fairy’s mime in the Prologue, in which she tells the court how Aurora will sleep but not die.

It was similarly powerful as she told her students how Karsavina had taught her the mime.

For all the notation and filming of today, passing the story from one generation to another hasn’t lost its magic and importance.

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Bakst’s design for Carabosse