Secrets from a ballerina: Taking on the toughest dance in 'The Sleeping Beauty'

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- A crowd favorite is back at the San Francisco Ballet.

For the second year in a row, the ballet company is putting on a performance of "The Sleeping Beauty."

It is one of the most famous of the classical ballets and also includes one of the hardest dances for a ballerina.

Principal dancer Sasha de Sola said the role of Aurora requires a very solid classical ballet technique because of the three different styles of dances she must perform in each act of the ballet.

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The San Francisco Ballet performs The Sleeping Beauty during the 2019 season at the War Memorial Opera House.

The toughest of all is Rose Adagio. It is a seven minute dance that begins from the moment she comes down the stairs on the stage in the first act, and it ends with the dancer on pointe for 43 seconds as she is twirled around by four male suitors.

De Sola, who is in her third season as principal dancer, said the dance requires a very solid classical ballet technique.

"It's such a beautiful scene and a moment that is not only technically impressive because Aurora has to balance on one leg for a very long time, but it's also a very effective moment from the story standpoint," said De Sola as she rehearsed the role prior to opening night.

De Sola said the role is so demanding that she goes through a pair of pointe shoes in each of the three acts.

The Sleeping Beauty opens this Saturday, March 9, 2019 and runs until March 17 at the San Francisco Ballet.
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