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Star appeal in Qld Ballet’s Sleeping Beauty

Three international ballet stars are joining Queensland Ballet's dancers for the Company's season of The Sleeping Beauty, which opens on 23 October.

Greg Horsman's The Sleeping Beauty will feature performances by Romanian born ballerina Alina Cojocaru, Cuban Victor Estevez and Chinese star Chi Cao, continuing Queensland Ballet's tradition of bringing world class performances to Queensland audiences.

Queensland Ballet Artistic Director Li Cunxin said The Sleeping Beauty was the Company's most anticipated production of the 2015 season due to its classical appeal and star power.

"The Sleeping Beauty is a quintessential classical ballet, a family favourite and one that has certainly stood the test of time. It has everything that makes a wonderful fairytale: a princess, a kiss by a charming prince, a wicked fairy, even a dragon," Mr Li said.

"We are delighted to be bringing this story to the stage and to be performing Greg Horsman's production.

"This ballet is one of the most challenging in the classical repertoire and the lead role of Aurora is perhaps the greatest and most demanding ballerina role.

"Our guest Alina, is widely considered to be one of the best Auroras dancing today and it is certainly a coup to have her performing with us. A number of our Principal Dancers will also be dancing this incredible role and are very much looking forward to it.

"It's also a great privilege to welcome Victor and Chi to our season. Victor is currently Principal Dancer with the Ballet Nacional de Cuba and Chi is Principal with the Royal Birmingham Ballet."

Chi is perhaps best known to wider audiences for his portrayal of Li Cunxin in Mao's Last Dancer. Chi is now in Brisbane rehearsing with Queensland Ballets.

The Sleeping Beauty brings Tchaikovsky's famous music together with majestic sets and Renaissance-inspired costumes. Horsman's production honours tradition and sparkles with spectacular choreography and a cast of fanciful characters.

The narrative follows the story of the Princess Aurora who, on her 16th birthday, pricks her finger on a rose and succumbs to a spell cast upon her at her christening by the wicked fairy Carabosse.

The Lilac Fairy intervenes and causes an enchanted sleep to descend upon the palace. After one hundred years, Aurora is woken from her slumber by a Prince's gentle kiss, and joyous celebrations follow.

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