King Florestan and his Queen have arranged a grand christening ceremony to celebrate the birth of their first child, the Princess Aurora.
The curtain opens as Catalabutte, the Master of Ceremonies, checks and re-checks his guest list to make sure everything is in order as he anticipates the royal arrival.
Five Fairies have been invited, including the Lilac Fairy, who is the principal godmother to Aurora. Each will bestow a gift upon the baby princess.
The Evil Fairy Carabosse and her Minions make a grand and tumultuous entrance. Catalabutte had accidentally left her off of the guest list and the enraged Carabosse enacts revenge by placing an evil curse upon Princess Aurora: she will indeed be endowed with every gift the fairies have bestowed upon her, but when she is sixteen years old, she will prick her finger on a spindle and die.
The King, Queen and fairies beg Carabosse for mercy, but Carabosse has none.
The Lilac Fairy steps in to temper the curse. Princess Aurora will prick her finger, but her life will be spared and she will instead fall into a peaceful sleep, to be awakened by the kiss of a handsome prince.
It is the day of Aurora’s sixteenth birthday and the celebrations are underway. The party guests perform the Garland Waltz and Aurora arrives. She is introduced to potential suitors with whom she dances and soon Carabosse comes in disguise and offers a gift to the princess: a spindle.
As predicted, Aurora pricks her finger and collapses.
The Lilac Fairy reminds the anguished King and Queen that Aurora is merely asleep and casts a spell of slumber over the entire kingdom.
One hundred years later, a somewhat downcast Prince Désiré leaves a hunting party to be alone in the woods. The Lilac Fairy appears and shows him a vision of Princess Aurora. The prince is enchanted. He is taken to the castle where he awakens the princess with a kiss. The spell is broken and Carabosse departs forever. The King and Queen are overjoyed when the Prince proposes marriage and Aurora accepts.
The royal wedding commences and the kingdom rejoices. Fairytale characters are in attendance, including Puss in Boots and the Cat, Little Red Riding Hood, and Princess Florine and her Bluebird.
Aurora and Prince Désiré perform a grand pas de deux, and the Lilac Fairy blesses the union.
The Lilac Fairy
Carabosse, The Fairy of Darkness
Catalabutte, The Master of Ceremonies
Fairy of the Crystal Fountain (Fairy of Grace)
Canary Fairy (Fairy of Melodious Voice)
Fairy of the Woodland Glade (Fairy of Good Fortune)
Fairy of Golden Vine (Fairy of Passion)
Little Red Riding Hood
Sara Rodriguez / Magdalene Ramich
Puss in Boots
The White Cat
The Lilac Fairy Corps
Evie Rose Jackson
Evie Rose Jackson
Anna Ackerman, Company Artist
Anna Ackerman began her dance training in 2015 at Sovereign Ballet in Erie, Pa. She studied under Christina Maria Adelhardt of Boston Ballet and Lake Erie Ballet. Anna participated in summer intensives at Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, and Mercyhurst University. In 2019, she continued her full-time training in Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre's pre-professional program, where she had the opportunity to perform with the company in The Nutcracker and Beauty and the Beast. She was accepted into Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre's Graduate Program in 2020 where she had the opportunity to perform principal and sololist student roles that include Marie and Sugar Plum (The Nutcracker), Flower Festival in Genzano, and Pas de trois and Cygnets (Swan Lake). In 2021, she competed in the National Society of Arts and Letters compeition, where she won 1st place regionally and 3rd place nationally. Anna looks forward to her first season with new York State Ballet.
Rena Bernardini, Company Artist
Rena began training at Westchester Ballet Center and soon began performing with Dance Theater of Westchester. She has attended several summer intensives including Interlochen, Ballet Theater of Maryland, Perry Mansfield, and Nashville Ballet. Rena furthered her studies at The Boston Conservatory and later had the opportunity to transfer to The Rambert School in London. While abroad she performed at the Royal Opera House and worked with English National Ballet’s Dance for Parkinson’s program. After graduating Rena joined Ballet Theater of Maryland and was a guest artist for The Nutcracker at West Point’s Eisenhower. Rena has also traveled to Mexico, Costa Rica, and Nicaragua with Juntos Collective and was selected as a Juntos Ambassador. She then joined Fort Wayne Ballet where she served on the Auer Academy faculty and was co-director of the youth company as well as a company dancer. Rena has most enjoyed dancing in Gerald Arpino’s Birthday Variations and Light Rain. She has also been featured as Swanhilda’s Friend and the Lead Hour Soloist in Coppélia and a Stepsister in Cinderella. Since joining New York State Ballet in 2020, Rena has had the opportunity to perform the Paquita Pas de Trois, Lead Emerald in The Wizard of Oz, and Autumn Fairy from Cinderella among other roles. This is Rena’s third season dancing with New York State Ballet.
Angela Wentling, Company Artist
Angela began her training under the direction of her mother, Janet Wentling, and teachers Julianne Deming and Inna Esipova. She has attended summer intensives at Kaatsbaan, the Gelsey Kirkland Academy, and the American Ballet Theater NYC. During her final years as a student, Angela attended the New York State Ballet Training Academy, and later joined the company in 2020 as an apprentice. Angela has had the privilege to work with choreographers Sarah Rothrock-Rickel, Robert Royce, Rebekah Von Rathonyi, Zachary Frazee, and Bonnie Mathis, and has danced many roles in ballets including Paquita, Cinderella, Alice in Wonderland, Romeo and Juliet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, the Snow Queen, the Nutcracker, the Sleeping Beauty, Les Sylphides, Don Quixote, and the Firebird. In 2022, Angela was promoted to a soloist rank. She is grateful to be dancing in her third year with the company!
Ava Griebel, Guest Artist
Ava Griebel is originally from Hanover, PA, began dancing at age 4. She has performed with companies including Antelope Valley Ballet, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, and Ballet Idaho. Her favorite roles have been Sugarplum in The Nutcracker, and the Principal in Balanchine’s Valse Fantasie. Ava is also an ABT® Certified Teacher.
Lizzie McMindes, Guest Artist
Lizzie McMindes is currently a graduate with the Pittsburgh Ballet Theater. She has trained with both New York State Ballet and Draper Center for Dance here in Rochester. She has performed many roles in the Nutcracker, Alice in Wonderland, and Little Red Riding Hood, as well as competing at YAGP, WBC, and UBC.
Keith Reeves, Guest Artist
Keith Reeves is from Augusta, Georgia and began his training at age 15 with Jennifer Tools at the Jessye Norman School of the Arts. In 2010, he began training with the Augusta Ballet School, later joining Dance Augusta under the direction of Zane and Ron Colton. In 2015, he trained under Nicolas Pacana and Jocelyn Buchanan at the Atlanta Festival Company. In 2016, Reeves received the Audrey B. Morgan Scholarship for the Atlanta Ballet Centre for Dance Education Conservatory program. He also has received scholarships to summer programs at Joffrey Ballet, Nashville Ballet, and The School at Jacob’s Pillow. He has performed works by John McFall, George Balanchine, Jorden Morris, David Bintley, Tara Lee, Yuri Possokhov, and Ohad Naharin, among others. Keith has recently danced for Atlanta Ballet, Complexions Contemporary Ballet, and New York State Ballet.
Kobe Ritter, Guest Artist
Kobe Ritter is a native of Indianapolis, Indiana. He began dancing ballroom at 14 and began pursuing ballet at age 16, under Jakob Pringle at Central Indiana Dance Ensemble. In 2019, Kobe made the move to En Pointe Indiana Ballet where he finished his formal training under former Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre Soloist Robert Moore and former Boston Ballet Principal Pollyanna Ribeiro. In 2018, Kobe traveled to San Antonio, Texas and trained with Joffrey Texas under the artistic direction of Mauro Villanueva and Kenny Borchard. While here, Kobe performed original works from Mr. Mauro, Joshua Peugh, and Gerald Arpino. Kobe was privileged to perform an original piece by Robert Joffrey, titled “Gamelan,” which hadn’t been performed since the 1960’s.
In 2019, Kobe went to Pittsburgh to spend a summer with the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, on full scholarship. While here, he fell in love with the city and the atmosphere and hoped to return. Like most artists, Kobe was out most of 2020 due to the pandemic and took the time to recover from injury. Kobe returned to the stage in December of 2020 with a performance with En Pointe as a guest artist. Kobe guested around the Indiana and Ohio area until December of 2021. Kobe has performed numerous lead roles in “The Nutcracker,” “Don Quixote,” “Snow White,” “Firebird,” as well as many Neoclassical and contemporary works.
Kobe currently lives in Virginia with his lovely fiancé and hopes to return to NYSB in the near future.
Sophie Stewart, Guest Artist
Sophie was raised in Rochester, NY and received her dance training at the Timothy M. Draper Center for Dance Education, starting at age 8. She has had the opportunity to dance in Rochester City Ballet’s version of The Nutcracker as well as George Balanchine’s Serenade. After high school, Sophie attended Point Park University where she received her BFA in dance with a concentration in ballet. While at Point Park, she had the opportunity to work with choreographers such as Adam Highland, Jae Man Joo, Matthew Powell, David Norsworthy as well as others. Sophie is currently an artist with Confluence Ballet Company in Pittsburgh, PA for their inaugural season. She is very excited to be dancing with New York State Ballet for Sleeping Beauty!
Sara Rodriguez, Guest Artist
Sara Rodriguez is a New York City based dancer. Performance highlights include dancing as a Russian Demi Soloist in George Balanchine’s Serenade, cygnets in Swan Lake, and various contemporary works by esteemed choreographers such as Jay Kim, Qi Jiang, Janice Rosario, and Tracie Stanfield.
Staff and Production
Production Assistant - Janet Wentling
Videography - Demian Spindler
Publicity Photos - Rita Labeta
Graphic Design - Lisa Gates
Wardrobe Mistress - Pam McMindes
Jim Niger, Professional Instant Press
New York State Ballet Board Members
Katherine Johnson, Founder and Executive Chair
Kara Bosco, Board Member
Jeannine Cruz, Board Member
Miranda Glocker, Board Member
Pam McMindes, Board Member
Claire Mondello, Board Member
American Packaging Corporation
Brighton Securities Wealth Management
Jim Niger of Professional Instant Press
The Mondello Family
to Mr. Robert Gardner,
Ms. Gina Fiume
The New York State Council on the Arts
for making this production possible
Office: (585) 203-1763
Cell: (585) 704-1903
PO Box 201, Pittsford, NY 14534
821 Fairport Rd. E. Rochester, NY 14445