In 1972, Rudolf Nureyev was invited to set his production of The Sleeping Beauty on the National Ballet of Canada. Costs skyrocketed, with Nureyev refusing to make any money-saving cuts or compromises, nearly bankrupting the company, but when the production was televised it pulled 33 million viewers worldwide, won an Emmy, and elevated the National Ballet of Canada to world status. The promising young ballerina Karen Kain, handpicked by Nureyev to dance Aurora in that Beauty, is today the artistic director of the company. Kain has restaged the production, keeping Rudi’s vision of Marius Petipa’s classic front and center. “Take the stage and command it,” Nureyev told the dancers back in 72, “Audiences come to theater to see people obsessed by what they do!” —L.J.
Royal Opera House Bow St, Covent Garden, London WC2E 9DD, UK Get Directions »