Tchaikovsky's 'Sleeping Beauty'

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I'm not really disagreeing with you either. Nothing in this world can be taken entirely out of context. If you take a kangaroo and a potted cactus flower to a performance of The Sleeping Beauty neither of them will make any sense of what is going on onstage. So, yes you have to be a human being; and a member of the civilized community. You need (for example) to have a basic understanding of what a King, a Queen, a Prince, a Princess, a royal court and an aristocracy all are. But once we take that for granted--

The Sleeping Beauty is a celebration of life, humanity and --love! It suggests that we never truly come alive, never truly become aware of the endless possibilities this world presents us with or the dangers that confront us until--
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Each of us has to decide for themselves. But it is worth remembering in the midst of all the celebratory dancing that we see and music that we hear that nothing comes about easily in this tale: how many years does Princess Aurora have to lie asleep? what internal and external struggles does Prince Desire have to undergo before he finds her? And there is nothing in Tchaikovsky's majestic music at the end to suggest anything otherwise than that being a Queen is no simple matter, and that Princess Aurora --now a Queen-- will give birth to a new Aurora ....The struggle between good and evil here is implicitly everlasting.

You do not need to be a member --or be fond-- of the nineteenth century Russian landed aristocracy to grasp any of this. Nor do you have to be an expert in Russian socio-economic history, a Westerner, a One Percenter in the United States of 2016 .... And you don't really need to know all that much about choreography and music either. Deep down this is why people of all kinds flock to see this ballet. Its themes and messages are universal and have the potential to resonate within every one of us. It will continue to be so for as long as we retain our humanity. This is an example of an artwork that transcends the time that produced it.

To say about something like The Sleeping Beauty that it is "an idealized depiction of the mating rituals of the landed aristocracy and is rooted in reality only to the extent that such a class existed" (my emphasis) does such a masterwork --I feel-- no
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