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Klevis Tafaj and Ajkun Ballet Theatre Mesmerize New York with ‘Sleeping Beauty’


On August 13, 2023, ballet virtuoso Klevis Tafaj, along with his renowned company, the Ajkun Ballet Theatre, enchanted the art-loving audience of New York with yet another classic masterpiece, “Sleeping Beauty.” The Ajkun Ballet Theatre is already internationally acclaimed for its captivating, classical, traditional, and masterfully executed performances, guided by the artistic direction of the award-winning choreographer, Ms. Chiara Ajkun.

In this performance, art enthusiasts and cultural aficionados in New York came together to witness a breathtaking spectacle. The ballet, originally premiered in the United States by the Philadelphia Academy of Music on February 12, 1937, was designed by Catherine Littlefield. Its music hails from the romantic era, composed by Pyotr Ilych Tchaikovsky. This musical composition intricately weaves two contrasting themes, representing goodness (Lilac Fairy) and evil (Carabosse).

The show commences in a magical kingdom where a princess named Aurora is born amidst celebration. Fairies bestow upon Aurora various gifts of beauty, courage, and good fortune. However, just as the fairy Jargavan is about to present her gift, the uninvited Carabosse appears, disrupting the festivities. She curses the princess with a terrifying fate—death on her sixteenth birthday.

Following this act, Jargavan manages to soften Carabosse’s curse through her magic. Aurora falls into a deep slumber, from which only Prince Desire (Tafaj) can awaken her. The ballet is significant as it marks the first-ever collaboration in ballet history between composer Tchaikovsky and choreographers Petipa and Vsevolojsky. The musical score remains beloved even today and is used in Disney adaptations.

Filled with enthusiasm after the performance’s conclusion, art enthusiasts had the opportunity to meet with the ballet dancers. They lauded the performers for their meticulous preparation, challenging technique, subtlety, and the emotions conveyed within the theater’s walls.

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