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West Vancouver holiday magic awakens with "Sleeping Beauty" ballet fundraiser

B.C. United For Art Society and Pro Dance present charity performance in support of Lions Gate Hospital Foundation
Don’t miss the magical Sleeping Beauty ballet performance, taking place at Grosvenor Theatre on Dec. 15, 2023. Photo via Ciprian Stanulescu Photography

Once upon a time… An angry fairy cast a spell on a lovely princess, sending her into a century-long slumber, only to be broken by true love—the kiss of a handsome prince charming. As the tale goes...

When you think of romantic love stories and in particular fairy tales, "Sleeping Beauty" is one of the most time-honoured classics. The story, reimagined countless ways, still weaves itself into endless childhood dreams.

This holiday season, you and your family can experience an enchanting evening together of fantasy and magic, with a live ballet retelling based on "Sleeping Beauty," at West Vancouver's Kay Meek Arts Centre in the Grosvenor Theatre, Friday, December 15, from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

B.C. United For Art Society, a West Vancouver non-profit, in partnership with Pro Dance, a West Vancouver ballet company, presents their first annual fundraiser for charity, a performance that provides an opportunity for them to give back.

"Through this event, we want people to connect and enjoy the holiday season," says Ally Wang, director, B.C. United For Art Society, who also dances as Queen. "All proceeds from the performance will be donated to Lions Gate Hospital Foundation, a way to use our ability to contribute to our North Shore community."

Wang's two daughters attend Pro Dance, where students are trained by Ciprian Stänulescu, a ballet master and choreographer from Romania, and the artistic director for the production.

"We want to influence more kids to get the opportunity to see a full-length famous ballet performance," admits Wang. "We want to help kids reach out more to art education through dance and music."

An inspired production

In addition to being the director, including stage director, Stänulescu wears many hats and is responsible for the production's choreography, lights, set design, and music editing.

"Our main goal was to provide more chances to let kids dance," says Stänulescu. "Dancers range from age six to 47, and make up a cast of about 40. The character leads, Princess Aurora ­- Jady Lam, and Prince Desirée - Nicolas Camargo, have developed their skills since starting with me three years ago."

"We involve all levels of dancers," adds Stänulescu. "What's nice is that in this ballet we have adult dancers, who had never danced before, and who've trained two to three years with me, and are now performing together with the kids who dance with me in the professional training program."

The captivating principals also include: Lilac Fairy - Valarie Lau, Carabosse - Lucia Diao, Queen ­- Ally Wang, King - Michael Diao, and young Aurora (Dream) - Leila Diao. Soloists include: Sharon Liang, Paloma Westling, Massima Somji, Alyssa Lee, Katherina Han, Annabelle Yeung, Katheryn Yang, Ashton Hui and Sogand Toosi.

Regal costumes and symphonic score

The elegant costumes chosen under Stänulescu's guidance are modelled from professional companies and adjusted to their students to keep costs at bay, using two main providers, some designs from China, and the Canadian company, Tutu Gallery.

Stänulescu adjusted the length of Tchaikovsky's score based on what could fit with the number of dancers and characters.

"The music is usually two and a half hours long, and I made it one hour and a half," he says. "The music is wonderful and is my preferred among all ballet music, because here Tchaikovsky really proves his symphonic skills in ballet music."

It was Tchaikovsky’s favourite, too, of all his ballet compositions.

This delightful feel-good holiday production is something any ballet admirer won't want to miss. What's not to love when true love conquers all… especially since they lived happily ever after.

For tickets or for more information, visit



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