Orlando Ballet returns to live performances with ‘Sleeping Beauty,' the first since COVID-19

Shows at Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing arts begin Oct. 22

The Orlando Ballet is getting ready to kick off their season with ‘The Sleeping Beauty’-- only this time, some adjustments have had to be made due to the pandemic.

ORLANDO, Fla. – The Orlando Ballet is getting ready to kick off their season with ‘The Sleeping Beauty’-- only this time, some adjustments have had to be made due to the pandemic.

“We have waited so long, worked so hard; there really hasn’t been a day off since we started sheltering in place back in March 'till now that we haven’t been working on what it would take to get here,” Cheryl Collins, executive director of the Orlando Ballet said, adding the show will be the first in the country to be done live and in front of a live audience since COVID-19 broke out. “To our knowledge, we are the only one this early in the game.”

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But if you’re a fan of Sleeping Beauty, and plan to attend the show, expect some changes. Collins said special effects have been added and the choreography will be different to keep dancers and production staff safe.

“We do not have touching and partnering here except one very limited moment. So, they [guests] will see less people on the stage but no less frame up for the story,” Collins said.

The Orlando Ballet said it also made sure everyone involved with the production was cleared from coronavirus. Last week, they were all tested for COVID-19 and the results were negative.

“They have been extraordinarily careful in terms of limiting their exposure to others,” Collins said.

The show is being presented at the Dr. P. Phillips Center for the Performing Art’s Walt Disney theater where safety protocols are being put into place to receive guests.

“When guests first arrive, they will get their temperature checked outside,” Lorri Shaban, spokeswoman for Dr. Phillips Center, said. “When they come in, we have a new technology that we’re using by Evolve that allows us to do a touch less bag screening.”

Additional staff will also be making sure guests are wearing their masks properly--unless they’re enjoying food or a drink.

“We’re focusing not only on the things that we can do which is wearing our masks all the time, making sure that we’re sanitizing all of our areas and using hospital-grade disinfectant,” Shaban said.

The audience will not receive a programming booklet and will be spaced out with 3 empty chairs in between parties and every other row will be empty. The show is expected to run continuously and there will be no intermission to avoid crowds from forming.

“Once the performance is over, we’re asking guests to remain seated and the ushers will release them a row at a time, and that way will avoid any backlog of folks kind of bunching up at the exits,” Shaban said.

For tickets and showing times, visit: https://orlandoballet.org/event/the-sleeping-beauty/.


About the Author:

Carolina Cardona highlights all Central Florida has to offer in her stories on News 6 at Nine. She joined News 6 in June 2018 from the Telemundo station in Philadelphia.