Writings and Musings for Austria

Sleeping Beauty German Style

Ballet, a dancing form of pantomime, uses no words. Therefore, every one of all languages can interpret the goings on the stage. While I know the story of sleeping beauty well, I assumed this to be a simple matter.

However, the German version of Sleeping beauty proved to be a bit different. In this version, the kingdom first celebrates the arrival of the new baby – we of course assume this baby to be sleeping beauty. During the celebration, a social worker (oddly dressed in a rather large black gown) appears with several of her helpers to warn the mother and the court members of certain rules and regulations. These warning are poorly received, and the social worker is cast of the kingdom, but seems to promise to return for a follow up visit.

Many years pass and sleeping beautify is now 16 and ready to marry. She has several suitors whom she “dances with” at length, and then proceeds to toy with each allowing for empty promises and repeated group dances.

During one of these “ballet” performances with the many suitors, the social worker (still wearing the same black dress) reappears. She seems quite shocked by the court, and puts everyone to sleep until the matter can be dealt with properly.

Years pass, as all social work is part of a large and slow bureaucracy, and we find ourselves in the park with someone we can only assume to be Prince Charming; along with a large party of fun-havers. Although the rest of the party appears to be having fun, Prince Charming is lonely for love, and longing for other companionship aside from what we can all surmise has thus far been the court Jester.

The Prince eventually finds himself alone in the dark woods, and seems to become a victim of a deal that he makes a large white-gowned woman and her many wood elves. After many dances with all the wood elves, the Prince agrees to something, though apparently against the advice of the social worker, who shows up again in her same black gown. The Prince chooses to kiss sleeping beauty – thus awaking the kingdom. Little does he know that this kiss obligates him to marry that day. Thus, upon awaking, the kingdom throws another large party to which many guests including puss in boots have been invited, and the marriage takes place.

To my absolute disappointment – they never played my most favorite romantic love song. Leave it to the Germans to suck all the romance out of Sleeping Beauty.