A video of the dance featuring Reece Clarke, brand ambassador and Royal Ballet first soloist, has been released in honour of the 131st anniversary of the ballet’s first performance in St Petersburg, Russia.
The performance also features Clarke’s partner, Fumi Kaneko, as they dance against a backdrop of factory machinery and potato pallets. The scene depicts the Prince awakening Sleeping Beauty from her slumbers – intended as an allegory for Albert Bartlett’s Jersey Royal seed potatoes being ‘woken up’ to be planted for this year’s harvest.
The potatoes – and Sleeping Beauty – were ‘put to sleep’ in the first of the two-part video series, released last year.
“Nobody would argue that The Sleeping Beauty is one of the most beautiful and important ballets in existence, and it’s always wonderful to perform it with Fumi whenever we are given the chance to do so,” said Clarke.
“This project has been particularly interesting for us, taking sections of the ballet and adapting them to the truly unique backdrop of the Albert Bartlett factory in Jersey.”
Michael Jarvis, head of marketing at Albert Bartlett, added: “Jersey Royal planting season is a magical time of the year for us, and while this year may be somewhat different, what better way to lift the spirits than with a stunning performance of one of the world’s best loved ballets on its 131st anniversary?
“We’ve put a lot of time and effort into perfecting our precious little Jersey Royals, just as Reece and Fumi have in perfecting this wonderful performance.”
In addition to the release of the latest video, Albert Bartlett has announced an extension to its sponsorship of Clarke. The brand has worked with the dancer since 2012, during which time he has relocated from Scotland to London, attended the Royal Ballet School and risen through the ranks of the Royal Ballet Company to first soloist.
Clarke said: “I’m incredibly grateful to Albert Bartlett for their continued support and look forward to working with them on more projects like this. The team has been a huge help to me throughout my career and it’s great to know the brand will continue to be in my corner.”
Jarvis said Clarke had been a “fantastic ambassador” for Albert Bartlett over the last nine years.
“We’re very happy to continue the association as we move in to 2021,” Jarvis added. “We’ve been, and continue to be, proud in supporting his career which has gone from strength to strength.”