It may seem odd that Carabosse, the evil fairy who casts the sleeping spell on Princess Aurora, will be played by a man in Columbia Classical Ballet’s performance of “Sleeping Beauty” tonight, but, ironically, it’s not. By casting a man in the role, CCB artistic director Radenko Pavlovich was actually keeping with tradition: In 1890, when the ballet premiered in Russia, a man was chosen to play Carabosse. Since then, the role has gone to both men and women.
Carabosse’s 19th-century gender-bending isn’t the only little-known fact about this romantic tale. Here are five more.