Rochester City Ballet will present “Sleeping Beauty” May 17-19 at the Nazareth Arts Center.

Julia Erickson, a principal dancer for the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, is helping stage the Rochester production. She discussed the historic ballet Monday during News 8 at Noon.

“This ballet was choreographed over 100 years ago by this major guy, a major choreographer in ballet, Marius Petipa,” Erickson explained. “What people do now, is they restage it in an appropriate way, for their respective company. So I’m basically reinterpreting the choreography as it is appropriate for Rochester City Ballet.”

Erickson had high praise for the Rochester City Ballet company. “These dancers, I find are very adept and are probably dancing it better than the original dancers. But it’s a smaller company, and so we had to retrofit it in a sense. Also, it’s a more classical ballet. It’s the first Petipa ballet that Rochester City Ballet has done. And so, it’s a fun challenge because there’s a certain style to it that they have to kind of adhere to, but their technique absolutely holds its own.”

Erickson has embraced the opportunity to work with the Rochester City Ballet. “It’s a really cool moment for me because it’s kind of a liminal time in my life,” she said. “I have post being a principal dancer, but not always in the front of the studio. So what’s great is that I can impart the knowledge that I learned from other people, dancing the three major roles in this ballet throughout my career. I can impart it to these dancers and I can also kind of demonstrate it for them in a way that they can understand it so it’s been really fascinating for me and it’s been a rewarding experience.”

When Rochester City Ballet takes the stage at the Nazareth Arts Center, Erickson said audiences will see something special. “It’s got beauty. It’s got love. It’s got magic. It’s got trickery. It’s basically an iconic love story. But they’re going to see excellent dancing and they’re going to see a wonderful evening of dancing for all ages I think too.”

For tickets to “Sleeping Beauty” and more information about the production, visit