You say Maleficent… We say Carabosse

You say Maleficent… We say Carabosse


Villains… that’s what makes a story go from “meh” to “oohhh!” You have to hand it to us ballet people. We’re pretty great when it comes to bad guys. Just saying..

In Sleeping Beauty the evil villain extraordinaire is Carabosse.


Although, it sounds like the name of a North American deer plus a hiccup, it is the name Tchaikovsky chose in 1890 for the evil fairy in his ballet version of Sleeping Beauty. Nowadays, the wicked fairy in the tale is most commonly referred to as Maleficent, thanks to Disney’s rendition.  (But, the ballet came first, so there!)

In our upcoming performance of “Sleeping Beauty” (which we have, as courtesy to our audience members and ourselves, whittled down the typical three hours into an easily digestible 1 hour… you’re welcome!), our fabulous villainess is Sarah Wilson.

Sarah’s previous big role with Ballet Palm Beach was Snow White… quite a personality jump!

So, Sarah, which is more fun to be: sweet Snow White or wicked Carabosse?

Sarah Wilson: I have thoroughly enjoyed diving into both characters. I love being able to grow deeper within a character each day rather than just being Snowflake Number 8. (But I still love dancing alongside my friends in corps work too!) I think Snow White came more naturally to me seeing as it was about a smiley girl and that’s kind of more who I am in real life.
But Carabosse has helped me be someone totally opposite of who I am which is always fun!

What’s it like rehearsing Carabosse?

SW: It takes a lot more effort getting into the role than just putting on a smile. You have to really dig deep sometimes. It’s a good way to let out any anger or frustration from daily stuff *laughs* But, yeah, it’s fun being something else other than a pretty princess.

Describe Carabosse. Who is she?

SW: Carabosse is the most evil fairy in the land. She has two vultures who she doesn’t really like, but they do everything for her. She heard a rumor that there was a big celebration for baby Aurora, and she wasn’t invited! What does she do? She crashes the party and causes a massive scene.

She has a minor dual the Lilac Fairy who is her complete opposite. She hates her with a burning passion, but every time she casts spells on her they always backfire.

As for Aurora, she gets the good end of the stick because her Lilac Fairy protects her no matter how powerful a curse Carabosse uses.  NO NO NO!!! My plan is ruined!!!

What’s your favorite part in the ballet?

SW: My favorite part is when I describe the spell I have cast upon Aurora, or when I get hysterical after she has pricked her finger. The cape is what makes it fun-haha!

Thank you, Sarah!

Make sure you watch her dastardly deeds, shady shenanigans, and evil enterprises during our last show of the season… Sleeping Beauty & Other Works May 7-8 and May 14 (on Mother’s Day… how perfect!)

P.S. One more name to be wary of… Cattalabutte…blame the French.


Illustration by Leon Bakst.