I HAD never been to the ballet before, so what better introduction than the incredible talent of the English National Ballet’s dancers.

With great musicianship from the pit, exquisite costumes, mesmerising dancing and strong production from Kenneth MacMillan, The Sleeping Beauty is a fantastic show.

Fernanda Oliveira shows off some impressive moves as Princess Aurora, particularly in the Rose Adagio and Act III, and Laurretta Summerscales is a serene and beautiful Lilac Fairy.

A dragged-up Fabian Reimar added an element of almost panto-like humour to proceedings as the evil Carabosse and the company as a whole were spectacular.

I particularly enjoyed the Garland Dance in Act I, although partly because it was the most recognisable piece of music.

Having done a beginner’s workshop with the English National Ballet (ENB), I think I appreciated just how difficult ballet is and the dancers made the most complex of moves look easy with their incredible grace, poise and balance.

My only criticism would be that the final act did drag on a bit too long.

With little plot in the wedding scene, it felt more like a showcase of what the dancers could do rather than a crucial part of the otherwise fantastic fairytale.

* The Sleeping Beauty is at the Mayflower until Saturday.