The Prick of the Spindle is a music video adaptation of Sleeping Beauty which bridges the gap between digital consumers and live performing arts. Presented on social media, the work is cinematized in the style of popular music videos with the goal of drawing in viewers who have previously not participated in the classical arts entertainment experience. We tell a story in this music and dance collaboration through the universally accessible mediums of cinematography, social media, and stories from classic literature.

This project was done in collaboration with the Wavelength Winds, the current resident wind quintet of the University of Maryland:


The Prick of the Spindle is a story about coping with trauma. It investigates how Aurora, the princess, psychologically processes and manages her subjection to the prick of the spindle, which launched her into a 100 year long slumber.

Here’s the story:

The innocent princess Aurora finds her way into a parlor of the evil fairy, who is disguised as a spinster. Aurora becomes enchanted by the spinning wheel, which she has never seen before. The spinning wheel is surrounded by roses. The spinster suggests that she give it a try. Upon the moment Aurora touches the spindle, she becomes pricked. She falls into a deep slumber.

* * * * *

Aurora begins to have nightmares. She is in a rose-filled room with the evil fairy, who tortures her while she is alternatingly exposed to recurring images of her becoming pricked by the spindle. This spirals into a frenzy which cadences with a catapulted release as she awakes to find Prince Desire kissing her. She experiences a moment of relief, but then realizes she is covered in roses. She panics and runs out of the room.

* * * * *

Aurora’s resumes her life as it was before. She sees people chatting and laughing on the street. One of the people she sees is giving a rose to another, and she flashes back to the room with the evil fairy and the moment of the prick. She comes out of the memory and finds that the townspeople are staring at her, and she runs away.

* * * * *

Aurora begins is preparing for her wedding. Her mother comes in and presents her with a rose corsage. Aurora begins having the same flashbacks, and reawakens to find her mother consoling her.

* * * * *

It is the day of Aurora and Desire’s wedding. The ceremony has begun, and Aurora comes down the aisle. Aurora and Desire are going through the ceremony. The ring-bearer comes to present the rings to the couple, but Aurora looks down and envisions the evil fairy holding a rose, rather than the bearer with the rings. She has the same flashbacks, which spiral in her mind madly, but this time, they are mixed with images of the prince kissing her and her mother consoling her. This frenzies back into the room with the flowers, but embracing the love of her mother and fiance, she finds the courage to protect herself against the evil fairy, who now cannot touch her. She awakes from her lucid state, puts on the ring, and proceeds with the wedding, enlightened with courage and self-acceptance.