First nights are all very well and good, and the first night of Scottish Ballet's Sleeping Beauty in mid-December was a feast of delights.

But if you want to test the mettle of a company, pop into a matinee or an evening performance later in the run. You'll see the other casts, as I did, and whether the Aurora on-stage is Sophie Martin or Tomomi Sato – with Adam Blyde and Christopher Harrison as their respective Princes– the romantic vision at the heart of Ashley Page's choreography is fully realised in performances that sparkle with beguiling personality as well as thrillingly assured technique.

When Martin first shone in this role, during the ballet's premiere season four years ago, she was a sweetly grave Princess who seemed too young to be pitchforked into marriage with a stranger. Now, with a variety of artistically demanding leading characters to her credit, Martin utterly inhabits the emotional journey that gives this updated version of the fairy tale a touchingly human quality. Her teenage Aurora is smilingly at ease as eager suitors try to out-do one another in the macho leaps, spins and lifts that Page has crafted into his re-working of the Rose Adage. But that lovely caprice gains expressive depths of new-found joie-de-vivre when Blyde, a Prince of tender sensibilities, blissful musicality and buoyant technique, lovingly awakens her to a brave new world (it's 1946 and Antony McDonald's frocks cut a fabulous dash of their own).

Christopher Harrison's Prince probably fought in the recent war: its legacy is a kind of four-square decency that sees him cherish Tomomi Sato's tiny, deliciously dainty Aurora, constantly celebrating her in the lifts that sweep her off her feet. If Sato breezes through the birthday party excitements – those swaggering suitors are a perfect foil to her pert, petite charm – she introduces a real, radiant serenity to the post-kiss pas-de-deux that mark the narrative transition from girl to woman-hood.

Both casts had Eve Mutso as that saving grace, the Lilac Fairy. Think Grace Kelly on pointe: cool, creamy elegance shot through with innate glamour and a warmth for those who deserve it. Her opposite number, Carabosse was Sophie Laplane in both casts – a true Tim Burton vision of Gothick-comic malevolence who, like her piggy-mutant daughters (Freya Jeffs and Laura Kinross), excelled in the hoydenish athletics that Page sets so effectively to Tchaikovsky's score, played, incidentally, with real verve under Richard Honner at every performance. Perhaps what impresses most, however, is the all-hands-to-the-wheel approach that sees principal dancers – like first-night leads Claire Robertson and Erik Cavallari – in cameo roles, joining the likes of Luke Ahmet, Quenby Hersh, Victor Zarallo, Bethany Kingsley-Garner (to name but four out of many) to ensure that whatever cast is listed, the standards maintained in this Sleeping Beauty are as fully five-star as those set on the first night.

Sleeping Beauty is at Edinburgh's Festival Theatre from Wednesday to Saturday January 14, His Majesty's, Aberdeen (January 18-21) and Eden Court, Inverness (January 23-28).