Who knew dark dreams could be so spectacularly beautiful?
Choreographer wunderkind Liam Scarlett must have known. Young in choreographer years at 29, Skarlett already has an illustrious career. He has been nominated for an Olivier Award for his work and already has many other accolades to his name. He’s the hot new star on the rise in the ballet world. Scarlett started dancing at age 4. I recall at that age I was thoroughly committed to making mud pies, sadly though I was not able to turn a childhood pastime into a career. Scarlett did and danced ballet successfully for many years -until age 26 where instead of being the paint on the brush, he became the artist. Now what we see on the stage at one of his ballets are the pure bold and fresh art strokes of Skarlett.
I saw the Sunday night (B cast) of Mid Summer Night’s Dream and immersed myself starry-eyed in the dreamscape that sees mischievous fairies cause trouble & heartache in the lives of some unfortunate humans with hilarious results.
Lucy Green was spectacular in her role as Titania Queen of the Fairies. Her dress sparkled and shone like the stars, standing out so well against the dark background she was luminous! In some dramatic balletic leaps and turns she seemed like a comet leaping fleetingly across an endless night sky. I couldn’t take my eyes off her, but why would you want to? She dances in a deeply emotive and passionate way you wouldn’t want to miss a minute of it.
Designed by Tracy Grant Lord the set was dark and otherworldly – lit by thousands of led lights & fibre optics. The audience don’t need to suspend disbelief because this world is totally believable. It’s in front of our eyes. The creatures within crept in and out of the shadows and the magical garden with its flowers and pods created a sense of intimacy while still allowing the dancers the space thru need to make magic.
The fairies were delightful and reminiscent of Theirry Mugler haute couture of the early 1990’s all wasp waists and exaggerated bodices. They were fantastical!
Apart from a couple of moments where as a choreographer I felt that Skarlett chose to go for the easy, cheap (and crude) laugh, his modern choreography soars and sweeps with beautiful traditional lines interspersed with fluid floating partnering that left me wanting to see more.
Bravo to all involved in creating this stunning vision of beauty, art, dance and entertainment.
The show tours next to Christchurch, then Auckland, Rotorua, Palmerston North and closes the season in Napier on 20 Sept.