Sunday, 23 September 2012

SWAN LAKE [English Youth Ballet] (Wolverhampton Grand Theatre) September 2012

The English Youth Ballet brought their new £50,000 production of Swan Lake to Wolverhampton this weekend. This production combines tradition with reality but with particular emphasis on the rivalry between the seductive evil Black Swan Odile and the beautiful but vulnerable White Swan Odette. There were eight international principal dancers and over one hundred young dancers from the region making up the cast. The young corps de ballet came together for a very small rehearsal period of under two weeks before the opening night of Swan Lake on Friday 21st September in Wolverhampton.

Having grown up in a dance school, surrounded by ballet for many years I ought to know and understand this form of dance better than I do. I might not have been able to comment on some of the more technical elements, but as a spectacle the show was truly amazing. Amazing to see such young dancers that were so passionate for the art form that ballet is. Enthusiasm and precision of skill was shown from them all. The choreography of Dominic Marshall was both exciting and clever. The size of the cast meant that at times the stage was full, leaving little room to actually dance. Instead, interesting and complex patters and position changes kept the audience engaged. The costumes were clearly a huge chunk of the £50,000 budget. They were nothing less than beautiful.

Principal dancers Julianne Rice-Oxley, Oliver Speers and Emma Lister were all effortless in their elegance. The Pas de deux of Act III between Princess Odile and Prince Sergei was in particular the most mesmerising. The show led to a dramatic final sequence that prompted the rapturous applause the children deserved after what was a heartwarming and truly enjoyable performance.

More ballet to visit the Wolverhampton Grand Theatre this season is Angelina Ballerina The Mousical (BOOK: and the Russian State Ballet of Siberia with The Nutcracker, Coppélia and Swan Lake (BOOK:

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