Tag Archives: ballet

Rediscovering the beauty of ballet at Swan Lake

Dartford-2012-Act-2-high-lift-circle-of-swans-(press)When I was five-years-old, I first discovered the beauty of ballet and longed to dance all day long in my pink tutu, silky little shoes and my unruly, curly hair tied firmly back into a bun. My mum sent me along to ballet classes at my insistence, but I soon lost interest and told the teacher I didn’t want to do it any more because it was boring (mainly because each week the class had new members and I was bored of repeating the basics). I never had the staying power, or probably the dancing talent, to make it to the big time. My mum’s hopes of a ballet dancing daughter were dashed when she took me to watch Sleeping Beauty and I fell asleep through the whole thing!

Despite this, I’ve always loved ballet and thought the dancers were just so elegant and effortlessly graceful – as so many of us aspire to be. So when I had the opportunity to write about young dancers from the area being given the opportunity to perform Swan Lake alongside international principal dancers from the English Youth Ballet on the Norwich stage, I was very excited to be offered tickets to review the performance for the newspaper as a thanks. I took along one of my best friends who also loves dance and was never far from her tap shoes growing up.

Em-&-Oli-Black-Swan-Arabeque-to-sideFrom the second the curtain went up, the dancers had the whole audience hanging on their every step and pirouette, from the very youngest right up to the principal dancers. I had no choice but to look on in awe as they completed routine after routine, each more complicated than the last with a gentle grace and the most delicate of footsteps.

As a writer I feel ashamed that I don’t think myself capable of finding the right words to describe how utterly stunning the performance was, but eyes sparkling with tears and emotion throughout the audience, and the riotous applause at the end said it all. I was overwhelmed by the amount of time and thought that had gone into every intricate step, lift and movement – all planned to the very finest detail. Particularly with the youngest dancers who had been selected locally to perform, these dancers had spent just two weeks training with the English Youth Ballet and yet you struggled to tell them apart from the professionals. There was some serious up-and-coming talent on that stage and the audience certainly agreed, bursting out into applause at the end of a particularly detailed routine or clapping longer and harder than any audience I have previously come across.

Dartfod-2012-corps-swans-Act-2-Waltz-StartBoth me and my friend were left speechless by the performance – the only words we could use to sum it up were “Wow” and quite frankly I’m not even sure I’m doing the production justice in this post. All I know is that I have firmly rediscovered my love of dance, particularly ballet, and that it has certainly inspired me to watch other ballet productions. I am now rather desperate to go and see Matthew Bourne’s all-male version of Swan Lake, which I’m sure is equally breathtaking. For those unsure of whether they would love ballet of not – I can’t tell you whether you would or not, but I had thought I would find it boring when in reality I was transfixed. I would recommend going at least once in your life for an experience that is completely incomparable to theatre or cinema.

Are you a lover or a hater of the ballet? And have you seen a production by the English Youth Ballet?


Lots to look forward to this March

Swan Lake

Swan Lake

Any of my readers will know I had a pretty terrible start to the year and that all of this drama has carried on throughout the last few weeks – but thankfully I’m starting to reach the other side of things. You know how it is, when you are in a situation you often struggle to see beyond it and to put things in perspective until suddenly, one day, you start to realise that things will sort themselves out.

With everything going on, I haven’t really been in the mood to do the usual of going out for meals, to gigs and the like, so you may have noticed the lack of reviews over the past two months. I will soon be changing that, because I have suddenly realised quite how many things I have lined up for March – it’s going to be a busy month for shows, theatre and music, which will be great to really get back to normal. Here are some of the fantastic shows I have coming up:

Ella Eyre

Ella Eyre

I will be seeing the English Youth Ballet performing Swan Lake at Norwich Theatre Royal to start with –  this I am very excited about having not been to the ballet for several years. I absolutely adore the story of the white and black swan and am really looking forward to seeing a national touring company perform live on stage – especially since the tickets are official review ones thanks to a huge entertainments feature I wrote about the show.

Comedian Miles Jupp is also on the list for a night of hilarity at the Arts Centre in my home town – the tickets were a Christmas present and I am looking forward to seeing another comedian because it has been a while since the last one. I haven’t seen any of Jupp before now, so am intrigued to see what kind of set he will be doing. From the blurb on the website, it seems he discusses everything from fatherhood to other people’s pants!

Jim Cartwright’s Two will take me back to the gorgeous Westacre Theatre with my family for a night. All of the productions at this theatre are of fantastic quality and I always look forward to reviewing any of the shows because they are just so easy to write about! I’m looking forward to this one because it is so different to any I have seen before – mixing business and marriage with a lot of oddball characters.

Back to XOYO London for another amazing gig – Ella Eyre tickets were another Christmas present and I am so excited to see her perform live, especially after the BRITS! She has such an incredible voice and I loved seeing her perform with Rudimental but it will be totally different seeing her perform on her own. And do I even have to say, I have incredible hair envy of her locks.

Finally, my Christmas present to my Grandad was tickets for the whole family to go and see West End show, Dreamboats and Petticoats, on tour in my home town. He absolutely loves the music from the shows and we buy him a CD every Christmas, so when I heard the show was coming to us, I just had to get him tickets. Looking forward to a nice family evening out.

Dreamboats and Petticoats

Dreamboats and Petticoats

I will review all of these shows for you guys and I can’t wait to share these with you all. I’m also really excited to have so much lined up for next month – it will be nice to have some fun after a tough few months. After a few gorgeous sunny days, it seems like spring is well and truly on the way so I see it as a good time to put things in the past and move on to summer fun.

Have you seen any of these shows – what did you think? What else have you guys got planned for March?