English Youth Ballet Delight A Packed House.

English Youth Ballet

Swan Lake

Theatre Severn

11/April/2015

 

It was a massive ovation that heralded the end of this magical and spectacular performance of Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake; and it was earned.

Reaching out into the community and auditioning youngsters from all corners of the British Isles, this company goes the extra mile keeping the art form and convention alive as they bring in new blood. They also seem to have an uncanny knack of getting it right as was seen on the main stage of Theatre Severn this evening.

With a cast of around a hundred the show moved along at a sumptuous pace with each foot never missing the step and each dancer never missing a cue. One can only imagine the herculean size of the task the choreographers faced. They triumphed.

With a story of questionable morality, the nobility are set on trying to get a financially sound marriage for Prince Seigfeld,However he is intent on following his heart for love and falls for Odette, a beautiful maiden that he chances to meet in the woods.

The equation is further complicated by the evil Baron Rothberg turning Odette into a swan. Just as the going was good for the hapless Prince. Poor Odette can only be saved from her fate as a swan by love.  Pure love.

But love is corruptible and for a night of lust with Odile he loses his Odette. So the rivalry plays out until eventually like Romeo and Juliet the only way Odette and The Prince can be together is in death; and there it is. Love getting people into sticky messes yet again!

As a critic that tends to watch ballet with my ears one is pleased to report that these ballet dancers with ages ranging from about six to late teens, did not make a sound as they leapt , Pirouetted, Demi Plied and plied through this beautifully costumed and breath taking spectacle.

Art for arts sake is of course, naturally important because it is what we can do as a species. But when art reaches out to give the youth of Britain a chance to taste, feel and perform it, the performance takes on a whole new dimension. To see steps hundreds of years old, each with an individual name, each laboured over and rehearsed and rehearsed , one feels that this company is a safe pair of feet.

To see children so focussed and desperate in getting it right, and doing so, is a great experience.

A performance given by this company is so much more than just an performance of a well known ballet. This show is a shared experience. Audience members understanding how hard the art form is and yet seeing it executed so skilfully by ones so young is quite humbling and brought us all together.

Of all our  arts Ballet may be the hardest one to achieve, the pain and strain of getting it right is awesome. Tonight one saw bodies being pushed and stretched and worked to full endurance, yet every dancer,  made it look so easy. So to repeat the opening line of this review, It was a massive ovation that heralded the end of this magical and spectacular performance of Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake; and it was earned.

This is a four star review.

Owen J. Lewis

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Owen Lewis Owen Lewis

Owen Lewis was born fifty something years ago in the land of the black puddings. For the geographically challenged that is in Lancashire. Moving to Shropshire From 1970 Owen was brought up in Church Stretton. His first real job was in radio. After starting on BBC Radio Shropshire he became known on Marcher Sound, broadcasting throughout the North West for several years. After a university degree course in Theatre, Owen became an actor and went on to play "Pirate Bill" in The Alton Towers Hotel. He also made several television appearances. Returning to university he took his PGCE enabling him to teach. That saw him on the Essex coast as a drama teacher and latterly as a Creative Educational Liaison Officer making films and creating new teaching methods to employ on children in need of more help in their fundamental learning skills. Published playwright Owen ultimately wants a house boat in Amsterdam to focus on his work as Playwright and Poet.

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