Classic Dance Delights A Varied Audience

Moscow Ballet La Classique
Theatre Severn


Of all the art forms known to us, possibly dance is one of the broadest of churches. With such a huge variety of styles and genres it is clearly one of the most diverse of the art-forms we have.  Dance has been used to lead people to war, to celebrate peace, to make a point, to change generations, it has marked weddings and celebrated divorces, it is magical, it can be aggressive, enchanting or menacing and, more so, it gives us the right to be. 

Why then, one asks, do some dinosaurs insist that classical ballet should be considered to be a highbrow event, suitable only for business men to take clients to, or maybe somewhere where the pompous critic calls in at after a sumptuous meal in the Ivy or some such place? With the advent of travelling ballet companies, that tour the provinces unafraid to bring the classics to erstwhile inaccessible towns, ballet is more available now than ever before and much more within the price range of the working man, that elitism has gone and Ballet is reaching now  to so many more people.

Thanks for that needs to be shared amongst companies such as the Moscow Ballet La Classique who practically, perfectly, pirouetted, pointedly into the hearts of their audience in Theatre Severn last night. Dancing the lesser known of the Tales of Hoffman, Cappelia, the troupe, without a slipper out of place, charmed their audience delightfully.

At this point I won’t bore you with narrative instead I will talk of the soft beauty of the ladies and the strong masculinity of the men. So simply and lightly each dancer silently moved around the stage with willow flexibility.

Disappointedly the score was on backing track. Naturally an orchestra would have been nicer but as you must be aware, the less staff a business has to pay the more chance it has on keeping its head above water. Orchestras aren’t cheap. However having that knowledge doesn’t mean that you can’t help harbour a little disappointment as the top notes, which should resonate with clarity, are lost amongst an electronically supressed and compressed sound broadcast through the multitude of speakers planted around the auditorium.

Danced within the most simplistic of scenery, but lavishly coloured and designed, the piece had a mystical feel of Old Theatre. The whole building was working, the pulleys, the flies and the flats all went to making this ballet an enjoyable theatrical experience.

I hope however it isn’t ever suggested that Ballet is somehow a cut above the rest. If it is described so or worse still you are one of the ones that perpetuate the myth, hear this, Ballet is as valid and relevant, as important or as entertaining as so many other forms of dance from Morris to Hip Hop and from Disco to Street. Each of the genres should take their equal place in creating the mosaic that is the world of dance.

This is a four star review.

Owen Lewis


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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