Dramatic stage sets, elegant handcrafted costumes and Tchaikovsky’s beautiful music combine to tell a story based on a much-loved fairy tale set in an enchanted world of castles and curses, forests and fairies….and it’s a show not to be missed.
The show is for one night only at An Grianan tonight, Thureday, (www.angrianan.com for tickets).
This innovative company is enjoying rave reviews for its engaging and always entertaining performances. The Company’s talented dancers, winning five-star praise from audiences and critics alike delight with exhilarating dances.
Whether you’ve seen Ballet Theatre UK’s dancers before or have yet to experience the thrill of classical ballet, this dramatic new interpretation of one of the most popular ballets will have you captivated.
It has already been named as one of the top five productions in the UK by The Independent newspaper.
Below is an interview with Artistic Director, Christopher Moore
Q: Can you tell us a little bit about Ballet Theatre UK and how you came to found it?
CHRIS: Ballet Theatre UK is a mid-scale, quality, classical dance company performing to regional venues with a bold and unique approach to creating new theatre productions and a wish to raise the awareness of dance. I danced professionally for over a decade subsequently becoming more involved with choreography, so it was a natural progression for me to establish Ballet Theatre UK to showcase my own interpretations of popular classical ballets.
Q: Ballet Theatre UK has been described as ‘innovative’. Why is that exactly?
CHRIS: I’ve taken traditional ballets, which to some people have become museum pieces, and brought them up-to-date for the modern audience, engaging our audiences with a passion and energy that I hope is inspiring. The dancers bring much to the company and I am able create choreography which best shows their techniques.
Q: What inspires you when you are creating a new ballet or choosing a new repertoire?
CHRIS: I’ve taken inspiration from an eclectic mix of classical dance, theatre, popular culture and literature to create new interpretations of popular classical ballets, and I hope to continue to develop new and original productions. For instance, I’m interested in haute couture fashion, so I set our previous production of Cinderella in the fashion houses of Paris, designing the set and costumes around this theme.
Q: For how long do the dancers train for a new work?
CHRIS: Rehearsals are generally four weeks, but it never stops once on tour. Work continues on the nuances of the production, honing and perfecting the delivery of the show.
Q: How many people work behind the scenes on a production, and what kind of things to they do?
CHRIS: We have a Ballet Mistress, who is responsible for the daily class the dancers undertake and the wellbeing of the dancers; a Technical Manager who ensures the show is installed in each theatre and is ready to roll out on time every night; a Tour Manager who organizes, amongst other things, cast accommodation and their transportation to each venue; a Wardrobe Mistress and Admin staff. Their roles are varied and very important to the smooth running of the company. As Artistic Director I have overall responsibility for the company and its productions.
Q: The Sleeping Beauty is a fairytale. Why is it a good choice for a ballet?
CHRIS: The story has many characters that the dancers can portray, but in simple terms its good versus evil. Audiences appreciate a good story well-told, with elements of ‘peril’ and a happy-ever-after ending.
Q: Who will be dancing the lead roles during the tour?
CHRIS: We have a company ethos of dancer development and care for their wellbeing. We operate a rotational system allowing each member of the cast to share in taking on the lead roles. This allows for a freshness to be brought to each show.
Q: On tour, you have to constantly adapt to different theatres and stages. How long do you get to prepare and practice at a new venue?
CHRIS: We generally know what to expect at each theatre – the stage size, space in the wings etc. The technical team usually arrives around 9am and the dancers follow during the morning. Before each show, the dancers take a warm-up class then a show run through is undertaken after the technical installation is complete. Depending on travel distances it can be only a few hours to install the show and be ready to perform.
Q: The Sleeping Beauty has been described as having beautiful costumes and glittering stage sets. Can you give us a bit more detail, without giving too much away.
CHRIS: The costumes and stage sets are brand-new, having been specially commissioned for this new production. The costumes are in true fairytale design and, as in every little girl’s dream, complete with sparkling tutus.
Q: For those who have never watched ballet, how would you persuade them to come along?
CHRIS: I had a retired gentleman approach me after one of our shows who said that he had never been to a ballet before and was so pleased he had now done so, having enjoyed it immensely. I think it should be considered as one of life’s experiences; you’ll never know till you try it. A live show with a high visual content and rousing music will always set the heart beating faster!Tags: