Wow! What a wonderful show it was: Swan Lake performed by students of the Rosemary Lane School of Ballet and Theatre Dance with guests from Elmhurst Ballet School.
I have both seen and performed in a number of ballet school shows (spanning decades and the land - from Edinburgh in the 70s/80s to Durham in the 90s/00s and most recently in Milton Keynes), but this was well and truly the stand out show. This time, I hasten to add, I was not performing, but instead busy behind the scenes supporting our two budding ballerinas and their peers.
The production was very professional, and the dancers beautifully turned out (in attire if not always from the hip - actually often from the hip; their technique is good). The classical story was cleverly adapted to allow for all the classes to take part from the very young ducklings, goslings and ducklings looking adorable in their feathery tutus, to the most accomplished dancers taking on several roles including the iconic white swans. The acts with the swan Corps de Ballet were stunning. Not that the other acts weren't stunning too - they were also a pleasure to watch, colourful and entertaining, but the swans just really were amazing.
I loved the contemporary and jazz pieces which sandwiched the ballet, and although I'm no West End critic, I think Nicola Daniels who put these pieces together is a very talented choreographer. She managed to get the best out of a mixed group of dancers in terms of age and ability. Pippa was proud to take part as the youngest member of the Jazz class and it was great to see her gain confidence with the older girls.
Actually, I was blown away by the whole thing. There are so many lovely dancers in the school. I have a great fondness for the girls I took classes with when I took my exam, and they were certainly a joy to watch, but every class seemed to have a number of great performers in it, and everyone seemed to do so well, dancing to their best ability. Of course I couldn't take my eyes off Pippa and Susannah when they were on stage! I am delighted that since the show they have been inspired to dance more and more, and it is quite a relief that Susannah has decided not to give up after all. They miss the show and want to do it all over again. And again.
With a blog named 'Diary of a Ballet Mum' it would have been rather remiss of me not to comment on the show, although a couple of weeks have now passed. So, a belated congratulations to all who were involved: each and every dancer, Owen Lane for his gravity defying leaps (and for turning Susannah's mouth into a giant 'O' when she watched those leaps, not to mention the pirouettes), Nicola for moving, inspirational original pieces of jazz and contemporary, the army of behind the scenes helpers, and last but by absolutely no means least, Rosemary who pulled it all together, believed in the strengths of her students and helped them shine with expert choreography and tuition. A success to be proud of for years to come.
This last photo I pinched from the facebook page, so thank you to whoever took it!