modern balletFaerie Queene, choreographed by Ballet
British Columbia artistic director, John Alleyne, is a magnificent
work of creative depth. Alleyne is a bold innovator which carries a high
price tag in the fickle and demanding world of modern dance.
There is a spiritual side to Alleyne and also a deep
interest in classic tales. In his work,
Alleyne has offered some of his most beautiful and
reflective work. The inspiration, Alleyne says, came
from Shakespeare's comedy A Midsummer Night's Dream.
This is a piece where all the elements: story,
dancing, costume, music, staging, come together
gloriously and in perfect harmony. Faerie Queen is a story that opens
in a garden in Athens where a Greek hero, Theseus, and
Hippolyta, his shining wife, discuss their recent
wedding. What follows are tales of love and intrigue in the
world of the gods and reflections on the power and
mystery of love.
Alleyne has managed to
create an ethereal aura around his ballet and celebrate the enchantment
of the gods and the Fairyworld. Outstanding sets by Darren Waterston and costumes by Kim Nielsen add romantic beauty to the story.
The ballet is complemented by the steady composing
of Owen Underhill and the inspiring music of the ensemble. The Ballet BC dancers are excellent in this work and show the maturity
to convey deep emotions through movement. Simone Orlando as Puck, a spirit of mischief, Edmond
Kilpatrick as Theseus, the warrior, and Stephana Arnold as Hippolyta, his bride are talented and
evocative dancers. A relative newcomer, Chengxin Wai, originally from Dalian,China,
in the role of Thistledown, is a beautiful and graceful dancer.
The full house at the QE Theatre were clearly enthralled with Alleyne's work
and the elegant, emotional story his talented company expressed.
© 2004 Ross Pink