Peter Pan

Dates and Venue 17, 18 and 19 April 2008 @ 8.00 pm with matinee performances on 17 April at 1.15 pm and 19 April @ 2.00 pm | Queen Elizabeth Theatre

Choreography Septime Webre Music Carmon DeLeone

Reviewer Ross Michael Pink

Ballet BC’s production of Peter Pan at the venerable Queen Elizabeth Theatre was an energetic and entertaining event. Part fairytale, part cartoon and part acrobatic delight, Peter Pan was a sensory and artistic achievement outside the normal bounds of traditional or modern ballet.

Ballet BC, under the experimental and creative tutelage of John Alleyne, is constantly testing audiences with new ideas and new forms of dance expression. The Peter Pan performance was successful from an artistic, technical and audience vantage point.

One of the highlights of the evening was the spectacle of “airborne dance” as Australian dancer Shannon Smith, in the role of Peter Pan, nimbly danced in mid air with the aid of transparent strings holding him aloft. This is no easy feat and one which Smith managed with great aplomb and careful balance. The art of superb talent is to make the difficult look easy and this, Smith accomplished with panache.

South African Marianne Bauer – Grobbelaar was exquisite in the role of Wendy Darling. She is an accomplished dancer with firm yet graceful movement. Bauer-Grobbelaar is a newcomer to Ballet BC having studied at the National School of the Arts in her native South Africa and later danced with Cape Town City Ballet.

The costuming for this performance was excellent, colorful and detailed. In a production of this type, where mood, imagery and colorization contributes mightily to the overall effect, the costume and set design led respectively by Claudia Lynch and Jay Depenbrock and Holly Highfil deserves special applause.

The choreography was masterfully managed by Septime Webre with music provided by Carmon DeLeone. Alleyne and the dancers of Ballet BC deserve high praise for launching an ambitious project and carrying forth the Peter Pan production with energy and verve.

© 2008 Ross Michael Pink