10 July 2006

Images of Dance, Peacock Theatre, 9th July 2006

OK, OK, I only went because I wanted to see Pineapple Poll, I admit it.

This was obviously a "Mums and Dads go to see their kids in a show and reassure themselves that all that money spent on dance training wasn't wasted" evening.

Pas de six from "Laurentia" - shame that the recorded music also included the scrapes of the orchestra's chairs and applause from the audience (at one point there was even clapping in time to the music!). And shame that the cute dark boy with the big thighs and the nice arse fell over. Girl doing the fouettes was excellent - very crisp and didn't travel all over the stage while doing them, which is a skill that eludes many professional ballerinas. One to watch out for in the future, I think.

Openings (?) - it was called something like this but I can't really remember. And it was what I call "Oppin' abaht to plinky plonky music". Modern stuff. Discordant "music" and odd lighting effects. Clive seemed to like it. I switched off and twiddled the hair on my arm for 20 minutes. I thought there was rather more applause than was justified.

Othello - Clive sneered when I said that I had found this confusing because the dancer playing Othello was a blond. Interesting piece though, nicely danced. The girl playing Desdemona was very good. The cute dark boy with the big thighs and the nice arse played Iago in a costume that brought back horrible memories of "Ariodante" in Barcelona.

Pineapple Poll - the highlight of the evening for me, and the only reason I went, really. Shame that the music was taped and not live, but then I think that all the performances at the Peacock have taped music. I can't recall ever seeing anything there with a live orchestra. But it was very, very good. I do find Osbert Lancaster's set designs very fussy, too highly coloured and prissy though, and thought that these detracted from the performance a little. It was interesting to see how well Sullivan's music had been used to indicate specific emotions, and even cleverer that Gilbert's unheard lyrics pointed these up even further ("Twenty lovesick maidens we" being used for when the girls of the town are mooning over Captain Belaye, for example, and "The world is but a broken toy" for when Poll realises her love for him is in vain). Dancing very good throughout, with Jasper (the cute dark boy with the big thighs and the nice arse) and Captain Belaye both excellent - the former in his dockside solo when he thinks Poll has drowned herself and the latter in his opening solo (excellent footwork) particularly. Some of the male corps de ballet looked uncomfortable and perhaps under rehearsed - or maybe they were just bad dancers. Some nice costumes - although Poll looked grim in a lime green dress and ginger wig. Particularly liked the business with the cannon. Would certainly like to see this piece again sometime.

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