Romance, drama and fantasy were in evidence at Farlington School– all conjured up by Tchaikovsky’s memorable score and Natalie van de Braam’s mesmerising and original choreography in Sleeping Beauty.
The ballet pits evil, embodied by the sinister Carabossa, against good, and the acrobatic, frenetic dancing of mischievous fairies provided a clear dramatic and visual contrast to the graceful elegance of the courtiers, christening guests, pages and friends.
The named fairies – of love, joy, playfulness, song and beauty – all had individual character as well as charm and gave a wonderful example to the youngest dancers, quite enchanting as the good fairies. The costumes, make-up and effects were of the highest standard, not least in the representation of wild nature, conveyed through the abandoned dancing of the woodland fairies.
Their fluent and professional dancing was faultlessly complemented by the poise of Abbie Mellor and Tara Williams as the Queen and the Lilac Fairy
Romance, of course, is the key to this ballet and the love story was portrayed with great sensitivity by Leah Constantine as Princess Aurora and Thalia Ballinger as the dashing prince. Their fluent and professional dancing was faultlessly complemented by the poise of Abbie Mellor and Tara Williams as the Queen and the Lilac Fairy.
The versatility of this talented cast of 60 girls, with ages from 4–17, came across perfectly in the fantasy of the wedding scene peopled with nursery rhyme figures, and in which each dancer gave her role a colourful and imaginative personality. Pace and grace; interaction and reaction; discipline and joyous delight – this de Braam Academy production had them all.