Thursday, March 13, 2008


Chelmsford Ballet Company


Sarah Woodroof's “Star Cross'd (Jazz)” was a brand new piece for this year's Chelmsford Ballet Company show. An energetic and inventive re-telling of Romeo and Juliet, it was uneven in its effect, but at its best it used its barefoot dancers in a thrillingly visceral staging.

The evening began with Les Sylphides, choreographed by Sandra Crossley; a simple setting, with very impressive work from the corps de ballet, beautiful stillness in repose and graceful pointe work. Tanya Davenport and Matthew Powell danced a brilliant pas de deux, and Bethany Pike was excellent in a spirited Waltz.

Nicolas Rombaut [English National Ballet School] and Lucy Durno gave us an exciting Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux, passionate and technically very secure.

The main work was La Boutique Fantasque, choreographed by CBC's artistic director Gillian Toogood. Big, colourful scenes, and lovely dancing from the Playing Cards and the Pirates, led by Dee-dee Codner's dashing Captain. Bethany Pike and Andy Potter were the gift-wrapped Can Can dancers, John Richardson the supercilious boutiquier. The story is a thin one, even by ballet standards, but the vivacity carried the day, and the evening ended in glorious confusion as the toys took over the shop.

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