A familiar tale and some familiar faces for the audience, balletLORENT’s retelling of the classic tale of Rumpelstiltskin as a final part of their fairy-tale trilogy gave high expectations for a magical experience.
A fairy-tale style steered the production as the voice of a narrator and some uplifting music led us through the tale. The show’s whimsical storytelling style even helped to gloss over how odd and dark the traditional plot of Rumpelstiltskin could get at times.
This was also a busy performance, from the set to the stunning costumes to the large cast of lead dances, chorus and a strong community cast of local children and older citizens who intertwined perfectly with the show.
In all honesty the community cast was what made the performance for me. They were all professional, natural and highly engaging to watch as they filled the stage with joy and dance. Cast through local open auditions, as was the case with each of balletLORENT’s Rumpelstiltskin tour locations, it instantly gave the audience a personal connection with the production. A heart-warming atmosphere filled the theatre as proud family members watched their children, grandchildren, parents and grandparents flow naturally with the core cast.
A video displayed on Pontio’s White Wall during the interval and after the end of the show was a nice touch too. Here we were given an insight into the casting and rehearsal process of the community cast. It added to my belief that this touch of community involvement was what made the show what it was.
Fittingly so, this production was very appropriately targeted towards families. As a result, some pieces such as the reappearance of the deceased Queen did feel a little too literal and corny for me. I didn’t feel this took away from the production as there was still plenty of chance for the audience to make their own interpretation as we followed the emotion of the dancing.
Humour came in at timely points too. The Shepherd’s flock of sheep were a sheer delight and easily took the spotlight on the stage. Typically known as a cast-off role in any school nativity, this production’s flock of sheep succeeded to be delightfully gentle and humorous as they easily stole the show– a must see!
Personally, the company name of balletLORENT may have sent out the wrong signals to novices to dance and ballet like myself. Instead of a traditional and complex ballet, this was a gentle and accessible introduction to modern dance. This was not a piece to ponder over and question but instead a chance to enjoy, relax and be uplifted by the magic of a fairy-tale.