West Australian Ballet premieres The Great Gatsby
His Majesty’s Theatre, Perth, 14 September
Reviewed by Olivia Ostaszewskyj & Janelle Vaccaro
On Thursday evening I was thrown back to the 1920’s. The foyer adorned flappers and gangsters welcoming guests for the opening night of West Australian Ballet’s The Great Gatsby. The scene was set, and the ballet didn’t disappoint. The frivolous energy at the front door carried onto the stage.
The Great Gatsby, a tale of love, lust, glamour, luxury and disillusion, was shadowed nicely highlighting choreographer David Nixon‘s, quest to communicate not just the story line but the notion of the ‘pursuit of happiness’.
There were some absolute standout performances which really compelled and held the story together. Melissa Boniface portrayed a sultry, sassy Myrtle Wilson, along side a strong, contemporary performance from Liam Green as George Wilson. Solid performances by the well cast and suited Matthew Lehmann as Tom Buchanan carried this shows plot. Commendable performances showing the soft side of The Great Gatsby by Carina Roberts and Matthew Edwardson really sold the audience Gatsby’s past, without their emotive performance the story would be at a loss.
The vibrancy, colour and fun of the 1920’s really came to life in the party scenes, the company as a whole rising to the occasion and presenting fabulous decadent performances. David Nixon’s choreographic genius shone through with beautiful layering and true texture to his work within these performances. Stand out moments from many cast members in these scenes gave true highs to the story allowing the audience to be immersed in the party.
The masterminds of Jerome Kaplan and Tim Mitchell saw the stage illuminated with beautiful backdrops and sets Them lush stunning moody lighting, not overdone, sometimes minimalistic but very effective all the same. Great artistry by the production team.
Nixon had a true challenge depicting the classic and well known story of The Great Gatsby. Overall the ballet was well thought through, choreography well suited and extremely clever in parts depicting the cavalcade and evolving sides of the story. A well portrayed and extremely enjoyable time with the WA Ballet and a must see for those that will enjoy a modern take on and old classic.
THE GREAT GATSBY | WA Ballet with West Australian Symphony Orchestra
14 – 30 September 2017
His Majesty’s Theatre
Bookings via TICKETEK, or visit waballet.com.au