I didn’t strap on the black wonders tonight…I went instead to watch other boys and girls strut their stuff in a special preview of Northern Ballet’s upcoming production of The Great Gatsby.
Here are some of the reasons the director gave for choosing members of his cast:
- “unbelievable articulation of his body”
- “you just can’t miss him”
- “unique way of moving”
- “masculinity and presence”
- “a spark on stage”
- “you have to look at him”
Honestly, it felt like looking into a talking mirror!
The dancing was thrilling, the music engaging (written by Richard Rodney Bennett, who you may remember scored Four Weddings and a Funeral) and – even performed against the blank canvas of a rehearsal studio – the decadent feel of the Roaring Twenties filled the room.
Afterwards, the director talked us through his process for turning a book renowned for its evocative words into an art form that is, of course, completely wordLESS.
The key, he said, was assembling the right cast, comprised of dancers who are able to inhabit a character completely, to bring that character to life through only movement and physicality, and to thrive on a challenging music score.
Put that cast to work on a choreographical interpretation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s famously precise and beautiful words, and you can tell the story through dance with nary a word spoken.
Fascinating, and inspiring.
But next week it’s back to gazelle class.