JulieW Posted July 9, 2012 Share Posted July 9, 2012 Had a wonderful time at the show on Saturday afternoon and thought I'd do a quick review (I'm not good at technical things so it'll be quite vague!!). This was programme 1 and I'll be seeing programme 2 on Friday (not much different but a couple of different dances I believe). The evening started with a delightful "Mazurka" by the year 9s (I think) choreographed by Denise Lewin. The students looked lovely and performed beautifully - it was a lovely bright opening. Next was a contemporary piece, "Deja Vu", danced by the graduate year choreographed by Garry Tomlinson. I'd heard a bit about this before the performance but tried to watch it with an open mind, and actually I quite enjoyed it. It definitely looked under-rehearsed (which it was) and it looked like it needed developing further, but the dancers performed it well and as I said, was quite an enjoyable piece. Then the turn of the year 11s in "La Purezza Delle Linee" choreographed by Gloria Grigolato and Lee Robinson and danced to Rachmaninov's Piano Concerto No 1. A strong group of students and the dance showed their strengths well - I'm glad lots are staying at Elmhurst and I wish them all well for the next stage of their training. Next was the highlight of the show for many of us - a bit of Fosse - "Rich Man's Frug" from Sweet Charity and re-created by Michelle Blair. Look it up on YouTube if you've never seen it and you'll get a taste of what we were treated to. The graduates were absolutely fabulous in this. They managed to keep the feeling and style as it should be, but didn't over-do it. Special mention should go to Alyshia Waite in the main role (so well cast), and to Josh Woodhams and Joe Taylor. Can't wait to see it again on Friday. Then a chance for the younger students to perform for their parents in "Consider Yourself" - some stars in the making in there and a good opportunity for them to practice their performance skills. Flamenco is always a bit of a treat at Elmhurst - they are so lucky to have Ana Garcia (who then sings live at the performances with Jamie Fekete). The piece, "Cafe Garcia", started with two boys (Owen Daniels and I'm sorry I don't know the name of the other one) from 6.2 who created a great atmosphere and then it built with more and more dancers from different years. Some students could do with a bit more passion in their faces, but to be honest I think they're so busy concentrating on what their feet are doing it must be difficult!! Wonderful footwork which had the whole theatre vibrating. Well done everyone. After a short interval we had "The Alpha Beat" - a jazz piece choreographed by Jenny MacNamara with some of the upper school boys. I quite enjoyed this - the music was good and the boys danced well, but to be honest, it seemed out of place with everything else, and I would rather have seen something else in its place. Sorry boys. Now the turn of some of the lower school children again with three pieces: "Harmony" for the girls (not sure which year) choreographed by Dennie Wilson and Gareth Griffiths - the girls looked exhausted at the end as it involved a lot of running, but they showed off their ballet/dance skills well. Then "Les Jeunes Hommes" for boys (choreographed by Lee Robinson) and "Les Jeunes Filles" for the girls (choreographed by Samira Saidi) - all students from different year groups. Good performances from all the students who were given an opportunity to show what they could do. The boys piece was a little like a class in parts and I'd've liked different costumes, but lovely to see such strong work from them. An even shorter interval to put the fence and gate up.... and then we were treated to "Les Rendezvous" (Ashton) by the 6.2s and graduates. I wish I could see another cast do this too as there weren't many graduates in this performance but it was wonderful to see the students doing some really good quality ballet. Eri Nishibara and Takeshi Watanabe were great in the main roles and the boys in the pas de six managed their lifts and partnering really well. Lovely performances from everyone. And to finish the traditional defile where each of the year groups comes on and off, building to the end with everyone on stage. I do wish the choreography would allow each of the years to put in a small reverance to allow the audience to applaud (it happens quite naturally in the year 7 part which is lovely, and then everyone finds it a bit awkward after that). I'm looking forward to Friday's final performance when we usually get added glitter from the graduates. Overall, I think it was one of the better shows I've seen over the last 6 years, although I would have liked to see the graduates doing more ballet - we only saw some of them in Rendezvous and, apart from the Defile, that was the only ballet we saw them do. And finally I'd like to copy in something I wrote at the end of the review I did of the Elmhurst show in 2010 - because when I re-read it, I still feel exactly the same..... It's difficult with such a big school to give everyone a chance to shine in the end of year performances, but perhaps two different programmes could be offered with more for the lower school in one, and concentrating on the year 11s/sixth form in the other. Then, as parents, we'd all be a bit more satisfied. And the students need an opportunity to perform - they don't get many. My next comment is linked in to that - please, please Mr Kelly, try to get them in a theatre for a gala performance. I thought it was a very strong programme this year, but I spent lots of time thinking how wonderful they would've looked on a "proper" stage with a live orchestra and a big audience to perform to. I want people from all round the country to be able to come and watch them, not just parents/families (we can't buy enough tickets for all the friends and family who want to come) and "Friends". 10 Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
Create an account or sign in to comment
You need to be a member in order to leave a comment
Create an account
Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!Register a new account
Already have an account? Sign in here.Sign In Now