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Ballet Cymru - The Tempest - Buxton

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I dashed out of the rain in Buxton into the auditorium of the Opera House and entered a Tempest! To set the atmosphere there was a projection of a storm.


Ballet Cymru has ten dancers and a terrific interpretation of The Tempest. Darius James shows just what you can do with a small company to produce an inventive and attractive production. It has all the required elements for the Tempest from the storm that shipwrecks Alonso and co, to the tortured Caliban, the blossoming love affair between Miranda and Ferdinand and the relationship between Prospero and Ariel.


The set is very simple and uses projections very effectively to show the storm, Prospero's cave and various island settings. There is also the occasional projection of words.


Towards the end there is a gorgeously romantic duet for Miranda and Ferdinand and there are a couple of nice duets for Prospero and Ariel showing that he is the "master" and she is his "servant". The moment when he releases her from her servitude by removing the collar is very moving. Caliban's scenes are a mix of moving (where his tortured soul is evident) and hilarious when he tangles with Alonso's servants and they all get drunk.


There wasn't a cast sheet so I hope I don't name any of the dancers wrongly.


Lydia Arnoux was a total delight as Ariel. She gave a very intelligent portrayal of the spirit being as light as air but showing her subservience to Prospero. Sam Bishop was very regal and believable as Prospero. Emily Pimm Edwards and Daniel Morrison interacted beautifully as the young lovers Miranda and Ferdinand. Daisuke Miura was exceptional as Caliban giving a multi-layered performance as the tortured character.


As you may have guessed, I thoroughly enjoyed my soggy trip to Buxton. I'll be looking out for the Autumn Tour dates and hope I can get to see them again soon.

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  • 3 months later...

I went to see 'The Tempest' last week in Tewskebury with my youngest DD and her friend. I have to say that I agree with every word that Janet has written. It was a fabulous performance, from the exciting projection of the storm right through to the happy ending. We too picked out Lydia Arnoux as Ariel, Sam Bishop as Prospero and Emily Pimm Edwards as individuals whose performances were excellent and Daisuke Miura was, as Janet says, exceptional. One dancer to watch was also their apprentice dancer Aimee Williamson as the Jester. She was the favourite along side Daisuke Miura with the two girls I took.


In the theatre I was sat next to an elderly gentleman who told me he had never seen a live ballet performance before as it 'wasn't really his cup of tea'. At the interval he announced that this was 'absolutely captivating, that the dancers and their portrayal of their characters just enticed you in and captured your attention'. At the end he told me that had he known that ballet could be as beautiful and captivating as the performance he had just seen, he would have gone long before. So congratulations to Ballet Cymru for impressing a ballet cynic with their production.

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