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Jan McNulty

Northern Ballet - The Great Gatsby - May 2019

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Northern Ballet opened a (very) short tour of The Great Gatsby at the Lowry.

 

I fell in love with this production all over again!

 

We were treated to an outstanding performance by a pitch perfect Ashley Dixon as Gatsby, an incandescent Antoinette Brooks Daw as Daisy and a glorious performance as Nick from Kevin Poeung.  Sean Bates was magnificent as the bad-tempered Tom with a very sensual Minju Kang as Myrtle and Mlindi Kulashe hurting as the cuckold Wilson.  Pippa Moore in her final couple of weeks as a leading dancer with the company was brilliant as Jordan.

 

I can't wait for tomorrow.

 

Northern Ballet are on fire!!!

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I’m going to see this next Saturday in Southampton, Jan. Thanks for your review- I’m really intrigued and excited to see the production and to see NB.

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So by Saturday night I had seen and LOVED all six performances of the week.

 

Northern Ballet is a company at the top of its game and Great Gatsby is one party I never wanted to end.  All the dancers looked as though they were having a ball.  I always say that the most joyous thing you can see on a ballet stage is Act 3 of Napoli but the Charleston party in this Gatsby runs it a very close second indeed.

 

Having read the book for the first (and only) time before the premiere in 2012 I realised just how clever David Nixon had been in his creation of the ballet.  To make it cohesive some of the things about Gatsby that we find out about towards the end of the book are covered by the device of a Young Gatsby as we see Gatsby looking back and explaining some things (but not all) to Nick and Jordan.

 

Apart from the wonderful performances by the corps, who all seemed to create characters during the various party scenes, we were treated to three outstanding casts (2 performances each) who all brought something different to the party.

 

Cast 1:  Ashley Dixon, Antoinette Brooks Daw, Kevin Poeung

 

Cast 2:  Javier Torres, Dominique Larose, Nicola Gervasi

 

Cast 3:  Riku Ito, Ayami Miyata, Jonathan Hanks

 

If anyone wants to know which cast I would recommend I would have to say all three of them!!  There were times in all the performances where the dancing on stage was so breath-taking I forgot to breathe.  

 

One of David Nixon's greatest attributes as a choreographer is his skill with choreographing stillness.  The moment when Gatsby meets Daisy in Nick's cottage is one such and Ashley's whole demeanour in that stillness and the intensity of his gaze as he saw Daisy just took my breath away.  Antoinette was just sublime as Daisy.  I must mention that Antoinette also appeared as a butler later in the run!  What a trouper she is!!

 

Javier both scintillated and moved at the end of the tango scene when Tom dragged Daisy away to go home.  Javier was just born to dance the role of Gatsby.  Dominique's debut showed us that she is a fantastic actress with every tiny gesture imbued with feeling and emotion.  Her dancing is luscious. 

 

The tango duet for Riku and Ayami was so beautiful and sensual it brought tears to my eyes.  Their performances were just sublime.

 

Kevin and Nicola had both performed the roles of Nick Conway before and both just inhabited the role.  Jonathan made his debut and his attention to the detail in his characterisation was wonderful.

 

So, I am now bereft that this party is over for me (although Gatsby is on in Southampton this week) and I just hope against hope that Gatsby is back in the rep very soon.

 

 

 

 

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Lovely review, Jan. I did my extended essay for my IB on The Great Gatsby so I would love to see it!  

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