Jump to content

Northern Ballet - The Great Gatsby - May 2019

Recommended Posts

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!!!

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

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.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

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.





  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I went to see ‘Gatsby’ at the Mayflower yesterday and enjoyed it immensely. Beautiful choreography and dancing, both from the leads and the company as a whole. I saw cast number three - Riku Itu was a thoughtful and ardent Gatsby and Ayami Miyata a lovely Daisy - however, the whole cast were on fine form, and I must mention Matthew Koon who expressed Wilson’s pain so vividly. The party in the New York apartment was full of drama, the big party scenes were vibrant and compelling and the love duets full of passion and yearning. I’ve read the book several times and felt the story was necessarily simplified a little- I liked the use of young Gatsby and young Daisy as a narrative technique to explain Gatsby’s past, and it gave the story an extra layer of poignancy. 


The staging was very imaginative- the simple set cleverly represented many different scenes effectively. I particularly liked Gatsby’s deck with the symbolic green light, as well as the mirrored background in Gatsby’s house which reflected and distorted the characters. The lighting too was gorgeous with the blues, the opulent gold tones and the sunrise colours. I thought the choice of Sir Richard Rodney Bennett’s music was inspired- swooning and dreamlike in some places, achingly sad in others, and played with great sensitivity and style by the orchestra. The use of a recording of Bennett himself singing “I Never Went Away” at the epilogue, followed by that sudden and powerful ending left me very moved. Although it had been a long time since I’d seen Northern Ballet perform, I will definitely be planning to see them again before the end of the year.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

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

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...