Wednesday, 24 August 2011

The Guangdong Acrobatic Troupe's Swan Lake at the Birmingham Hippodrome

I have to admit, the actual idea of going to the ballet is often more appealing to me than actually seeing it. Many times I've tried to sit through three acts of wonderful movement, music and scenery but by the end of Act One I'm often ready to go home. However, The Guangdong Acrobatic Troupe's production of Swan Lake disproved my "Act One only" theory.

The production mixes ballet with circus as the company tells the story of Swan Lake. I can't even begin to detail the amazement of the performance: from men dressed as swans en pointe (that's ballet terms for "on their tip toes"), to dancging frogs, clowns dancing on giant spinning globes and swans prancing about the stage on roller skates.

My personal highlight of the night was watching three men balance poles on the shoulders whilst others ran up them somersaulting from one pole to another. The entire Hippordrome audience was captivated from beginning to end. Another great feat for me was watching the principle dancers perform something I never thought I would see: an attitude promenade en pointe on someone's head (another ballet term: "one leg in the air, the other on tip toes, on someones head whilst turning").

I cannot praise this production enough! The company deserves all it's success and I applaud everyone involved with the show. I'd also like to say a big thanks to the Birmingham Hippodrome Frist Night Scheme... I wouldn't usuall book to see a show like this but thanks to them I was able to see a spectacular production that I will never forget. Who knows, maybe the next time I'm at the ballet I'll be able to sit through all three acts?

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