Saturday, 20 May 2017

"Peter Pan"
Duchess Theatre, Long Eaton.
Alexandra's School of Dance and Theatre present an original version of Peter Pan, written as well as choreographed by Alex Tavener.
The school teach children from 2 years of age upwards in various styles of dance and theatre. I've not seen anything by this group before, but I know that this will not be the last I see of the group, or the members.
The "Peter Pan" story has been revisited and within the story Alex had included several styles of dance, combining various musical styles from Justin Timberlake's "Can't Stop the Feeling" and S Club 7's "Reach" to Debussy's "Clair de Lune" to classic Disney songs and even Max Bygraves!
One thing to notice from the programme is the size of the school, from Pre-School to Seniors.
There's always going to be that "aaaahhh" factor with the little ones, It's the best age to get them interested in dance and theatre and if you can grab them at that age, you have every chance of keeping them, because all little girts, and boys, like to dance. Add to that getting a rousing recognition from the audience will leave them wanting more of the same.
I'm not going to mention every one because I'll be here forever but from where I sat, they all looked as if they were enjoying every minute of being on stage, albeit just one teary moment, but hey, it can be frightening having all that adoration!
The seniors presented a very traditional grown up ballet sequence which was really relaxing to watch. There's something about watching ballet that has that affect on me which is why I love ballet. It's exciting, passionate and relaxing and the seniors made you feel like you were having a virtual massage it was so laid back.
Let's look at the character actors....
Ava Haylock (Lost Girl), Giselle Taverner (Tiger Lily), Rachel Gould (Great Big Little Panther/Mother), Lily Stobo ( Mermaid Queen) Harmony Torrington (Fairy Queen), Hayley Watson (Saptain Hook/father), Christopher Oliver (Storybook Mr Smee), Adam Taylor (Storybook Captain Hook), Francesca Budden (Tinkerbell), Nana The Dog (Alex Tavener), Holly Cooke (Michael), Sylvie Cole (John), Darcy Cole (Wendy) and Harvey Taverner (Peter Pan).
Playing the title role, Peter Pan, I'm obviously going to focus on Harvey, but you can tell that all the character actors have really nailed their roles because of the magic they produced on stage.
Harvey Taverner is a dancer who will have a big future if that is what he wants from theatre. I've not seen a ballet dancer of his age (13) as good and as confident as he is. Just look at his hand extensions and his pointed toes, they flow. Just look at the ease of his lifts, no struggling, no effort needed, He looks confident and has great leadership qualities as he guides the younger dancers round.
As he gets older he will build his core and upper body strength and will be an incredible dancer. He, I'm sure, is aware of the time, hard work and practice that goes into training, much the same as any athlete.
I don't say this because his mum runs the school, I say this because he is very good at what he is doing. Harvey is also a great role model for the others in the school.
The costumes are wonderful, the sound was crystal clear (Ben Tennett), some lovely projection shots and lighting (Dave Dallard) and the stage manager (Christine Hewitt), with all of those children deserves a medal.
This was just a lovely, entertaining show which highlights the very talented young people we have in the locality. You can see the hard work that everyone has put in, and just looking round the theatre, you could see so many proud parents, and they have every right to be. So should Alex and her teachers Georgie Ure and Rachel Murray.
"Peter Pan" is at the Duchess Theatre, Long Eaton until Sunday 21 May 2017 where there is a matinee and evening show. See the dance and theatre stars of tomorrow, today.

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