Monday, 16 May 2022

Feelgood entertainment with innovative ballet set to Beatles music

Feelgood entertainment with innovative ballet set to Beatles music

THERE was a buzz of anticipation among the audience (of all ages) as live musicians burst into She Loves You followed by a string of favourite Beatles
numbers.

This was the opening to a show that is a collaboration between Chevalier Ballet, from New York, and tribute band Beatlemania.

There’s a remarkable story behind the evening’s entertainment since only after a range of fits and starts did the show find its way to the Kenton stage. Covid delays and travel restrictions meant that innovative solutions had to be found and this bunch of musicians and dancers, some of them still students, had got together only very recently. A huge bravo that such an accomplished evening’s entertainment could be pulled together so quickly under the artistic direction of Sara Knight.

With Here Comes the Sun, the dancers appeared on stage to begin a performance of pure, mesmerising magic.

The three principal dancers were stunning. Sean Scantlebury brought to his poised, athletic dancing wonderful characterisation and a touch of humour in numbers such as When I’m 64. His duet with Hanna Tsao in Yesterday was a sombre tearjerker.

Hanna and Lauren Mead held the audience rapt with their elegant and dramatic response to Something.

Congratulations to all the dancers who treated us to lithe and fluid movement throughout the programme, from the quirky I Am The Walrus to the swirling finale of the dreamlike A Day In The Life. There was a clear and sobering narrative in Eleanor Rigby and bustling energy in Penny Lane.

Knight’s choreography is innovative and varied, sometimes incorporating a cheeky Sixties vibe.

Splashes of colour through costume and lighting gave added visual appeal.

Beatles Ballet was a tremendous feelgood evening with the audience encouraged to relax, enjoy themselves and sing along to the good-humoured, excellent music of Beatlemania.

It was very enjoyable to reconnect with Lennon and McCartney lyrics but Beatles Ballet was also a perfect example of how dance can be a language to express joy, distress and love.

At the end, there was a well-deserved standing ovation from an audience enthralled by this superb show.

Susan Creed

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