A show that can keep a theatre of young children spellbound for 75 minutes must be a magical performance. That is exactly what the Royal New Zealand Ballet's Meridian Season of Angelina Ballerina's Big Audition delivered at Baycourt yesterday. The performance danced into the hearts of a welcoming young Tauranga audience and their parents.
The anticipation for the show built outside Baycourt where a flurry of pink and white tutus and mouse ears queued up.
Designed with the youngest audience in mind, this charming production, originally created by the English National Ballet, provided the perfect treat for children and adults alike.
The colourful mouse costumes were delightful, but it was the superb talent of the dancers that was truly mesmerising. Wearing mouse heads that concealed their faces, they had to convey their emotions through their bodies. Their moves differentiated the characters in choreography that featured not only classical ballet but hip-hop, contemporary dance, tap dancing and Irish dancing.
The simple plot was perfect for the age of the audience: Angelina Mouseling dreams of becoming a famous ballerina and goes to audition at the Camembert Academy where she meets a range of different dancers.
Dancer Jenny Nixon delighted the audience as Angelina, and Emma Findlay was also a standout as Alice Nimbletoes, perfectly conveying the mixture of sadness and happiness when her friend got a better gig. Tarrah Burns was fantastically versatile as both Miss Lily and Miss Mini, and Edward Fallon as Henry provided lots of laughs.
In the interval, a group of budding young ballerinas even got up on the stage and started dancing. As we filed out of the theatre, little girls and boys were humming and pirouetting, having absorbed the magic of this knock-out show that really does make you want to get up and dance.