Photo: Caroline Holden
The LBC was offered 50 tickets for the technical rehearsal of Nothern Ballet's Great Gatsby starting a run the week of 16 May at Sadlers Wells. There was a full house from LBC members as the offer of a full rehearsal is rare. Tuesday was a beautiful day with sunshine and blue sky which set the mood for an excellent afternoon of ballet.
We were greeted by a phalanx of clip boards on the entrance as there were a number of different organisations who had invited members to the rehearsal. So the first hurdle was finding which list you were on to register your attendance, that is it you are new to and have not met Susan the chair of LBC who was checking us in!
Upstairs in the auditorium the show started on time at 2pm with a live orchestra and the cast wearing casual clothes. As it was a technical rehearsal and I believe the last run through before a live and paying audience the same night, we had a few interruptions from the stage management to correct the placing of props on the stage and to speed up or slow down the speed of the music, but that did not detract from the flow of the dance or the rollout of the story.
It is a David Nixon choreography with music in the main by Richard Rodney Bennett (think 4 weddings and a funeral or murder on the orient express)… the cast were all young and lithe.. in contrast to the audience, myself in particular!
The first hour was full of dancing and some singing from the ballet performers. It was like a pleasant meeting of strictly come dancing meets ragtime with cha-cha and tangos involved, only a bit better performed. There were plenty of family melodies.
The second part of the show was shorter and was following the Scott-Fitzgerald script with death and a slower and more ominous beat to the music.. culminating in the shooting to death of the protagonist.
So, fellow LBC members I encourage you who are not encumbered by employment during the day, to sign up for any future rehearsals offered through the Ballet Circle.