The classic tale by Hans Christian Andersen of the mermaid who fell in love with a prince came to life at Her Majesty’s Theatre in the 22nd annual performance by Ballarat Dance Works. As the school does not participate in dancing competitions or the Royal South Street Competition, this is the only chance for the public to see the results of the hard work of teachers and students.
The entire school performed, from the tiniest of pre-school dancers to the senior students, all directed by the head of the school Miss Pamela Waghorn.
Clearly it was a performance which had been months in planning- the costumes, backdrops, scenery, choreography and of course the dancing. For the reviewer,whose last time at a ballet school performance was as a dancer herself in 1984, ballet recitals have definitely come a long way in professionalism and presentation. The preparation truly showed in the results. The principals were accomplished and were able to move the narrative on through their dance.
The music was an interesting blend of classical pieces and contemporary tunes with a dash of retro thrown in-sometimes it was a little jarring to go from a classical piece into something like Michael Jackson’s Beat it. The dance styles too reflected the range of dance classes taught of ballet, tap, funk and contemporary.
What was apparent from the performance was that everyone, both the students and the audience were enjoying themselves. The audience gave rousing applause after every dance and were quite forgiving of the occasional lapse.
All of the students received a rose as a token of appreciation from Miss Pam. The mums also got a pat on the back from the teachers for preparing the dancers with the arduous task of hair and makeup.
One young performer interviewed after the show, announced it as ‘great’ and said ‘Yes I want to do ballet next year. Can we go home and have some cake Mummy?’