Sophia is Backstage! at the ballet…


Backstage! blog by Sophia Moseley

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Position one, two, three and four and the demi plié; I still remember each of them but perhaps it’s that cliché about riding a bike, you never forget. Although I was probably less keen to go to my Saturday morning ballet classes than I was to dash down to the sweet shop on my bike, but that’s another story. However, whilst I didn’t progress my ballerina skills beyond grade II, I never stopped loving ballet.

So when the JSLN Dance Company came to the Marine Theatre to perform ‘Variations of Pointe’, I did a déboulé in double quick time.

Choreographed by Sӧren Niewelt who has had the privilege of dancing with famed German choreographer Pina Bausch, the performance was presented in three very different acts starting with an adaption of Petrouchka. The costumes are cheerfully bright and colourful and the story of unrequited love is brilliantly conveyed to the audience. I loved the way the ballerina marionette moved seamlessly from her wooden puppet stiffness to the smooth and graceful flow of that famous burlesque ballet.

Niewelt’s choice of adapting the TV sitcom ‘Allo ‘Allo into ballet in Act 2 was met with a mixed response and if it wasn’t for the fact I was familiar with the TV programme, I’m not sure I would have got it. With the theme music to Bond’s Golden Eye, songs La Vie en Rose and Springtime for Hitler, it was an unruly musical mixture that accompanied the story. Of course, the Fallen Madonna with the big boobies also made an appearance!

The third and final Act was something more akin to what I am used to with music by Vivaldi this more conventional form of dance shows the smoothness and elegance that for me is what ballet is all about. The sheer strength combined with the fluid beauty of each allégro and pas de deux; there’s no razzmatazz or chutzpah, just that incredible magic of ballet.

Now where did I put that old Raleigh push bike..?