Lights, Audience, Action

On the 10th of May, English and Drama students travelled to The Lowry Theatre to watch a ballet adaptation of the famous short novel “The Great Gatsby”.  Following a delicious meal with great company, the group sat, curious and excited waiting for the show to begin; which did not disappoint.

Northern Ballet’s exclusive new narrative ballet, has made a significant impact on the British dance scene.  The Great Gatsby, generally considered one of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s finest novels, tells the story of New York’s Long Island, in the heady, indulgent days of the ‘roaring twenties’.  Through the narrator, Nick Carraway comes to know his infamous neighbour Jay Gatsby, a mysterious millionaire with a secret past and a penchant for lavish parties.

The tension builds between husband Tom, his delicate wife Daisy, mechanic George Wilson and his wife Myrtle whom he suspects, rightly, of having an affair. Through startling flexibility and expression, the dancers really made the audience feel each movement beneath their feet.  It was lovely to get lost in this new piece, and to be inspired by costume, lighting and music.  Though this new perspective of performance distracted some of the students from the storyline, but, with a quick online reading of the synopsis, the group became well armed for the second half.

The vivid 1920s costumes and glamour really brought energy and enthusiasm to the performance, especially during scenes at Gatsby’s party.  The distortion of reflection, timing and props were faultless.

After being taken aback by this style of performance, which many students had never thought of attending, the English students are now more eager than ever to expand their knowledge about the fantastic novel in class, as well as the drama students who saw it as a brilliant reward for all of the hard work that they have been involved with this year.

The Ballet of “The Great Gatsby” is highly recommend for all.  It serves as a perfect mediator for people who have never seen a ballet before.  It is definitely one to look out for!