WOW ... what a show!
Last night I attended the press showing of Matthew Bournes "The Red Shoes" at The Lowry, Manchester and I was blown away. I didn't know the story line of the production but I had high hopes it would be good due to other shows The New Adventures have performed. For those of you who don't know I used to dance and studied it at school and university so Matthew Bournes productions are well known to me. Another reason why I was so excited to go.
"The Red Shoes is a tale of obsession, possession and one girls dream to be the greatest dancer in the world" The dance has been created as an adaptation of the 1948 film of the same name, first created in 2016 and revived this year for another tour with most of the original cast members. Set to a score of music by Bernard Herrman as soon as the curtain goes up you know you are in for a treat. Matthew Bourne said he wanted his productions to tell stories, to be more than just a dance and believe me this did exactly that. I am not a theatre critic or do I write dance reviews for a living, I also want you to go and see the show yourself so I don't want to spoil the surprise. So instead I am going to share with you my thoughts and opinions of the show.
One of the main things I loved about this show was the development of characters and how well the story was portrayed without words, the dancers don't just dance they perform! It is effortless moving from one move to the next whilst showing us personality and telling a narrative. And even if the same dancer is playing more than one role throughout the show you would never know as each role is held on its own.
And the dancers ! Oh my goodness the dancers were insane. The sheer strength from all of them mixed with perfect grace created effortless choreography. It was truly beautiful to watch. Ashley Shaw who played Victoria Page (the lead) was incredible and really captured her characters desire and want for both dance but also love. It was awe inspiring to watch and really made both myself and my friend want to start dancing again.
In the first act we get introduced to the main characters Boris Lermontov: the Ballet Impresario, Victoria Page: our rising star and leading lady and Julian Craster: the composer. It is in this act where we follow the ballet company and how Victoria and Julian came to be a apart of it. As the show is about a ballet company there is a a performance of the ballet within it. This is what closes Act 1. The ballet was beautiful to watch with the change in set and design to a more monochrome look set it in contrast from the rest. There is a moment in it with shooting stars (if you go you will know) that gave me goosebumps.
In Act 2 we see how love in it's variety of forms plays a part in our decisions, whether that's love for a person, the arts or your ambition. There are twists and turns in the plot with a set design to match taking us through the story without pause. Finishing with a lot to take away from.
What I got most from this piece was passion. Passion in the movement, passion in the storytelling, passion with the performance. It was a delight to watch and I couldn't recommend it enough to you all. You don't have to be into ballet or even dance to enjoy it, if you enjoy theatre and storytelling you will enjoy this. It is only on until Saturday so don't miss out on seeing it !!!
Now I'm off to go and book myself onto a dance class ASAP
Love Vicki xxx
** I was invited to the show but the post, review and thoughts are all my own.**