Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Bond-style Ballet

00 and His 7, The London Ballet Company, Bridewell Theatre – reviewed on 8th November

The London Ballet Company aims to “bring the highest quality of dance performances to intimate venues”, engaging with audiences who wouldn’t usually see ballet. Its latest James Bond-style show at the Bridewell Theatre uses the well-known and well-loved films to inspire a charming performance, with not only great dance but also truly mass appeal.

Opening with the sounds of a drum beat as black-hooded dancers roll across the floor pointing guns, this is not a typical ballet. Our suave hero (Fran Mangiacasale) becomes irresistibly camp as he runs Baywatch-style across the stage in tight swimming shorts to accept his mission. His task is to retrieve a diamond necklace stolen with equally delightful and ridiculous humour by a masked criminal who simply parts the jewellery’s Velcro fastening.

This is clearly not great art, but it is undoubtedly great fun. Dancers are all trained at professional schools and their technique is of an excellent standard. Choreography is similarly well-crafted and entertaining to watch, with a diverse mix of styles from musical theatre to classical ballet and contemporary included.

The London Ballet Company now have a home at the Bridewell Theatre and will be performing there for 12 weeks in 2013. Just off Fleet Street, the venue offers low-cost lunchtime performances where local workers can bring along sandwiches and break up the day with a show instead of a Starbucks.

This really is quality dance made appealing for all. I look forward to seeing what theme the London Ballet Company will tackle next to continue encouraging a new audience to enjoy dance.

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