By Shirley Higgins-Croft
The Cairns Dance Ensemble’s production of Swan Lake opened at the Rondo Theatre last night to mixed reviews. The ambitious offering continued along the company’s recent artistic direction of ‘putting the oomph back into the classics’, and the result was not to everyone’s taste.
Maud Jefferson, 72, of Edge Hill, was aghast at the performance. “I knew it was going to be something a bit different, but there wasn’t a blessed swan to be seen,” she said after the show. “And what was the story with the bingo session during the second act?”
Head choreographer of the Dance Ensemble, Rodney K Wright was unapologetic. “We’re pretty cutting edge,” he declared. “It’s not for everyone. But anyone who gets a kick out of semi-nude-impro-parkour-kick-dance breakdowns is in for a great evening.” Mr Wright refused to be drawn over whether the profligate use of fire-extinguishers to create a layer of foam on the stage during the finale was in any way contrary to occupational health and safety regulations.
Kuranda welder and part-time break-dancer, Ricky Du Bois (above) was cast as first parrot and put in a muscular, if erratic, performance. Originally there was no parrot character in the show, but by necessity the part was quickly written-in following the theft of several bird costumes from the Rondo last month.
“It’s a sweet opportunity,” said Mr Du Bois.”I was given full artistic freedom. A bloke like me doesn’t normally get the opportunity to bust a move in front of this sort of crowd. I reckon I’ve pulled at least a dozen roots over the last week.”
The show continues nightly next week with an additional matinee showing on Saturday.