GATSBY GOES GREAT AS A BAL­LET TOO

CLAS­SIC BOOK TRANS­LATES WELL

Guardian Express - - GUARDIAN LIFE - By TANYA MACNAUGHTON

CHAR­AC­TER­I­SA­TION is prov­ing key as WA Bal­let works with Cana­dian chore­og­ra­pher David Nixon on his in­ter­pre­ta­tion of F. Scott Fitzger­ald’s clas­sic novel

Nixon has re­turned to Perth after last year’s sea­son of his work

and the com­pany’s dancers are en­joy­ing the creative reunion.

is a fan­tas­tic bal­let, it’s very en­joy­able for all of the dancers and it’s been great to have David back in the stu­dio,” prin­ci­pal dancer Brooke Wid­di­son-Jacobs said.

“He works very hard on the char­ac­ter­i­sa­tion and all the steps ac­tu­ally mean some­thing. You’re not just point­ing your foot and turn­ing around, it ac­tu­ally has an in­ten­tion be­hind it and that’s re­ally in­ter­est­ing as a dancer to start ask­ing ‘Who am I and what am I try­ing to say and con­vey?’”

Al­though Wid­di­son-Jacobs had not seen the bal­let be­fore it was pro­grammed in the com­pany’s 2017 sea­son, she had stud­ied it at school and watched the film.

“I’ve since watched the film again to refresh my mem­ory,” she said.

“The 1920s were a fan­tas­tic era and I think I would have liked to have been around them to ex­pe­ri­ence all the glitz and glam­our and money and party scene.

“The book trans­lates in­cred­i­bly well and David has stud­ied the book and the film in such de­tail that there are lots of sec­tions in the bal­let that are com­pletely recog­nis­able, right down to Daisy see­ing birds in the sky and all the tiny lit­tle things the au­di­ence

might not re­alise.”

Wid­di­son-Jacobs said she had been chal­lenged by her role as Daisy’s friend Jor­dan Baker which took her in a dif­fer­ent di­rec­tion.

“It’s a bit of an un­usual role for me in that she’s very ath­letic and a tom boy which doesn’t come so nat­u­rally to me,” the mother of one said.

“The big­gest chal­lenge in any bal­let is get­ting the char­ac­ter right, so por­tray­ing Jor­dan Baker like she should be and not just how I would do it.

“She’s very non­cha­lant about things but at the same time I think she is still in­trigued by what’s go­ing on and likes to play around a bit.

“And she is a golfer so she wears these big wide pants which is very dif­fer­ent to the dresses of that era and what I’m used to.”

WA Sym­phony Orches­tra will join WA Bal­let, per­form­ing com­poser Richard Rodney Ben­nett’s cin­e­matic score that in­cluded The Charleston, tango and per­cus­sion.

Pic­ture: An­drew Ritchie www.com­mu­ni­typix.com.au d473322

Gakuro Mat­sui, Chi­hiro No­mura, Oliver Ed­ward­son, Matthew Lehmann and Brooke Wid­di­son-Jacobs re­hears­ing for

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