DANCERS HOOKED ON CLASSIC
WA Ballet’s world is made of faith, trust and pixie dust at the moment as performers rehearse for the company’s final production of the 2017 season, Peter Pan.
True to the storyline of J.M. Barrie's classic novel, the dancers are heading to the second star to the right and straight on ’til morning as they revisit the family ballet first presented by the company in 2013.
That year was the first at WA Ballet for artistic director Aurelien Scannella and his wife Sandy Delasalle-Scannella, who have made Perth their home since.
“Peter Pan was very successful when we previously performed it and it’s a great, fun ballet,” Delasalle-Scannella, who is part of the re-staging team, said.
“Around Christmas we try to bring something everyone in the family can attend and it’s not only for kids. I love the music and it’s just enjoyable for this time of the year.”
Delasalle-Scannella said the story of Peter Pan was part of her childhood growing up in the south of France and her favourite character in the ballet was Captain Hook, with his traces of Johnny Depp’s Jack Sparrow.
“Every time I crack up with him and all the pirates,” she said.
“They just play a weird personality and I still laugh every time we are in rehearsal. I’m crying a lot when we do romantic ballets with beautiful music, so I’m happy this season and laughing so much.”
Like all dance companies, WA Ballet has seen several dancers come and go since the last time it was performed.
Delasalle-Scannella said this growth added to the challenge of restaging Peter Pan.
“We have to make it better than the 2013 season,” she said.
“The cast is great and they’re really looking forward to embracing their roles, especially Peter Pan,” she said.
“We have four different casts going because there are 23 performances and we have to be prepared.
“So there are four different Peter Pans and they’re really taking on the challenge. A dancer is so versatile, so he brings his own personality.”
The end of the Peter Pan season will mark the beginning of a three-week holiday break for Delasalle-Scannella, her husband and 13-year-old son Mateo.
It will be just enough time for the trio to travel to Delasalle-Scannella’s family in France for Christmas.
“We’ve spent the last two Christmases here, so I’m looking forward to maybe having a white Christmas,” she said.
Matthew Lehmann as Captain Hook with his band of pirates.