GATSBY TOLD IN GREAT DANCE

Wanneroo Times - - Lifestyle - 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 The Great Gatsby.

Nixon has re­turned to Perth fol­low­ing last year’s sea­son of his work Beauty and the Beast and the com­pany’s dancers are en­joy­ing

the cre­ative re­union. “The Great Gatsby 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 Wid­dis­onJa­cobs 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 seen one of the films.

“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,” she said.

“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 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 tomboy which doesn’t come so nat­u­rally to me,” the mother-of-one said. “I think au­di­ences will just love

The Great Gatsby. There’s some­thing for ev­ery­one.”

WA Bal­let lead cast in re­hearsal.

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