Dancers go full throttle
A LEATHER jacket and motorbike would usually look out of place in a WA Ballet production, but this month the company is injecting ’50s flair into its remake of LaFillemalgardee
Wembley soloist Sarah Hepburn said the show was proving a fun experience for everyone, either dancing or watching.
“There’s so much going on, the costumes are amazing and it’s hard not to smile when you watch it,” the 2007 WAAPA graduate said.
“There’s a lot of acting and when you see us puffing on stage, we’re really out of breath because it’s full on with no real stop.
“The music just keeps going and there’s no slow acting sections like you get in the classical ballets.”
Choreographed by Marc Ribaud, La Fille mal gardee follows the story of love-struck couple Lise (Hepburn) and Colas (Sergey Pevnev) in rural France.
Lise’s mother has already arranged for her daughter to marry Alain, the son of a rich wine merchant, and it is up to Lise to wriggle her way out of the betrothal and back to the arms of her beau.
“Marc explained to us right from the beginning that he set it in the ’50s because, in France in particular, that was when women started to fight for their rights,” Hepburn said.
“He felt this was the best time, rather than in the 1800s when women weren’t outspoken, because she is defying her mother by saying no to this arranged marriage.”
Hepburn said Ribaud’s choreography had a similar style to Youri Vamos (the two have worked closely together), who choreographed the company’s ’ 50s- style production of RomeoandJuliet in 2009.
“People loved that ballet so I’m hoping they have that same kind of reaction. It’s easy to follow and very clear, so you don’t have to know what ballet mime is to watch it,” she said.
Hepburn joined WA Ballet in 2008, realising her lifelong ambition to dance professionally.
“My mum did try talk me out of it for a while,” she said.
“There’s not many jobs in the career and she tried to push me somewhere else, telling me there was plenty of great teaching jobs.
“And my reply was always ‘yes, but I want to be a ballet dancer’. She was just trying to stop me from getting hurt and thankfully it all worked out.”
Sergey Pevnev and