Ballet with an element of mystery
An old pick-a-path book inspired a Tawa dancer to create a ballet mystery that will keep audiences guessing at Wellington’s Fringe Festival next month.
Ariel Middlemiss’ original ballet, Dead Silent, follows the story of the disappearance of newlyweds Will and Anna Smith while allowing the audience to play detective and figure out clues.
Middlemiss, 22, said she came up with the idea after buying two pick-a-path books, which allow readers to choose what will happen in a story.
‘‘Immediately I was trying to imagine if you could somehow make a ballet into a pick-a-path book,’’ she said.
‘‘My ballet was based around these two kids books.’’
The audience will be able to walk through the set, pick up items and try to gather clues before the performance.
‘‘Everyone will draw a different conclusion.’’
The Ariel Middlemiss Dance Collective debuted at last year’s Fringe Festival with the show Frame of Mind.
Dead Silent is the first ballet Middlemiss has written. It has just two main dancers.
Even her music for the show is unique, with her sister- in- law composing it.
The ballet follows the fictional disappearance of the Smythes after they moved into 1 Kent Tce on November 4, 1989.
Middlemiss, who has danced for about 20 years, teaches at L Dance Studio Tawa and the Dance Academy at Tawa Intermediate.
She said her next goal was to dance at international fringe festivals, for which she would create new material.
Mysterious moves: Ariel Middlemiss’ first ballet, Dead
Silent, has a difference to it.