The tales of Beatrix Potter in dance

The Tribune (NZ) - - ENJOY -

The tales of Beatrix Potter have cap­ti­vated chil­dren for over a hun­dred years and been ex­pressed in many forms. Now the Michelle Robin­son Dance The­atre is bring­ing the en­dur­ing sto­ries to life in dance.

About 50 young­sters, aged be­tween eight and 16, are in­volved in ex­pe­ri­enced dancer and teacher Michelle Robin­son’s ma­jor pro­duc­tion for 2017 on the Globe The­atre stage.

The Tales of Beatrix Potter are be­ing pre­sented to the public on Satur­day July 29 and Sun­day July 30.

Ava Smith stars as a young Beatrix who seeks in­spi­ra­tion at her writ­ing desk. She al­lows her imag­i­na­tion to take over in the form of de­light­ful scenes from seven of her most pop­u­lar sto­ries.

They are mis­chievous Peter Rab­bit, Jemima Pud­dle­duck and Mr Fox, Leap­ing Jeremy Fisher, Naughty Hunca Munca and Tom Thumb, Mrs Tiggy Win­kle and her laun­dry. Pigling Bland and Pig­wig and their es­cape from the pork butcher and Squir­rel Nutkin.

‘‘What’s on Beatrix Potter’s mind is cre­ated on the stage,’’ Michelle ex­plains. ‘‘This is sto­ry­telling in a dance for­mat. All th­ese tales grew out of her imag­i­na­tion and ob­ser­va­tions of the world around her.’’

From her own ex­pe­ri­ence Michelle says chil­dren re­ally re­spond when they’re given a char­ac­ter to por­tray.

‘‘It’s a won­der­ful op­por­tu­nity for young­sters to per­form in front of a large au­di­ence,’’ she says.

The au­di­ence will re­spond to the colour and cos­tume and the ev­er­green Beatrix Potter sto­ries told through cre­ative and orig­i­nal move­ment.

The first half of the pro­gramme is a show­case of dance. Michelle Robin­son’s younger stu­dents will demon­strate their ta­lent in clas­si­cal ballet, tap, con­tem­po­rary and lyri­cal dance.

‘‘It gives stu­dents an op­por­tu­nity to ex­press what they’ve been taught and show their ta­lent to the au­di­ence,’’ she says. ‘‘It’s a high­light each year of what th­ese young dancers are ca­pa­ble of.’’

The Tales of Beatrix Potter will be pre­sented at The Globe on Satur­day July 29 at 2pm and Sun­day July 30 at 4pm.

Dancers at the Michelle Robin­son Dance The­atre re­hearse Les Nuage, from the show­case sec­tion of Beatrix Potter.

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