Les Sylphides, Masquerade Suite, The Nutcracker
QUEENSLAND DANCERS’ CLASSIC BALLET
Review by Constance Cummins
The Ballet Theatre of Queensland, which has done sterling work in helping to keep the art alive in city and country, last night successfully presented an ambitious programme at the Rialto. The group is fortunate as having as its director Miss Phyllis Danaher.
Last night’s performance also gained professional polish by having in the cast Lexie Kunze. Miss Kunze brought great sensitivity, besides dancing skill, in her interpretation of the gravely spiritual Prelude in ‘Les Sylphides’. In the Valse with Dayne Cory, her elevation was a delight and her arabesque penchée and arabesque en tournant had elegance of style.
Other soloists were adequate in technique but showed less awareness of the ballet’s inner meaning. Nobly classic poses were well sustained by the corps de ballet. But the pinkish tone in the lighting and the rather garish decor were rather unsuited to the ethereal mood of the Folkine-Chopin masterpiece.
‘Nutcracker’, to which Tchaikowsky’s music imparts a joyous sense of Christmas-time expectancy and excitement, was handsomely mounted. Stage management was smooth – the Christmas tree grew to imposing height – the nutcracker doll was transformed into a handsome fairy Prince (Dayne Cory), and the snow scene glittered. The snow-flake fairies pivoted lightly and Ken McCaffrey satisfactorily suggested the magic powers of Drosselmeyer.
As Clara, Christine Matthewson, in her dancing, expressed the child’s wonderment remarkably well. June Kiss and Don Lee were pleasingly decorative in the coquettish dance of Harlequin and Columbine, and Lexie Kunze was a beguiling Sugarplum Fairy.
In ‘Masquerade’, danced to the Khacharurian suite, gaily coloured costumes and the verve of the dancing produced a carnival atmosphere. Judy Lowe and Peter Lucas danced the “Romance’ pas de deux with professional flexibility and assurance. Michele Carter, Katherine Ovsiannikoff and Judy Casey excelled in the lively polka.
The programme will be repeated today at matinee and evening performances.
The Courier Mail, 20 October 1964
Courtesy Judith & Wendy Lowe