The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
Wonderful Wizard a visual family feast
Review by Peta Koch
Ballet Theatre of Queensland has proved a valuable training ground for young, up-and-coming dancers for more than half a century. And although only a relative few end up making the grade in dance as a career or even wanting it, it gives students the chance to perform in a close-to-professional environment and dabble with the discipline of life on the stage.
This latest production continues the long-established tradition of excellence. This Wizard should have young audiences wide-eyed with wonder. Artistic Directors Louise Hellewell and Christopher Gillard have brushed the cobwebs off the classical tale and given it a more 90s feel without losing any of its intrinsic charm.
The choreography is simple enough to make the 45 dancers of various ages look good, yet is highly imaginative and avoids the trap of needless repetition. Most importantly, it develops the central characters of Dorothy, Toto, Scarecrow, Tin Man and Lion quite beautifully.
Being an amateur company it naturally has a tight budget but manages to unfold the visual feast that is Dorothy’s adventure with often startling clarity and creativity.
The Courier-Mail, 21 January 1995