RNZ Ballet: Peter Pan

Last Weds went to see Peter Pan: The Ballet Experience, from the Royal New Zealand Ballet, thanks to dear Felice my grandmother (who bought the tickets and sat next to me) and my mother (who double-booked herself so leaving a ticket free for me).
Great fun it was, a lot more like theatre than the ballet I’ve seen in the past. The design of the show was amazing, and the choreography (which at least one reviewer somewhere described as Russell Kerr’s greatest work) was inventive, engaging, and so effective at storytelling that words were unnecessary. The cast were all great, although I was disappointed we landed the only evening performance where Hook wasn’t played by Sir Jon Trimmer, the septuagenarian national treasure!
If I was somewhat more inclined to ramble on self-indulgently this morning, I’d write about whether we don’t generally under-value familiar stories. I appreciated how everyone in the theatre knew how the story went, even the very little children (of whom there were many). One small but notable change was to make the children’s ‘Nana’, a dog in the original (and the Disney version), a human nanny – one member of our party was disappointed!
It of course ended as the original play did, with the Darling family re-united and Peter forever apart. No allusions to the deeply strange final chapter of the novel (which, it should be remembered, was written after the play) where Peter returns a year later and has no memory of Captain Hook or Tinkerbell, and assumes the latter has probably died; Peter goes on to visit through the generations and take away Wendy’s female descendants in succession to Neverneverland. It’s odd, and the final line really underlined the oddness of the whole story: “…thus it will go on, so long as children are gay and innocent and heartless.”

3 thoughts on “RNZ Ballet: Peter Pan”

  1. Im really glad that you enjoyed yourself. Im a bit guttered that I didn’t see Peter Pan. It is one of my fav ballets. I do like the traditional ballets, but I think the character ballets – Peter Pan, Dracula (my fav), Sleeping Beauty, Romeo and Juilet, Nutcracker etc, are some of the RNZB best ballets.
    Its a shame that you missed seeing Sir Jon Trimmer. He is an amazing dancer and one of NZ best, if not the best! I found him an inspiration when I used to dance. I was more of an stylistic dancer than a technical one and I found his style easy to follow.
    I probablly could have gone if I had organsied myself earlier, but will just have to wait until it is on again.

  2. Argh – Comments just ate my post. Anyway here we go again.
    Im really glad that you enjoyed yourself at the ballet. Im a bit guttered that I didn’t go. Peter Pan is one of my favourites, but I just never got myself organised to go see it – maybe next time.
    I must admit that even though the RNZB is great at the traditional ballets, I personally feel that the character ballets – Peter Pan, Dracula (my fav), Sleeping Beauty, Romeo and Juliet, Nutcracker, etc are the ones that they do the best. Im not sure why this is, possibly due to the the company only been around for 50 odd years and generally speaking it is also quite small.
    Whatever the reason im glad that they do the character ones.
    Right must go and diary a note to check what and when nexts years shows are.

  3. It was so stunning I didn’t even mind not having to save Tink from the poison’s effects by clapping my hands because I believed in fairies.

Comments are closed.