The Red Shoes at Sadler’s Wells

Red Shoes

It is fast becoming a Christmas Tradition to head to Sadler’s Wells for New Adventures’ seasonal ballet. This year was The Red Shoes. The Red Shoes tells of 2 men that are in love with Victoria Page, a dancer. One is Lermontov, the ballet impresario who spots Page’s talent. He commissions a ballet is commissioned by composer Julian Craster for Page to dance in however Page soon falls for Craster and this means that she is forced to choose between her love for a man and her love for the arts.

The Red Shoes is a ballet that transports you into the glamorous world of a dancers life, or at least that is how they present the side when Victoria Page is performing. Backstage we are shown examples of creatives vying amongst themselves and pushing their cast to the limits. The scenes are not all full of drama and a beach scene in Monte Carlo presents some light relief.

The first thing that strikes me about The Red Shoes is how visually stunning it is. Lez Brotherston is responsible for both the set and the costume design and he achieves a masterstroke on both accounts. The set design whisks us across the world from London to Monte Carlo and the projections during the Ballet of the Red Shoes itself was beautifully artistic. The sheer volume of costumes was a sight to behold, they ranged from traditional tutus to traditional bathing suits but they all perfectly en-captured the mood of the piece at that time.

The cast themselves prove to be versatile and stunning dancers, being able to perform not only the more technical balletic moments but also the more stylised comedy moments. Ashley Shaw takes on the role of Victoria Page and dazzles. Adam Cooper and Dominic North are Lermontov and Craster, the competing men for Page’s loyalty. They both dominate whenever they are onstage. Lermontov as commanding and cold and Craster as romantic and open with his affections, driven by both his love for Page and his love for music.

The orchestration is by Terry Davies and conducted by Brett Morris the New Adventures Orchestra accompanies the dance wonderfully. The music is by Hollywood composer Bernard Harmann and the dramatic side to this music sits perfectly alongside this story.

The Red Shoes is a wonderfully dramatic and moving ballet which is heightened not only by the stunning company of dancers but a rich score, a strong and versatile company of dancers and a stunning look to complete the show.

The Red Shoes is running at Sadler’s Wells until 19th January. For more information and to book tickets visit their website.

If you like this review you might also like my review of Aladdin at the Churchill Theatre, Cinderella by Matthew Bourne and A Christmas Carol at Bridge House Theatre.

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