Dancers revive historic Magic Toyshop ballet
THE historic Magic Toyshop ballet is being brought back to life at Gladstone's theatre.
The Young Dancers Association, En Pointe Dance Studio and other local dance studios have combined to present an Australian version of the 1919 ballet.
The ballet will grace the Gladstone Entertainment and Convention Centre stage with two shows on January 24.
Leonide Massine created the story which is based on a not-so-ordinary toy shop in France in 1860.
Every night the dolls come to life in the shop. They try to save two can-can dolls which are in separate boxes and are to be bought by two different families.
The other toys are awoken one night by a fairy doll that gets the toys to reunite the can-can dolls. They are hidden so the families cannot split them up.
When the customers come into the shop the next day, the can-can dolls are nowhere to be seen.
Artistic director of the ballet Wendy Barker said the show was rich in history but it had not been performed much recently.
"It's a long lost ballet," she said. "It's a tribute to Harry Haythorne who died on November 24.
"Harry was Massine's assistant and he created an Australianised version (of the ballet).
"It was his last work in the dance world."
Mrs Barker said the ballet would not be short of world-class guest performers.
Andris Toppe, company manager for the Paris Opera Ballet season, is choreographing the Gladstone performance.
There will also be a performance by members of the Queensland Ballet.
Dancers aged 5-20 from around central Queensland make up the crew who have been practising all year.
"There are over 80 performers and over 60 dancers involved," Mrs Barker said.
"To pull it all together because of the geography of our location is challenging," she said.
"From the moment of its conception until the performance, it's full on."
However, Mrs Barker said it had been a good journey so far.
"It's a fun story with fun dancing," she said.
En Pointe Dance Studio (formerly Wendy Barker Dance Studio) dancer Reanne Keogh was enjoying the experience.
"You have to work really hard so the audience gets it," Reanne said.
"It's fun to portray the characters, though," she said.
Dancer Ksenia Metilkova said she loved ballet because it was "beautiful and you can express yourself".
Katrina Perkins, 11, is playing the part of the poodle.
The Magic Toyshop is offering a workshop open to the public from January 15-23.
Dancers from the Queensland Ballet will be involved.
- Andris Toppe - former choreographer for Torvill and Dean
- Li and Mary Cunxin - Queensland Ballet
- Daniel Gaudiello - International ballet star and choreographer
- Anastasia La Fey - Couturier and costume designer
- Guest dancers - Queensland Ballet
- Fleur Conlon - International dancer/ choreographer
- Geoffrey Watson - Professional guest dancer