Review: Queensland Ballet's Cloudland at Cairns Civic Theatre
The Queensland Ballet's Cloudland is a performance based on the tale of an old ballroom in Brisbane that was knocked down overnight by the Bjelke Petersen government in 1982.
The story follows the journey specifically of one character, Christine, who meets the love of her life in this ballroom of romance only to lose him to the war in the Pacific.
Christine is, therefore, left like a ghost of yesteryear, wandering through the ballroom as the dance styles change from formal dances to rock 'n'roll and eventually to '70s and '80s disco.
It's a show that is a pleasure visually, with bright and colourful costumes, and sets that people said truly reminded them of the real Cloudland, if at times the pure ballet moves jarred with expectations of some of the dances.
For example, some of the desired down jazz elements (low centre of gravity and high energy) of Sing Sing Sing were lightened too much by classical ballet moves and a Latin American number was again for this reviewer too delicately danced.
The second act was much better, however, with the dances livelier, and the corps throwing themselves enthusiastically into each number.
It was poignant and very well executed when near show's end a bulldozer entered, and the grand old facade seemed to fall.
The pas de deux with Christine (Rachael Walsh) and her dead lover played by Keian Langdon was beautifully danced.
Rachael Walsh is an engrossing dancer and it would be great to see her play the lead in Swan Lake.
Another stand out performer was soloist Nathan Scicluna for his comic characterisations of the quintessential geek - he was also wonderful in the Myopia Tango number in Cloudland with Teri Crilly.
A lively ensemble favourite was the number Disco Inferno.
Cloudland is a nostalgic trip not only through the lifetime of a Brisbane ballroom but through the dance styles that have traversed generations.
The show is well danced, well costumed, and makes for a good night's entertainment.
>>For more information on The Queensland Ballet visit www.queenslandballet.com.au.
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Pas de deux : Rachael Walsh and Keian Langdon in Cloudland. Pic Ken Sparrow