PETER PAN and TINKERBELL. Two-act children’s ballet. Choreography Robin van Wyk. Presented by Cape Town City Ballet
Christmas is nostalgia time when children (grown-ups too) dream about magic lands, believe in fairies, cheer on goodies versus baddies and wish for happy ever after endings. So if that’s what you’re looking for, Robin van Wyk’s two-act ballet, Peter Pan and Tinkerbell, is where you’ll take a trip to legendary Neverland.
Loosely based on JM Barrie’s play about Peter Pan – the boy who wouldn’t grow up – van Wyk, uses 59 young kiddies to perform as dolls, fairies, mermaids, sea sprites and lost boys. Cape Town City Ballet (CTCB) dancers tackle principal roles.
Barrie’s story is complex. So to link scenes, Martin Milner, in top hats and lilac satin waistcoat acts as narrator. If he’s perhaps a trifle over the top, his amusing adlibbing sends the message that this ballet is not to be taken seriously… not even the fearsome crocodile. In fact it is a ballet pantomime for all ages.
Cast as the mischievous Peter Pan, as light-as-a-feather Craig Pedro, bounded around catching Peter’s merry boyish spirit. Adding to her laurels as a good actress as well as an accomplished technician, Laura Bosenberg, delightfully captured all Tinkerbell’s jealous, pouting, happy moods.
Dark makeup, blood-curdling yells and nasty expressions couldn’t make Ivan Boonzaaier’s Captain Hook, Stephen Underwood’s timid Smee and Hook’s sword wielding pirates look anything but comic hoodlums.
Although van Wyk’s choreography resembles class work, where everyone does the same steps at the same time and tends to lack flow, he has a knack of inspiring kiddies to dance their little hearts out.
And dance they did, in pretty costumes and fancy headdresses.
Mixing and matching pieces of Tchaikovsky’s music and borrowing sets from CTCB’s repertoire, CTCB’s festive offering – Peter Pan and Tinkerbell – is more fun than fault.
When and where: Artscape Theatre, until January 8
Tickets: Computicket, 0861 915 8000