Evaluation: The Georgia Ballet’s new “Peter Pan” is an enthralling escape to Neverland


She’s a lady getting ready to adolescence. He’s a boy who’ll by no means develop up. Their paths cross for an journey crammed with mischief and magic.

Orchestral music lilted by Marietta’s Jennie T. Anderson Theatre final Friday night, as beloved characters Peter Pan and Wendy Darling waltzed collectively, driving the rhythm as they moved like mirror pictures towards and away from each other. He then twirled her below his arm and steadied her waist as she perched sweetly in arabesque, recalling Michel Fokine’s Spectre de la Rose. Their relationship was not fairly platonic, and never but romantic — as J.M. Barrie wrote in his traditional story, they had been “betwixt and between.”

These duets recurred all through the Georgia Ballet’s new model of Peter Pan. Choreographed by Daet and Margit Rodriguez, the manufacturing obtained its premiere final weekend. Daring characters, vivid design components and airborne dancing created a fascinating work for youngsters or anybody who has yearned to flee the fact of rising up.

The Georgia Ballet has matured since Daet and Margit Rodriguez assumed inventive management in 2015 and staged their earlier model of Peter Pan on the corporate in 2016. Now, six years later, the corporate has grown right into a cohesive group with deep neighborhood ties and powerful dancers whose theatrical heat typically transcends their approach.

Peter Pan (Zamora) and Wendy (Talina Rodriguez on this picture) dance a pas de deux in Neverland’s tropical seashore setting.

The brand new manufacturing makes use of Carmon DeLeone’s music, initially composed for John McFall’s model of Peter Pan, which Atlanta Ballet carried out in 1999 at London’s Royal Pageant Corridor. The cinematic rating options emotional, harmonic swells, thundering timpani and spritely tintinnabulations.

It propelled a fantasy seen by the eyes of Wendy Darling, carried out Friday by Kelsey (Stanhope) Shackleford. From the second she satisfied Peter Pan to let her brothers tag together with them to Neverland, to her abduction to Hook’s pirate ship — and thru every section in her relationship with Peter Pan — each wisp of feeling learn superbly. Shackleford captured the younger heroine’s innocence and braveness with simply the correct quantity of emotion, underscoring her gestures with heartfelt honesty and imbuing her dancing with lyricism.

Zamora, a former member of the English Nationwide Ballet and the Joffrey Ballet, upgraded the entire manufacturing. With a pure boyish grace, he wore his technical ability like a cushty pair of denims. He casually dashed off a sequence of turning leaps and sailed overhead in suspended stag leaps, his approach serving his character, which match him like a glove — particularly when he sprang into an open stance, his arms crossed and head cocked to at least one aspect with impish confidence.

Because the winged fairy Tinkerbell on Friday, Talina Rodriguez appeared luminous in inexperienced, her arabesques as evanescent as a firefly’s gentle as she scattered fairy mud to maintain the story buzzing alongside. In a standout airborne solo, Rodriguez instructed Peter how pirates had captured their associates. Hovering, she fluttered up and down, her entire physique urgently talking a quicksilver signal language.

Francisco Aguilar’s Captain Hook was extra comical than Barrie’s diabolical villain. In foppish frockcoat and plumed tricorne, Hook commanded a motley crew and eventually met his doom, tangoing with Amber Runyan because the lithe-limbed Crocodile.

Each Barrie and Walt Disney have been criticized for depicting the Indians in Peter Pan as offensive racial stereotypes. This manufacturing largely prevented that. Conceptually, Tiger Lilly’s band of Misplaced Women exists in Tinkerbell’s fantasy realm the place they appeared as regal and empowered girls who rose onto pointe with arrow-straight legs and thrust their arms powerfully to their sides, evoking mythic warriors.

Apt storytelling helped kind a cohesive plot, beginning within the opening nursery scene. After Peter Pan danced along with his shadow, three adult-sized figures appeared in black physique stockings from head to toe. These shadows carried Wendy throughout the stage towards her will, foretelling of her future abduction by pirates. Casting labored properly, with Tim Kolman as the kids’s father and later as Hook’s right-hand man, Smee.

These reference factors had been folded in with Wendy’s and Peter’s recurring waltz dances. Of their last duet, Peter pointed to a distant star, however Wendy interceded, awakening each of them to the truth that they’ve completely different paths to observe.

The Georgia Ballet’s Peter Pan skirts the evil that Barrie depicted in his story, however this lighthearted telling is good for younger and outdated audiences who wish to lose their shadows for a few hours of flight and fantasy.


Cynthia Bond Perry has lined dance for ArtsATL for the reason that web site was based in 2009. One of the revered dance writers within the Southeast, she additionally contributes to Dance Journal, Dance Worldwide and The Atlanta Journal-Structure. She has an M.F.A. in narrative media writing from the College of Georgia.


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