WA Ballet’s The Great Gatsby is a rip-roaring, high-energy performance that is stunning on so many levels.
It seems like an unlikely combination, a classical ballet company taking on an emotive, contemporary tale of hedonistic hijinx. But WA Ballet have produced a stunning production that truly captures Gatsby’s 1920s America and all of the excesses that came with it.
For those not familiar with the tale, Nick Carraway becomes caught up in the crazy world of his neighbour Jay Gatsby – a mysterious millionaire with a secret past and a hedonistic lifestyle. But beneath that lies loneliness and Gatsby’s obsession with his lost love, Daisy Buchanan. As this story of lust and loss plays out, it becomes clear that money really can’t buy happiness.
Choreographer David Nixon has created a slick, pacy production that is as modern as you can get. Combining 1920s music and dance with classical ballet, the choreography is inspired and incredibly effective.
The Great Gatsby is known for it’s open portrayal of difficult themes; love, adultery, sex, drink, partying and excess all drive the narrative. The company hasn’t shied away from these, embracing them with emotionally powerful performances. A scene in which characters Myrtle and Tom get intimate is choreographed with such skill that this private moment between two people is played out with raw honesty and passion.
The sets are stunning, making use of light, movement and reflections to create the towering skyscrapers of Manhatten, the lush green garden of Gatsby’s home and the dream-like surroundings of his room of mirrors. It’s a slick, visually stunning production, made even more impressive by the performances of Gakuro Matsui and Chihiro Nomura as Gatsby and Daisy.
Everything about The Great Gatsby is impeccable, from the costumes and set, to the lighting, characterisation and choreography. Get yourself a ticket, or you’ll regret having missed out on one of the best productions of the year.
The Great Gatsby is at His Majesty’s Theatre until September 30. Find out more.