A new family dance show at Leeds Playhouse for Easter has an impressive pedigree.
Rapunzel has words by former poet laureate Carol Ann Duffy, music by award-winning Doctor Who composer Murray Gold, costumes by Game of Thrones designer Michele Clapton, is narrated by top actor Lesley Sharp, ands features choreography by Liv Lorent MBE.
The show, from dance theatre company balletLORENT, is at the Courtyard at Leeds Playhouse (April 5-6), timed as an Easter attraction for family audiences – with a big family theme for the performers on stage too.
The production includes a community cast – including children from Richmond Hill Academy School in Leeds, and four babies and toddlers (aged 1-3), alongside their professional dancer mums.
Liv Lorent, herself a mother of two, has specifically cast performers returning to work, ensuring her choreography takes into account the after-effects of pregnancy, birth and early motherhood.
Natalie MacGillivray danced with her baby Aiden – then aged 17 months – in the premiere and is now playing Rapunzel at the Playhouse.
She said: "It’s always about the children being themselves. We would never encourage them to do anything they didn't want to do. Instead, it’s about creating a performance around what they are interested in that day."
James MacGillivray – balletLORENT's education and projects manager, explained: "The project aims to support dance artists who are new parents, looking for an opportunity to return to the stage. We aren't expecting any particular level of technical ability. The work requires performers who are uninhibited, creative, able to embody character, and who are comfortable to engage their young child in a safe and creative environment.”
“We have delved deep into the story with Carol Ann Duffy and explored the soul of the characters and their urgent desires for love, parenthood, escape from home and reuniting with a lost love,” said Lorent.
Among the performers will be Leeds dancer Gavin Coward, who trained at the Northern School of Contemporary Dance in the city. He joined the company in 2001 and is now a creative partner.
More info and tickets here