The Great Gatsby - Northern Ballet - Mayflower Southampton Review

My grandma was a dance teacher. A magnificent one that taught small children how to pliĆ© and tap dance. She was obsessed with Strictly Come Dancing and would sit for hours talking to anyone that would listen about the dancers footwork and extensions. Unfortunately none of her children or grandchildren were as graceful when it came to dancing as she was, but we all took a bit of her spark and love for dancing with us. When The Mayflower, Southampton invited me to see Northern Ballet's adaptation of The Great Gatsby, I knew it was going to be special. 

Photos by Bill Cooper

I honestly can’t remember the last time I went to the ballet, but watching the Northern Ballet at the Mayflower was just a feast for the emotions. With soaring music, exquisite dancing and a contemporary flair, this ballet was special. You felt transported to 1920’s New York, you felt all the emotions from each of the dancers and I felt myself dancing in my seat at times. Based on the book of the same name, The Great Gatsby takes you on a tour of the decadent New York party scene and a rollercoaster love affair.

Full of high energy, this show was slick and sophisticated. You truly felt like you were in a party at Gatsby's house. Everything about the show felt perfect. From the parties to the climatic ending, it all had a sense of grace and elegance that was truly magnified by the brilliant performers. Each and every performer was mesmerising, with perfect extensions and footwork that felt like they were floating on the stage. Matthew Topliss was absolutely amazing as George Wilson. The way his body worked with the props on stage was just mesmerising and honestly brought a new dynamic to ballet. 

Dominique Larose was full of whimsy and serenity in her performance as Daisy Buchanan, the former love of Gatsby. The way she floated and flew her way around the stage was truly magical and supported by both Joseph Taylor and Javier Torres as Tom Buchanan and Gatsby truly showed their dynamic and contrasts as dancers. A feast for the eyes is an understatement, it was truly something beautiful to watch.

Stylistically the show was brilliant. With a modern yet classic flair, everything from the staging to the costuming and lighting oozed glamour and timelessness. The staging and lighting truly stood out and it felt like there was a film like quality to the stage with dramatic lighting that really added to the complexities of the story. With flapper girl dresses and silks galore, the costuming was perfect and I  honestly adored each and every outfit. 

I loved the way that they blended different dance styles into the show. By adding ballet inspired dances such as the Charleston and the tango, it felt like they were bringing ballet to a new audience. Showing the Strictly Come Dancing fans just what ballet could truly be about. A contemporary twist on ballet that appealed to a new generation of dance lovers, this show captures a fantastic energy that you felt radiating from the stage. 

Overall it was a beautiful performance of The Great Gatsby. One that was a complete feast for the emotions. With the energy flying and the dancing soaring across the stage you honestly sit there in awe the whole time. It truly reminded me of all the reasons why I love the ballet so much. And I know that my grandma would have come out of the show loving it just as much as I did if she were still here. A must watch for any dance lover, not to be missed. 

The Great Gatsby is on at the Mayflower, Southampton until the 18th May. Tickets are on sale now. 

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