Rumplestiltskin – spinning theatrical gold with balletLORENT

Dancing for joy

The third instalment of balletLORENTs’ Grimm’s Fairytale trilogy, sparkled into life with its premiere at Northern Stage this week. After Rapunzel and Snow White, comes the dark and twisted tale of the spinner of gold, Rumplestiltskin.
Fabulous choreography, original music and delightful characterisation, together with the clever and charming inclusion of young children and older people into the drama, make this a special performance indeed.

Rumplestiltskin – the original spin doctor

Grimm’s Fairytales were always fairly dark and this one is no exception. Themes of love and hate, rejection, greed, kindness and reconciliation are played out on the stage to the framework narration of Carol Ann Duffy. I’m a big fan of this kind of limited narration as I feel it really adds to the experience, for adults as well as children.
The young children involved (aged from 4- 9 years old) are a total delight and add childlike energy and movement to the community scenes in the village. The sheep deserve a particular mention and they do have quite a lot to do in this show.  They do capture your attention when they are on stage, and the very smallest children are perfect being carried about as the cutest little lambs.

The sheep are good

The set is fantastic with quilted hedgerows, a fabulous fairytale castle and the full moon rising across the midnight sky. The costumes and the set reflect the textiles and spinning theme. I especially liked the hats. Rumplestiltskins spiky helmet, the good shepherd’s daughter’s golden plaits, and the small children’s horns and bobbles and knitted head wear all add to the character of the piece.

The exuberance of youth

The ending of the tale has been changed to a rather more positive one than the original with Rumplestiltskin being restored to his princely birthright and living happily ever after with his one true love. I seem to recall the ending of the original involves rather more anger and spite and something more of a sticky end for our main man.

The dancing queen

Rumpelstiltskin celebrates the triumph of the underdog, the outsider, in a world where his mother has died and he has been abandoned by his father, the King. There is so much going on on the stage that you cannot take your eyes from the action and the movement and imagery is spellbinding. The dancing with the gold thread at the wedding of our hero and his lady at the climax of the piece is especially stunning.

Gold spinner

Rumplestiltskin shows that your fortune can change at the spin of a wheel, perhaps a reference also to the wheel of fortune. Your fortune will definitely change for the better if you get the chance to see this outstanding performance!
Newcastle based dance theatre company balletLORENT are at Northern Stage until October 28th and then on tour -check the website for details.

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