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Ballet was at its best in Invercargill in 1976, and Ballet Society of Southland was no exception when it was presented at the Civic Theatre in 1976. This production was probably one of the most modern and creative. The music was brillant and the costumes which were very detailed. There were four choreographers that had worked hard to bring the production to life. Pamela Glen, Julie Young, Margaret Cook and Jan Kidd constructed the production to ensure that the merger of the experienced dancers and the young dancers blended well.
The two opening scenes that were choreographed by Julie Young showed her great skill and were of 'Dergas Ballet' which was of a famous painting coming to life. Nine girls danced the scene in long white dresses with bright sashes and their hair do to match.
In the second scene 'Repercussions' a contemporary dance was about a young girl growing up in a big city. The scene was danced beautifully by Michelle Rongen, in showing a young girl finding her way and getting caught up in drugs. Two other dancers showed the girl at six and 12 with Katrina Small and Hillary Norrish playing respectively playing these parts. Compelling moments were danced showing the mother, Laurie Anne McCrostie, the father Phillip Stringer, the drug pusher, Karen Stringer. The bare foot dancing set the right mood and the flowing movements drew the audience into the mood of the dance.
Margaret Cook recreated the fantasy fair tale 'The Little Mermaid' The main character was danced by Valda Ryan, with the prince being Dean Stephens and the witch, Sandra Ramage. Shelley Peters also danced a main character as the princess.
There were a lot of the younger dancers as sea creatures, mermaids, stars, fish and sailors. The costumes. props and lightening were amazing and set the beautiful scene for this dance.
Jan Kidd who choreographed 'Variety Act', which was a mixture of 'West End Story', 'Sweet Chariot' and 'Charleston' was danced beautifully by Margaret Annear, Joanne Adam, Bronwyn Carter, Julie-Ann Clyma, Juliet Furness, Aynsley Lockie, Nina Lindsay, Michelle Rongen, Valda Ryan, Michelle Stainburn and Judith Young.
Pamela Glen a very experienced dancer bought 'A Journey to Hell' to life with powerful and explosive dancing and music from Beethoven and Wagner set the scene. The story about departing souls confronting St Peter was danced by Karen Findlay, Valda Ryan, Kathryn Ramage, Sandra Ramage, Bronwyn Carter, Hillary Norrish, Margaret Annear, Laurie-Anne McCrostie, Vicky Davis, Helen Schoullar and Julie-Ann Clyma.
Stephen Peters as the 'devil' and Juliet Furness as 'Jezebel' danced a frenzied scene inside an inferno and were convincing.
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