Shanghai Ballet Company: Jane Eyre

Dance

Ballet

London Coliseum

Until Sat Aug 17 2013

Shanghai Ballet, Jane Eyre

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Victoria

If you haven't read Charlotte Brönte's iconic novel, chances are you'll fare better watching this than someone who has. For novel purists, you'll most likely be confused by Patrick de Bana's interpretation as it deviates from the story immediately. Jane's childhood is cut and her friend Helen appears as a ghost, reminiscent of a character from a Japanese horror film. While Jane and Rochester are fantastic technicians, their performance lacked chemistry and passion. Fan Xiaofeng brings fire (both literally and figuratively) to the production as Bertha, Rochester's crazed first wife with a penchant for fire. There are powerful moments which redeem the production and make this ballet worth seeing, however, it is unlikely to be memorable.

Priscilla

the design team did not trust their haunting first act work. Using two well known western music pieces-one of which was Debusey's 'Claire de Lune' - for pivotal dance between two pincipals, disjointed the text and created new associations for the audience. These associations led away from the'bold placement of the wife as a tragic figure to a mixed focus on western tropes. Not risky; the safe play and a missed opportunity for talented dancers to shine