REVIEW: The Night Ball, Northumberland Hall, Alnwick, Saturday, September 14.
An evening of dance that was described as ‘like nothing else’ turned out to be just that as anyone looking in at 9.30pm on Saturday would have seen audience members young and old dancing the night away with each other and professional dancers.
A special show to celebrate North East-based company balletLORENT’s 20th anniversary, The Night Ball saw five men and five women dance a range of styles to an eclectic mix of music in the round with the audicence seated at small tables.
As the 70-minute performance came to an end, a number of audience members, who had taken part in a workshop programme, got up from their seats and joined in.
And slowly but surely, the rest followed, either dancing in groups with friends, with their partners and spouses or being invited up by one of the company dancers – a unique opportunity for most people there I imagine; it certainly was for me.
By the end of the night, at 11pm, nearly everyone who was there had joined in and this was the point of the show – creating an atmosphere which made everyone feel comfortable dancing.
The cabaret-style seating in the round did mean that those not right at the front had to occasionally peer their heads round others to be able to see it all, but this minor issue was more than mitigated by the relaxed and social feel as well as the close-up views of the dancers in action and the shadows projected onto the walls of the Northumberland Hall.
While the night was about inclusivity, it has to be said that the core performance was brilliant.
The range of styles and the choreography on display were fantastic and following the theme of the Night Ball, the dancers were almost actors, portraysing the varying emotions that dancing can bring.
Credit must also be given to the costume design, the lighting and the music selection.