Spellbinding Beauty and the Beast ballet in Spalding

Beauty and the Beast.
Beauty and the Beast.

Ballet Cymru brought the exquisite love story Beauty and the Beast to Spalding’s South Holland Centre on Saturday, writes Jean Hodge.

It’s a story originally told as a fairytale but made into films, and probably the best known of these is the 1991 animated Disney version.

The ballet attracted an audience of all ages, including, not surprisingly, little girls in tutus as well as older devotees of the dance form. However, old and young alike were urged to suspend disbelief for a short spell and ‘have a little childlike simplicity’ as we watched the tale unfold.

The story followed the traditional route of a beautiful young girl breaking the enchantment that is holding the beast in its grip and them falling in love.

No words were necessary as the dancers expressed emotion and feeling in gesture, facial expression and dance, able to move from grace to comedy with a change of eye expression or slipping from what was primarily classical ballet to a more contemporary dance style with its exaggerated moves.

All the dancers were good, but Beauty – tiny, delicate and looking about 12 (though I understand she is 21) – was captivating. She was expressive from her eyes to the tips of her fingers.

It really was no effort at all to be spellbound as she danced with the horned Beast, enormous beside her with the springs under his feet, and finally to be moved by his transformation as a result of love.