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Rapunzel - ballet LORENT (Tour - Salford)

Kristy Stott and her son are enchanted by this new dance version of a classic fairytale.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
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© ballet Lorent

Most of us think we are familiar with the classic fairy tale of Rapunzel and we've heard it told over and over again. The story is about a young woman with long golden hair who gets trapped in a tower, gets rescued by a Prince and lives happily ever after, isn't it?

Then, again, maybe like me you've been subjected to a few too many viewings of Disney's Tangled. ballet Lorent manage to go back to basics with their reinterpretation of this classic story. And how would you react if I told you that in this production Rapunzel's hair is a striking shade of red?

In this re-telling by contemporary dance company Ballet Lorent we are treated to an older and darker story which is more in the style of the Brothers Grimm fairytale. Director Liv Lorent cleverly combines the elements of warmth and joy with fear and redemption.

And it is this sense of light and dark, the good and the very bad which manages to keep the young members of the audience gripped throughout.

The show certainly boasts an impressive line up; the spellbinding musical score by Murray Gold provides a perfect back drop to the beautifully hand-crafted costumes by Game of Thrones designer Michele Clapton.

Phil Eddolls' set design is ingenious, heavy blackened gates are moved about on casters to create haunting and celebratory scenes. The set design fully aids the dancers in their graceful storytelling as they move about the claustrophobic iron tower with ease and passion.

Poet Laureate, Carol Ann Duffy has written beautiful poetic scenarios to help children with their understanding of the show and these are spoken by the warm, familiar and northern tones of Lesley Sharp. This narration helps to guide the younger members of the audience through the elements of the story they may be less familiar with so that they can fully appreciate what is happening on stage.

ballet Lorent combine their world class company dancers with local, home grown talent in this colourful and emotional production which is filled with a sense of community and joy. Running at just under two hours long,with an interval, it is perfect for older children.

I took my eight year old with me who is already a big fan of the story of Rapunzel - he was gripped from start to finish, followed the action and wrote his own review. He concluded that ballet Lorent's Rapunzel is the best version that he has ever seen.

Rapunzel continues at the Lowry until 27 April, Wawrick Arts Centre from 29 - 31 May and the Festival Theatre, Edinburgh from 19 - 20 September.

-Kristy Stott