Northern Ballet’s adaptation of F.Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby brilliantly depicts the passions and drama of the novel’s soap opera-style relationships, arguably better than any film or stage play before it.
Giuliano Contadini is excellent as first person narrator Nick Carraway, who observes the love triangle haunting his cousin Daisy Buchanan (Martha Leebolt) as she is torn between remaining with her husband Tom (Kenneth Tindall) or rekindling her love affair with returning soldier Jay Gatsby (Tobias Batley).
A vast array of props and smoothly orchestrated scene changes demonstrated that the temptation to collate scenes and take liberties with the plot had been rejected. The performance remained loyal to the book throughout.
One of the ballet’s most profound successes is the quality of its flashback scenes, with character likenesses in both looks and dance style extremely well attended to.
The story touches on a number of themes including love, romance and the class divides in 1920s American society. The dancing is at its best when set in the halls of Gatsby’s house, where he hosts a number of parties, and in the car garage where mechanic and eventual Gatsby murderer George Wilson works.
Produced by David Nixon, The Great Gatsby, which is touring until April 2015, is excellently choreographed and well worth a watch.