Written By | Bianca Theodore
Something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue.
That phrase encapsulates Atlanta Ballet 2’s rendition of Beauty and the Beast, which debuted Thursday evening to a full house in the Cobb Energy Centre.
The fairytale may be a “tale as old as time,” but the Atlanta Ballet 2 managed to bring their own flair to the show, while still paying homage to the original version. As the brainchild of The Atlanta Ballet Centre for Dance Education, the Atlanta Ballet 2 is an exhaustive training program for dancers ages 17-21.
And in some ways, the audience was just as young as the performers.
Full of young girls in tutus and princess dresses, the crowd was exactly who choreographer Bruce Wells tailored the show to. Wells orchestrated the ballet to be children-friendly, condensing it to an hour and adding a narrator. While narration is not common amongst ballets, the grandfatherly voice transported everyone to a simpler time, when we were tucked in at night with a teddy bear and a bedtime story.
The lead ballerina made for a perfect Belle, and looked like the iconic blue smock and stunning yellow ball gown were made just for her. Her male counterpart played a gentle Beast, portraying his character’s metamorphosis through impeccable choreography.
Because of its shortened show time, the ballet did not have all of the usual characters. There was no Lumière the candelabra or Mrs. Potts the teapot, but the show felt complete nonetheless. Belle’s father was loveable as always, and Gaston just as vile as we all remembered.
The rendition also kept Belle and Beast’s famous ballroom scene, combining their waltz with stunning lifts and ballet acrobatics. And as Belle fell for the beast’s heart, we too fell for their romance.
As fairytales go, in the end the everyday girl became the princess, the beast a prince, and true love conquered all. Once upon a time, all of us believed life to be that simple.
For just a night, Atlanta Ballet 2 made us believe again, reminding us that happily ever after’s do exist after all.
Photos By | Kim Kenney