Review: Elves and the Shoemaker, Northern Ballet

[Image: (c) Northern Ballet]


Monday 27th October 2014
Stanley and Audrey Burton Theatre



Northern Ballet’s, ‘Elves and the Shoemaker’, is the third and latest production from their award-winning series of ‘Short Ballets for Small People’. As a Brothers Grimm fan, I was excited to see this magical tale turned into a ballet. I was not disappointed. The story is retold with whimsical warmth and colour. Aimed specifically at introducing families and children to live dance, music and theatre, the 40 minute show provides a wealth of both visual and auditory stimulation.

Daniel de Andrade (Northern Ballet’s Ballet Master) has choreographed a fun, clear and engaging narrative that lovingly partners the original score, composed by Phillip Feeney. The movement and music were engaging and easy to follow.

Visually, ‘Elves and the Shoemaker’ is a stunning landscape of autumn colours and fairy tale shapes. Ali Allen’s set design feeds the narrative in a way that will be clear to little ones and the costumes are just beautiful to look at.


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Sebastian Loe, Northern Ballet


The cast is strong: each performer expresses the narrative and their individual characters with clarity, sparkle and great technique. Stand out performances come from Sebastian Loe who plays Bertie, the shoemaker with much humour and expression. Fillipo Di Vilio and Kiara Flavin make a great comedy duo as Tap and Stitch, the elves. Little ones in the audience were delighted by the intermittent appearances of these spritely characters.

As many will recall from their own childhood, the story of Elves and the Shoemaker is a genuine classic. It embodies family friendly themes such as helping others, sharing and being grateful for what you have! Therefore, it was refreshing to see this happy tale turned into a magical ballet that will warm the hearts of adults and ignite the imaginations of children.


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Fillipo Di Vilio and Kiara Flavin, Northern Ballet

Sally Fothergill


‘Elves and the Shoemaker’ is running until the 1st November at Leeds, Stanley and Audrey Burton Theatre, Northern Ballet. There are an extremely limited number of tickets left but the show will be touring from the 10th March 2015 and you can catch it in Harrogate on the 2nd April 2015.

For further information see Northern Ballet’s website.


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