Review: Mary Poppins – Turning Pointe Youth Ballet School

Review: Mary Poppins – Turning Pointe Youth Ballet School

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When I was growing up, I spent any spare time that I had at dance classes. I did ballet, tap, stage, modern, jazz, rock n roll … I even had a run of line dancing lessons. My Mum would jokingly (I think) complain of the hours she had to spend sewing my costumes and ferrying me to rehearsals. My brother would also have to be bribed with computer games, or new football boots just so he would sit through my end-of-year dance recitals. These would consist of a different number for each dance class, with perhaps a loose theme that held them all together. This was the format that all the youth dance schools took.

I’d never seen a full, standalone production from a dance school. So, I was incredibly excited and intrigued to see how Mary Poppins would work as a ballet, and with so many children from differing age groups and dance experience.

Phil and I were lucky enough to be invited backstage and to view the tech rehearsals. What blew me away was the scale of the whole production – the number of dancers, the intricate costumes and the makeup changes. This was not a a backstage area dominated by stage mothers and their prima donna daughters, but a tightly run ship engineered to ensure the 105 dancers – YES!!! 105 dancers – made it on to stage in a timely and well dressed manner.

I turned up the next day excited to see all the ladies hard work come to fruition.

Turning Pointe Youth Ballet did not disappoint.

The scenery was beyond what I had expected – and beat the pants off the last ballet I saw. Take that Ballet Grand Gala! You could learn a thing or two from these ladies!

The same goes for the make up and costumes! All of which were of professional standard and contributed impeccably to the story telling of performance.

The soundtrack is instantly recognisable from the film, with some songs including the lyrics being played over the music – others were not. I know the story of Mary Poppins inside and out as I have watched that movie more than 100 times as a child. I do wonder, if those that don’t know the story were just as able to follow….

Actually, to be honest, I don’t think it matters. If you can’t experience joy watching a bunch of excited  kids dressed as penguins pretending to be waiters then your soul might be dead.

And this is where the beauty of Turning Pointe’s performance lies. There is the perfect mix of extremely talented young dancers and enthusiastic youngsters bringing their love of dance onto the stage that you just can’t help but smile, enjoy the show and be stunned by the skills of the principle dancers. I looked around the audience and saw many a young budding ballerina dreaming of the day that she may get to grace the stage and play the ‘big girl role’ of Mary Poppins.

This obviously isn’t a production that you could imagine a bunch of blokes deciding to go to, its for those with a love of dance, or for a person accompanying someone who loves the ballet. The youngest dancers range from (at a guess) around 4 years so if you are looking for perfectly executed steps and blocking then, again,  obviously, not for you.

With tickets at AED 100, you are treated to performance that I feel out-did nearly all the performances in this price bracket.

And hats off to the young lady that played Bert. Not only were your ballet steps impeccable, your physical characterisation meant I couldn’t keep my eyes off you.

Apologies I don’t have any pictures of the performance, we were informed that photography was ‘strictly forbidden.’ So being the good girl that I am, I adhered to that.

I’ll be going to the next Turning Pointe production, whatever it may be. It was a beautiful, well-crafted performance with impressive costumes, scenery and make up. If you love ballet. This is the one for you.

About author
Profile photo of Emma Haylan Hall

Emma Haylan Hall

British Actress, travel junkie and connoisseur of all things fabulous. Emma's love of performing began at a young age and never left. Not quite as sweet as she looks.

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