Alex Dellaportas and her team at Spark Productions Australia cleverly built a strong social media vibe in the lead-up to the premiere of their new production Snow and Rose. Two sisters whose bond transcends worlds reveal an intriguing glimpse of the creativity in lighting, set and choreography to be expected from a Spark Youth Dance Company creation.
Frankston Arts Centre, with a total capacity of 800, is a fine target for a youth company to fill. Happily, the fair-sized audience settles comfortably into their seats, preparing to watch an old tale come to life.
The curtain rises on a stage lit by silhouettes, an array of motionless dancers. Dramatic lighting and music set the scene and, as the dancers begin their expression, it is clear that this performance is not your average community dance performance, rather an excellent depiction of movement theatre.
Spark’s Snow and Rose cast, comprising of 21 enthusiastic dancers from varied backgrounds are clearly committed to Ms Dellaportas’ choreography. Her contemporary style plays perfectly to the strengths of the cast. The clear ostinato movement patterns and repetition enable the audience to define characters as the story develops. With multiple main characters in addition to Snow and Rose, it was fascinating to see the choreography match each individual’s personal style and ability.
Costumes designed by Stephanie Lourantos support each character’s personality and performance. Complementary to the choreography, they create interesting lines without limiting the dancers’ flow. Spark shows that the extra effort of using a live orchestra is well worth the results as live vibrations and immediate presence of music can never be equalled by a pre-recorded score.
The outstanding lighting and projections by Jake Kirby and his team are a definite highlight of the show as they make full use of what the Frankston Arts Centre offers. This includes a full sized sheer cyc screen, which is used for everything from the cityscape to forest and animated rolling screen projections, including a very effective thunderstorm!
Snow and Rose is a show for all ages, although it may be a little long for young children. A performance for everyone to enjoy; it appeals both to those with a connection to dance, and others who appreciate the innate creativity of youth involved in the performing arts.
Based on the Mornington Peninsula, Spark Productions Australia Inc. is a non-profit Australian arts organisation driven by youth under 25.
Choreographer: Alex Dellaportas
Conductor: Kent Ross
Lighting & Set Design: Jake Kirby
Projections: Arabella Winter, Jemiah Devis-Scott, Mike Fletcher
Costume Design: Stephanie Lourantos
*We sincerely wish one of the main cast members Pippa a speedy recovery after she broke her arm during the second performance.