I’ve always believed the stereotype that ballet is all about slow dancing to classical music. After attending the charity concert organised by the Swan Lake Dance Academy, my perception of ballet has totally changed.
The concert started at 3.30pm with loud music blasting through the speakers and a modern dance routine, just as it would be at any other concert. After that, there was a performance by cute children in yellow tutus followed by an Under The Sea performance where the little dancers wore mermaid-like outfits.
Next, came 11 dancers wearing outfits similar to can-can dancers. They mixed ballet with tap dancing. Then, a different style of music came on and a girl started to dance a solo in the middle of the stage. After she left, out came a few other girls dancing to a ballet. Finally! I was so engrossed in the performance, I didn’t even know when it ended.
The concert resumed with a modern dance take on ballet. Following that was a big group of small children dressed as the red bird in Angry Birds, dancing to the music from the video game. Next, there was a very interesting performance. It was titled Adagio, Allegro, which means “slow, fast.” It was definitely my favourite performance of the evening.
After that, there was another performance by small children, who were dressed in blue based on the movie Rio. It seems the angry birds aren’t the only popular birds now. The finale was an interesting modern classical ballet dance. I never thought ballet could look like that.
Principal of the academy, Jane Yap, said her main objective was to raise funds for charity while trying to build up the dancers’ confidence to help them overcome stage fright.
By the time I returned home, my perception of ballet was completely different. Sure, it wasn’t perfect, but it was very enjoyable. I never thought I’d watch a ballet, but I did. And it was fun. It was a good experience. As the principal noted,
“Anyone can join the academy to dance. We accept anyone who loves to dance from age four until adulthood.” Hmm, let me think about joining.
By Leong Jia Qian
15, Kuala Lumpur