Thursday, October 9, 2014

Who doesn't want a velveteen rabbit in their life?


Last weekend, Prologue attended Canada's Ballet Jörgen's dress rehearsal of The Velveteen Rabbit before their presentations at Betty Oliphant Theatre in Toronto and once again, we were charmed by the lovely choreography of Kathleen Rea bringing to life the beloved story by Margery Williams.


What's a plush toy to a rambunctious boy, when he can play with shiny soldiers and fancy mechanical toys? Nothing, until a perceptive nanny brings it to the restless boy on a night when he can't fall asleep. Thus begins the love story between a boy and a velveteen rabbit. Together, they will play, run outside, meet real rabbits, fight a bad virus...

The way Ballet Jörgen manages to interchange the giant rabbit prop with the dancer playing the role of the rabbit, and the fact that only the boy and the audience have the privilege to see the toys come to life, is truly entertaining.

Photo by Patricia Gubbins
What's unique about Ballet Jörgen's performance is how they introduce the dancers before the show (without their costumes), and the way they explain and demonstrate how movements convey information and emotions. Meeting again with the dancers after their performance for a Q&A prolongs our pleasure and gives the kids in the audience the feeling that Rabbit is "really" talking to them, that they are "really" seeing the Fairy in the flesh.



Photo by Eva Mende-Gibson

When we attended, someone asked what was the hardest dance movement they had to perform during the show. One of the rabbits answered by effortlessly executing a high jump across the stage, to everyone's delight.

The fun part of attending a dress rehearsal is that we get to hear things like: "Rabbit needs a surgery!", after a staff member noticed that a part of Rabbit's got undone. 

Don't worry. The patient recovered beautifully from the operation and Ballet Jörgen went on to perform two presentations before a full house during that weekend. 



Bring The Velveteen Rabbit to your school!
Faites venir Le lapin de velours dans votre école!

Ballet Jörgen's production of The Velveteen Rabbit is available in English, French or bilingual versions. It can come to your school, decors, props and all (minus the lighting) for the school price of $822. It can be performed for an audience of 300 students, which means a cost of under $3 per student, and no busing is required! 

For more information, contact Prologue at stephanie@prologue.org or 416-591-9092 ext. 225 (1-888-591-9092 ext. 225), or search The Velveteen Rabbit in the Dance section of prologue.org.


Photo by Eva Mende-Gibson
Photo by Patricia Gubbins
Photo by Patricia Gubbins
Photo by Patricia Gubbins
Photo by Patricia Gubbins
Photo by Patricia Gubbins
Photo by Eva Mende-Gibson
Photo by Eva Mende-Gibson

Photo by Eva Mende-Gibson
Photo by Patricia Gubbins

Photo by Eva Mende-Gibson
Photo by Eva Mende-Gibson
Photo by Eva Mende-Gibson
Photo by Patricia Gubbins
Photo by Patricia Gubbins







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