Peter Pan flies to Ellie Caulkins Opera House

Captain Hook and his crew try to shoot peter pan out of the sky. Photo courtesy of Artists of Colorado Ballet

Captain Hook and his crew try to shoot peter pan out of the sky.
Photo courtesy of Artists of Colorado Ballet

Quirky rendition reminds audiences to not grow up

“I came across this diary when I was in England. It tells the tale of Peter Pan, a story that will be passed on from generation to generation as long as there are those who believe in childhood innocence and the wonderful sense of adventure,” Michael Pink, director and choreographer of the Colorado Ballet’s latest production, Peter Pan, wrote in the program. And the production did just that.  

Peter Pan took audiences on a high-flying adventure to Neverland from January 31 to February 9. The Colorado Ballet’s rendition of the classic tale brought to life all of Peter Pan’s quintessential characters like Wendy (Sarah Tryon), Tiger Lily (Fernanda Oliveira), Tinkerbell (Mackenzie Dessens), Captain Hook (Nicolas Pelletier), and of course, Peter Pan (Francisco Estevez).  

Just as the many film remakes of Peter Pan have been, the Ballet’s interpretation proved to be perfectly quirky in its own way, but also gave audience members the perfect combination of the characteristic childish Peter Pan tale and an eloquent and bewitching art form. Despite the lack of dialogue throughout the performance, the characters’ personalities that most know and love were flawlessly portrayed—they even managed to personify Nana (Madeleine Kuebler), the Darling family dog, and Peter’s shadow (Jacob Ray)—through the dancer’s performances as well as various musical motifs that aided in bringing the character’s personalities to life on stage.  

Starting in London, the audience is flown through well-known scenes from the film including Peter losing his shadow in the Darling house—this particular scene was detailed through both Peter and another dancer dressed entirely in black, mirroring each other’s dances perfectly in sync with each other as they bounced around the Darling childrens’ bedroom. Soon after, audiences were taken to the “second star to the right and straight on till morning.” Arriving in Neverland, the stage was graced with the introduction of Captain Hook, Smee (Bryce Lee), and other members of Hook’s pirate crew (as well as the ticking crocodile).  

The second act of the production proved to be the most magical for the audience. The dance crusades between Hook and his pirate crew and Tiger Lily and her sidekicks was the more interesting choreography, but it was Tinkerbell’s solos that stole the show. With a light-up costume and all the angst the character possesses, Tinkerbell elevated every scene she was present in and even made for an interactive experience for the crowd. Particularly in the scene where she begins to die, the audience, ranging in age from young to old, were able to light up their “Fantastic Fairy Fixers” that sparkled the crowd with twinkling white lights in order to bring her back to life, making it the most memorable moment of the entire production.  

The Colorado Ballet’s production of Peter Pan was a fantastic show from start to finish for ballet fans new and old and, ultimately, took audiences on an interactive adventure that any generation could enjoy—much like Pink stated in the program.

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