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Published on September 15th, 2010 | by Niamh

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Absolut Fringe: The Ballet Ruse

The Ballet Ruse – a lunchtime show without sandwiches, as they say.

Yesterday I went along to see The Ballet Ruse thanks to Zoetrope PR. I had only read the short blurb in the press release telling me this:



Once upon a time two budding ballerinas battled for perfection in the sugar-coated world of ballet. Those hopes and dreams didn’t survive … but they did. This is their story …

Two of Ireland’s freshest and most original choreographers – Muirne Bloomer and Emma O’Kane –  have teamed up to present a witty and engaging short lunchtime dance piece about the pitfalls and pressures of ballet dancing.

The two dancers (who have performed for over 10 years with CoisCéim Dance Theatre) first presented this hilarious take on ballet at Electric Picnic in 2009 before receiving a standing ovation at Project Brand New in early 2010.

Now they will present, for the first time, the full 40-minute show as part of ABSOLUT Fringe in Project Cube.

Dancing to a sumptuous score ranging from Tchaikovsky to Lady Gaga, these seasoned performers will surprise and entertain as they struggle from barre to bar in their quest for peace and reconciliation.

The Ballet Ruse: raw, honest, with frills attached.

So although I knew what to expect, as a person who attended three ballet classes at the age of four when my gran had seen some young ballerinas on the Late Late Show and decided to buy me the shoes, tutu and leotard and THEN see if I liked it (I didn’t), I had no insight into the world of ballet I was about to see.

It was a full house with a few lucky people being squeezed into the last individual seats before the beginning. There were may people there who seemed to know each other and indeed I spotted one of the girls from Ponydance Company there to see the show too. So lots of dancers, I assumed. Judging from the guffaws and giggles from certain quarters of the audience from almost the very beginning, I’d say I was right!

Both of the dancers are very beautiful, graceful and elegant. But they brought a comedy and intentional mania to the ballet in the show exposing the funny, sometimes ludicrous and sometimes difficult sides of the ballet world, how it has affected them and other ballerinas lives. They did indeed “struggle from barre to bar” and took the audience with them. Although those with a ballet or even dance background might find this funnier than most non-dancing folk, the dancing is beautiful and sometimes unexpected and the comedic elements are understated and widely appealing.

At 4o minutes long this is the perfect lunchtime show beginning at 1pm. Tickets are €14 or €11 for concessions and can be bought at the ABSOLUT fringe box office in Filmbase, Curved Street, Temple Bar, Dublin 2, by calling the ABSOLUT ticket line on 1850 FRINGE (1850 374643) or on the ABSOLUT fringe website. The show only runs until this Saturday 18th September in the Cube in Project Arts Centre – so hurry!!

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You can reach me on niamh@culch.ie :)



2 Responses to Absolut Fringe: The Ballet Ruse

  1. Bngr says:

    I was hoping to catch this.

  2. Niamh says:

    Well do it quickly B, only tomorrow and Friday left, I think Saturday is sold out – though you might get in at the door if there are any latecomers/no shows. I wouldn’t depend on that though, it is in the Cube in Project Arts Centre.

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