On February 10, the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre hosted the world premier of Twyla Tharp’s The Princess and the Goblin. Based on the George MacDonald fairytale of the same name, The Princess and the Goblin recounts the courageous journey of young Princess Irene, who risks her life in the underworld of the goblins to rescue the children of the kingdom. So what prompts her to take this treacherous trip? She watches as the children go missing under King Papa’s watch. He and his courtiers waste their time with frivolous parties and protocols as the goblins sneak in and kidnap the children. Unable to convince him of the gravity of the situation, Irene takes matters into her own hands. With the help of her great grandmother and her best friend Curdie, Irene returns triumphantly, proving that faith and goodness can overcome evil and tyranny. The innocence of the children brings the adults redemption, and all is well in the kingdom again. And it may come as a surprise, but this tale of girl power was actually written in 1872.
Internationally renowned choreographer Twyla Tharp partnered with the Atlanta Ballet and the Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet to bring the story to the stage. The playful performance combines the fun of a fairytale with the beauty of ballet. Alessa Rogers of the Atlanta Ballet portrays the courageous and strong-willed Irene perfectly. She makes dancing look effortless even as she fights the goblins of the underworld. Their costumes, designed by Anne Armit, match their dirty demeanor, while Irene appears weightless in her white gown as they toss her about in the underworld. The creative costuming adds a sense of realism to the characters. Even the children, who are students of Atlanta’s Ballet Centre for Dance Education, are dressed as though they were taking a trip to the playground. They scurry across the stage only to be scooped up at the whim of the adults. But these young dancers hold their own with the professionals by bringing an innocence to the performance.
The Atlanta Ballet Orchestra is right on cue with an original score by Richard Burke. Whether Irene is pleading with King Papa, wrestling her way out of the underworld, or celebrating her victory, the music compliments the mood. The orchestra rises and falls, alerting the audience of the struggles ahead. And the audience fully participated in Irene’s journey, giggling when she steps on a goblin’s feet and cheering when she returns home with the children. The performance, which took place before a full house, ended with a standing ovation.
To sum it up in one word: whimsical. Audiences of all ages will enjoy the magical performance of The Princess and the Goblin.
WHEN: February 10 – 19, 2012
Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre
2800 Cobb Galleria Parkway
Atlanta, GA 30339
TICKETS: Available through Ticketmaster Online, Ticketmaster Arts Hotline at 800-982-2787, or in person at Bank of North Georgia Box Office at the Cobb Energy Centre.
Family four-pack for $100
“The Perfect Pairing” Dinner and Dance Package with South City Kitchen Vinings – $50 per person. Package includes: