Dance preview: Scottish Ballet's Hansel & Gretel
Constant Vigier and Sophie Martin star as the sweetie-struck brother and sister in Christopher Hampson's colourful production
When Christopher Hampson's colourful new production of Hansel & Gretel first hit the stage in December 2013, it had many memorable qualities. The bright, sweetie-covered house, over-sized furniture that made the children look small, gorgeous lolly-pop lights, and that tear-jerkingly happy ending.
But perhaps most importantly, the central performances were fun and believable, something dancer Constant Vigier strived for when creating the role of Hansel. 'My goal was to make the character as natural as possible,' he says. 'And I tried not to think too much about how I was dancing, so it was less about being technical and more about acting. Although, actually, the less acting I did, the better it got. I didn't try to be childish, just as genuine as possible.'
Playing alongside Scottish Ballet principal Sophie Martin certainly helped, and together they created the perfect younger brother / older sister dynamic on stage. This was something Vigier brought from his own life. 'What really helped me is that I'm the youngest child in my family,' he says. 'And when we all go back home, it's like it was when we were younger: I'm the easiest one to tease. And that's a similar relationship to the one between Sophie and I when we play Hansel and Gretel.'
Edinburgh Festival Theatre, Sat 10–Sat 31 Dec; Theatre Royal, Glasgow, Thu 5–Sat 14 Jan; His Majesty's Theatre, Aberdeen, Wed 18–Sat 21 Jan; Eden Court Theatre, Inverness Wed 25–Sat 28 Jan.