What makes up a childhood memory?Jill Eathorne Bahr attempted to supply an answer to this question, and succeeded mightily.The shimmering world premiere of Bahr's adaptation of "Peter Pan," is a true homage to the belief that childhoodis a time when anything is possible, even flying to Never-Never Land. While Bahr didn't use any of the famous musical's familiar tunes such as "I Won't Grow Up," and "I'm Flying," she substituted, to good effect, the music of Benjamin Britten, William Walton, Frederick Delius, Frank Bridge and Thomas Newman. Bahr has largely kept J.M. Barrie's 1904 story intact, using only a couple of lines of dialogue, and conveying the actionthrough dance and mime.
Philosophically, humankind's need to dream, imagine and believe in the seemingly impossible is greater than ever.For certain, this story remains an enduring favorite for many reasons, perhaps most of all for its ability to turnback time. Even as it laments the inevitability of growing older, it also quietly reverses the aging process, transformingadults into kids who laugh, cry and clap like crazy to save poor Tinkerbell!"The five-act ballet opens in the nursery of the Darling family's spacious London home in the early 20th century.Nana, the family's Newfoundland dog and nursemaid to the children, is preparing Wendy, John and Michael for bed .
However, stealing the spotlight is Tinkerbell, for whom Bahr has written an expanded role. Far from beinga little glimmer of light that flits around Peter's head, Tinkerbell is a real person.In a pleasing tableau of modern dance, 10 saucy Indian maidens, barefoot, performed spectacular floor rolls, using angular steps with palms facing outward. In the wild pirate number, the pirates toss their mops on "deck" beforeleaping up out of the orchestra pit.Capt. Hook radiates great style in his rousing solo and in the sword fight with Pan. In one scene, the pirates enigmaticallyperform a Cossack folk number, then switch to moves to "Lady of Spain." It was crazy, but it worked.They then use their mops as partners, a la Fred Astaire, in a fascinating tableau