Jane Eyre review – bold Brontë ballet is anything but plain

Cast, Doncaster
Cathy Marston displays a novelist’s touch in layering characters in her wonderfully choreographed show for Northern Ballet

Early reviewers of Jane Eyre complained that Charlotte Brontë’s protagonist was impossible to like. Ironic, intractable, angry and culpably plain, Jane stood stubbornly apart from the blueprint of Victorian femininity. It’s a tribute to Cathy Marston, in her new work for Northern Ballet, that she’s choreographed a Jane who is similarly emancipated from the conventional tropes of the ballet heroine.

Dividing the role between young and adult Jane, Marston shows a novelist’s touch in building the layers of her character. Antoinette Brooks-Daw is superb in the early scenes, both frozen and furious, and Marston’s choreography vibrates with suggestive detail. As Jane battles against her bullying Aunt Reed, her jagged, sideways jump, her bullishly lowered head, her pummelling fists convey not only her volcanic temper but also her quickness of mind.

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Source: Guardian Dance News

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