Rosie Kay’s Fantasia Review

Stanley and Audrey Burton Theatre, Leeds – 21 November 2019

Reviewed by Sally Richmond 


The audience were welcomed with high energy and fervor right from the very first step, as they entered into the world of Rosie Kay’s Fantasia, at the Stanley and Audrey Burton theatre in Leeds last night.

Performed in three parts and lasting fifty five minutes only, this mesmerising fusion of spectacular choreography and euphonious music scores endeavoured to answer Kay’s burning question: what makes dance beautiful and pleasurable? 

After carrying out extensive research through many scientific experiments, Rosie collaborated with music director Annie Mahtani, and together they produced a show worthy of filling the heart to the brim with delight.  

The three spectacular dancers: Shanelle Clemenson, Harriet Ellis and Carina Howard flawlessly mirrored, blended, leaped across and melted into each other with perfected, smooth and dynamic  moves. Each performer also gave us breathtaking solos within the three captivating sequences themed on: the sun, the moon and the Earth.  

‘Sun’ was performed in a traditional and classic style, with tutus and pirouettes,  which illuminated the sheer skill and strength of the dancers. In ‘Moon’, the costume change of grey fringed catsuits   led into a completely different mood and form altogether – free, loose and less conventional. ‘Earth’ evoked a more emotional response and irradiated an ethereal atmosphere, almost haunting.  Ellis’s solo, in which she was shrouded in black floaty chiffon, conjured up images of Cathy from Wuthering Heights, who dreamt she cried with joy when the angels dropped her back on earth, on her beloved moors –  the audience were transfixed!  

Did Rosie Kay accomplish her mission in delivering pleasurable and beautiful dance?  Yes, is the simple answer, absolutely!