This is a production of the well-known story of Aladdin, performed by the Burklyn Youth Ballet from New Jersey, who have been coming to Edinburgh for five years.
The story opens in the palace where the princess is looking for a husband. Envoys from Russia, China and Spain are each trying to persuade her of their merits. The princess secretly leaves the palace and goes to the marketplace where she meets Aladdin and falls in love, while getting involved with slaves and a slave trader. An evil sorceress finds Aladdin hiding the princess and forces him to work for her by going to a cave and finding the magic lamp. Aladdin retrieves the lamp but refuses to hand it over to the sorceress and is banished to the cave. In desperation, he rubs the lamp and a genie appears. The genie grants Aladdins wishes and Aladdin becomes rich, escapes and marries the princess. All live happily ever after.
Although this is a youth ballet company, the leading dancers are not children. Apart from the bats, who flutter about the stage very effectively and amusingly, there is only one young child in the production. Aladdin is well danced by Joey Steinauer who is skilful and enthusiastic. The princess (Sarah Tallman) and sorceress (Emily Conelly) are both very experienced, professional dancers. The most assured performance comes, unsurprisingly, from Arthur Leeth as the genie. He is the companys ballet master and has been dancing for over thirty years. He certainly looks like a powerful genie.
The music for the ballet comes from works by Rimsky-Korsakov, Minkus and Delibes and feels exactly right for the story.
The first day audience was somewhat unresponsive, possibly because it was at 10.30 on a Friday morning and there were few families there. This is a production that will appeal to families and its not too long for small children.