Iconic Aussie characters Snugglepot and Cuddlepie come to ballet

As the Spanish Flu pandemic gripped the world 102 years ago, Western Australian children’s author and cartoonist May Gibbs brought joy to Australia with her tales of two Gumnut babies. Now, with COVID-19 dominating the news, West Australian Ballet prepare to premiere a new adaption Gibbs’ iconic story, The Adventures of Snugglepot and Cuddlepie.

Commissioned by West Australian Ballet Artistic Director Aurélien Scannella to be presented in partnership with the Awesome Arts Festival for Bright Young Things, Gibbs’ iconic story will be adapted to include many of the well-known characters such as Mr Lizard, Mrs Fantail, Mrs Kookaburra, Mr Frog, Ragged Blossom and the evil Mrs Snake with her Banksia Men.

The 30 minute ballet created for children of all ages, is choreographed by former dancer and WAAPA Lecturer Andries Weidemann and sees Snugglepot and Cuddlepie embark on a journey to see humans, but as they meet Mr Lizard and other friends, they become entangled in some chaos and have to escape Mrs Snake and the Banksia Men.

“Ballet should be enjoyed by everyone, from the young to the old and our high quality children’s ballets are created to inspire young kids that may not be able to sit through a full two hour ballet,” said Scannella.

The new work features a score created by Perth Composer Emma Jayakumar and recorded by Perth Symphony Orchestra, as well as sets and costumes from recent WAAPA graduate Amalia Lambert with the work to be performed by West Australian Ballet’s versatile Young Artists and members of the Corps de Ballet.

Jenny Simpson, CEO/Artistic Director of the Awesome Arts Festival for Bright Young Things shared her excitement about the upcoming production.

“Stories like Snugglepot and Cuddlepie hold an important place in the hearts of many Australians,” said Simpson.

“It is very exciting to see this new adaptation being presented in the heart of our 2020 AWESOME Festival.”

The Adventures of Snugglepot and Cuddlepie will debut on 28 September for a five show run on an outdoor stage in the Perth Cultural Centre, the site of successful children’s ballet Peter and the Wolf which was also choreographed by Weidemann and enjoyed by over 6,500 attendees.

Find out more about the Awesome Arts Festival.

Source: Media Release

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