Two words come to mind when watching Kitchen Royale – this year’s annul show recently put up by the Olivia Dow School of Russian Ballet: Spectacular! Spectacular! It was a mesmerising feast of colours, a medley of non-stop bursts of beautiful costumes, creative choreography, prop and music, which left the audience almost breathless.
The cast of the Russian Ballet students brought to life this ‘happily ever after’ story set in the busy kitchen and banquet hall of a Duchess’s palace.
In the first half, we meet the main characters of the plot: the chef, well-known for his famous cuisine and who has an eye for the housekeeper’s niece, a humble hard-worker who is ill-treated by the rest. All this is set against a background of dancing chickens, gingerbread girls, village maidens and little flowers from the garden.
In the second act, preparations are underway for a grand celebration to be attended by nobility from all over the world: these include dancing Italians who whiz on stage with dishes of pasta; French with their crepes; Russians with their prized mushrooms; Greeks, Americans, British, Indians and even Maltese nobility make an appearance in their folk costume. However as the celebrations kick off, food makes way for love, as the Duchess’s son, the Grand Prince, sets his eyes on a Maltese noble lady.
The grand finale came to an end with the massive banquet cake which was decorated with cute little cupcakes – performed by the little three year olds – who captivated the hearts of the audience.
This whirlwind show owes its stunning success to the brilliant choreography of Olivia Dow assisted by Jessica Farrugia and Martina Zammit. More than a hundred ballet students took part in the show with the age ranging from 23 to three years.
The show, put up at Temi Zammit Hall at the University of Malta was professionally produced and no detail was spared to ensure an expertly polished performance.
The ballet school coaches the famous Legat System traditionally followed by the Russian Classical Ballet. This method, which focuses on Russian teaching techniques was originated by Nicolai Legat, balletmaster of the Russian Imperial Ballet. His wife, Nadine Nicolaevna Legat, coached the school principal Olivia Dow in her student years in Edinburgh.