I knew whoever was under the American Indian makeup and feathers was a good dancer - strong and sure, he commanded a presence that the lead dancer had not manged to do all evening. His costume, a stereotypical idea of an Indian Brave, left a gap at the side of his hip, that showed you that bit.. you know that dimple, dip, hollow, that fit guys have on the outside of their body where their leg meets their body - the side of their bottom - hip - the cuplike hollow that is visible when they flex their buttock? Ok, yes, I've spent a lot of time observing this part of the male anatomy but not Gray's Anatomy so I don't know the proper name.
He was sexy. He was lean and strong and expressive and in control of every seemingly effortless movement. At intermission I checked the program and yes, there he was, and I should have known - Alex Wagner. Who else could it have been. He played the Sun God too earlier in the piece - he was also playing the father, Mr Darling at the beginning and end of the Royal New Zealand Ballet's performance of Peter Pan last night at the Aotea Centre.
I wished he was Peter Pan - I suppose he would be at other performances. The guy dancing the lead last night was pale and not the least bit impish. His fair skin and hair blended with his costume and he all but disappeared on the stage. There was little distinction of his features or his movements and everything seemed to blur into nothing of any real consequence.
The Ballet was so much fun though. Jon Trimmer, master of the character dancers, was a wonderful Captain Hook in a rik-shaw-type-vehicle that seemed to squeal around the corners as he hooned across the stage. His First Mate, Smee didn't seem to have any neck and had some great comical moves. The Lost boys were funny, dancing in unison, and again one or two of the dancers stood out from the rest - they're such a creative bunch. Tinkerbell, of course, was captivating, sexy and temperamental.
All and all it was all worth the wait, even though it's been a long one since Romeo and Juliet earlier in the year. Next year the ballet's are a bit thin-on-the-ground being that the Company is touring the UK with Romeo and Juliet. Coppelia is the Christmas ballet for 2004 with some contemporary stuff for earlier in the year.
50 years of the Royal New Zealand Ballet.."Lead dancers Alex Wagner and Jane Turner talk candidly about casting nightmares, stage fright and the blossoming of love on stage" ... (well, at least he's not gay)