‘GATSBY at The Green Light’: The ultimate summer soirée at Sydney Opera House

'GATSBY at The Green Light'. Photo by Tom Oldham.
'GATSBY at The Green Light'. Photo by Tom Oldham.

Embark upon a journey through the revered pages of the 1925 classic, The Great Gatsby, penned by the maestro of American literature, F. Scott Fitzgerald. This narrative unfolds amidst the opulence of 1920s New York, weaving the tale of Jay Gatsby, a self-made millionaire, ensnared in the pursuit of Daisy Buchanan, a young woman of extravagance and affluence, the beacon of his youthful passion. Immerse yourself in the vivacity of this roaring affair, where champagne flows like memories, stars shimmer with secrets, and commercial melodies serenade the sultry summer air at the Sydney Opera House until the grand finale on Sunday 24 March.

Enter the glittering tapestry inspired by Fitzgerald’s immortal novel, where the lavish soirées of the Jazz Age converge with the effervescent spirit of the 2020s. The stage is set at The Green Light, the hottest club in town, a domain ruled by none other than the indomitable Gatsby himself. This electrifying establishment pulsates with extravagance, vitality and the abandon built in the relentless pursuit of love.

'GATSBY at The Green Light' at Sydney Opera House. Photo by Daniel Boud.
‘GATSBY at The Green Light’ at Sydney Opera House. Photo by Daniel Boud.

You’ll be dazzled by a stellar ensemble of six dancers, who set the scene, seamlessly merging the decadence of the 1920s with the prowess of the 2020s. Aerial displays, toe-tapping jazz harmonies, awe-inspiring vocals and mesmerising choreography unfold like a timeless vaudeville act, casting a bewitching spell over the ultimate summer soirée, accompanied by cocktails and canapés.

The key dance elements are both subtle and striking. Although commercial, it gives hints of various era-based choreographic styles. This choreography was specifically created by visionary Lucas Newland with Resident Choreographer Cassie Bartho of Brent Street Academy – featured in the Prime doco-series, Dance Life. Stars in the show include Erin Gaw and Tiana Vassallo, as well as Willa Bell Klemm, Clayton Church and Thomas Young who are also Brent Street graduates. 

A testament to Newland’s commitment to prioritising the audience’s experience, their performance and dances will move through the moods and emotions of each scene, making every step a part of the narrative. “My aim was to create and direct choreography in a way that anchors to the narrative, following the mood and feeling of each scene or number in the show,” Newland says. “I was very lucky to have Cassie as my assistant/step-maker on this project. We always prioritised the way the audience will feel when they watch the dancers – not so much the complexity of the individual steps.”

'GATSBY at The Green Light'. Photo by Prudence Upton.
‘GATSBY at The Green Light’. Photo by Prudence Upton.

Prepare for a roaring affair as you travel between time and place with the spirit of Gatsby reigning supreme. “Creating a textured landscape enables the audience to explore depths throughout the performance,” Newland explains. “This encompasses not only choreography and movement but the way they become ‘one’ with the set, staging and other performers. Sometimes, you want the steps to command attention and say, ‘Look over here.’ Other times, you want them to melt into the background and support the other performance elements.”

As you sip on a delightfully infused gin martini, be prepared to be captivated by the extraordinary GATSBY, which stands as an innovative creation by the same creators behind the acclaimed L’Hotel, guided by director Craig Ilott, renowned for the spectacular rendition of Amadeus in 2022 and the disco-infused sensation, Velvet Rewired, in 2023.  

At The Green Light, amidst whispers, champagne and stars, anticipate a fun, edgy and entertaining rendition of a classic story. The acrobatic performers, a stellar assembly, promise an unparalleled spectacle, a testament to the creators’ ingenuity. “Expect a really fun, edgy and entertaining take on a classic story,” Newland says. “Current pop, R&B and club tracks are mixed throughout the show and create a modern take on a classic era. It’s naughty, sexy, raw and engaging, with some high-energy, spectacular dance numbers paired with intimate, all-encompassing moments. The acrobatic performers are truly some of the best I have ever seen assembled in Australia.”

For a ticket to this extraordinary escapade and details on showtimes, venture into the world of GATSBY at the Green Light at the Sydney Opera House. An invitation to this sparkling world awaits. 

GATSBY at The Green Light runs through 24 March. For tickets and more information, visit www.sydneyoperahouse.com/musical-theatre-cabaret/gatsby.

By Renata Ogayar of Dance Informa.

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