‘I’m happy to be healthy and doing what I love’, says premier dancer who will perform in her last ballet in Sheffield

A premier dancer who has over 20 years experience will be performing some of her last pirouettes on stage in Sheffield next week.

By Rochelle Barrand
Monday, 11 March, 2019, 17:30
Pippa Moore as Older Princess Beatrice in Victoria. Photo by Emma Kauldhar.

Pippa Moore, a Premier Dancer at Northern Ballet., will be taking to the stage at the Lyceum from Tuesday in the title role of Beatrice in Victoria.

Pippa said: “We meet Beatrice aged 44 at the beginning of the ballet and the fact that I am the same age is somewhat poetic, especially as by the end, Beatrice is in a place where she can accept the past and move forward into freedom.

“This will be my last role and it’s wonderful to retire with a ballet that I haven’t danced before. I don’t have to lament the past or be nostalgic about it being a role that I performed when I had more synovial fluid in my joints.”

Pippa said taking on the role of Beatrice made her view the ‘shy princess’ in a different way – and she hoped the audience would also see a different side of her.

He said: “The character of Beatrice is really interesting. Her nickname throughout her life was ‘Baby’ and she was also known as ‘the shy princess’.

“Victoria essentially forced the role of lifelong companion on her so she didn’t have the independence that her siblings enjoyed. I had to think how I could relate to this woman because at first, I thought she didn’t have enough gumption to stand up for herself.

“Then I found out that Beatrice had a huge falling out with Victoria over her engagement to her future husband Liko. Beatrice stood her ground which resulted in Victoria not speaking to her for about seven months and only communicating with notes passed over the table. 

“Beatrice suddenly became more layered and interesting to me. The audience will also discover that her mother wasn’t solely a tyrant widow consumed with herself – there was a complexity to their relationship.

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“In the ballet we peel those layers away literally and metaphorically, and Beatrice is afforded a new understanding of why her mother was the way she was.

“My hope is that the audience is moved by the transition in Beatrice’s mind as she begins to see her mother as a woman.”

Pippa added that the story, while one that audiences may be familiar with, will be told in a different way to what they have previous seen.

She said: “They will see something a little less predictable. I did love the televised ITV series although it was very romanticised; the costumes, the chandeliers and gilded frames.

“If you come to the theatre to see Northern Ballet, audiences should expect a different angle. We haven’t changed history but we are looking at it from a different view point which is appropriate as theatre audiences today expect to be challenged with more than historical re-enactments and fancy dress.”

Pippa, who retires at the end of the Spring 2019 season and will perform for the final time in Victoria, has been in and it’s 37 full-length ballets, not including triple bills of short works – just for the Northern Ballet.

She said: “Now I am at the end of my career, I am just enjoying every day, whether I’m in the studio or on stage. I’m just happy to be healthy and still doing what I love.” 

Victoria will be at The Lyceum from March 19 to March 23. Tickets at www.sheffieldtheatres.co.uk.