Lyra’s Dream

A Ballet of the Universe

Music: Patrick Moore
Choreography: Richard Slaughter
Synopsis and Designs: from original ideas by Beryl Phelps.

Sir Patrick Moore with Richard Slaughter at a radio interview for Classic FM, 2003

Sir Patrick Moore with Richard Slaughter at a radio interview for Classic FM, 2003

It was early in 2001 that Beryl Phelps first approached Richard Slaughter with her idea for a ballet to be created to music composed by the legendary astronomer, Patrick Moore. In 2003 it became possible to stage Lyra’s Dream as part of Summer Ballet Creations Gala at Salisbury City Hall to celebrate Sir Patrick’s 80th birthday.

Lyra’s Dream was revived in 2010 and performed at the King’s Theatre, Southsea with Sir Patrick in attendance. The revised version for 2016 will present the opportunity to collect and preserve the musical scores. The planet projections are taken from original slides loaned by Sir Patrick Moore.

Synopsis

Tina Marsh as Lyra and Hannah Parker as Jeanie Cat in the first performances (photo: Chris Zuidyk)

Tina Marsh as Lyra and Hannah Parker as Jeanie Cat in the first performances (photo: Chris Zuidyk)

It is a lovely day and Lyra is sitting by the waterwheel with her father and her cat, Jeanie, dreaming of a wonderful man who will love her and with whom she can spend the rest of her life. Suddenly Orion appears before her; he invites her to join him on a tour of the night sky and they dance with the stars. Orion calls for his chariot and together they visit the planets and the constellations: Saturn, Pegasus the winged horse, Cygnus the swan, Hercules the warrior, planet Jupiter and its four moons, Mars and Venus.

Returning to Earth they reach Antarctica and watch penguins playing cricket on the ice. Their next stop, a woodland, where dragonflies, butterflies, hedgehogs and mice play together, Elves and gnomes are busy working while rabbits and worms appear from underground. Lyra and Orion have fallen deeply in love and Orion asks Lyra to spend eternity with him. Everyone waves goodbye as they soar into the night sky together and take their positions amongst the stars and planets. Lyra’s Dream has come true.

“Is this my first foray into ballet? Probably, though I have a stack of music which has never been publicly performed. Anyway – enjoy the evening and in particular Lyra’s Dream!”
Sir Patrick Moore, April 22nd 2003

“Lyra’s dance of sheer delight…the highlight for me was the premiere of Lyra’s Dream…the story charmed, the music enchanted and the young dancers dazzled.”
Sarah McQuillan, Salisbury Journal, August 21st 2003