Giselle…At the Ballet
At the Ballet…..Giselle
Before I start let me make it clear from the start I do not profess to be a ballet expert nor someone that attends the ballet regularly so this review is written from the point of view of a regular theatre attendee and about the experience rather than the technical proficiency of the dancers.
This production of Giselle was presented by PMB Presentations and performed by St Petersberg Classic Ballet. It is not a ballet I have seen before nor a story I was familiar with so for those, like me, who are not familiar with the story let me outline it briefly.
Giuselle tells the story of Duke Albrecht a nobleman who falls in love with a peasant girl, Giselle. Albrecht is however already betrothed to another so he disguises himself in order to woo Giselle. Hilarion is also in love with Giselle (popular girl I know) and during a village party he interrupts and presents Giselle with Albrecht’s sword as proof of who he really is. Giselle dies from grief in Albrecht’s arms. Act 2 tells of the Wilis, the spirits of jilted women who haunt the forest seeking out men and forcing their victims to dance until they die of exhaustion. Giselle’s spirit is roused and Albrecht appears to lay flowers on her grave. Her spirit appears to him and she forgives him. Hilarion however is not so fortunate and the Wilis have found him and force him to dance until death. They then turn on Albrecht but Giselle’s love counters the Willis magic and his life is spared and Giselle can return to her grave in peace.
The ballet was beautifully presented with a simple but effective set and cloths, pretty costumes which set the scene well and most importantly dancers who left me marvelling at their lines and the height on their jumps. The corps de ballet were so synchronised and the patters formed by them were stunning to watch. My favourite moment was their dance in Act 2 when they appear as the Wilis. The soloists were equally as strong and Giselle, danced by Natalya Romanova acted through her movement and both male leads, Albrecht, danced by Vadim Lolenko and Hilarion, danced by Evgeniy Silakov contrasted nicely in their different styles of movement.
The ballet at times wasn’t the easiest to follow however part of this is possibly due to my lack of ballet viewing however this was easily solved by reading the synopsis prior to each act. The ballet was accompanied by a live orchestra and they added to the atmosphere.
As I said before I am not a frequent attendee at the ballet but last night did make me wonder why I left it so long. If, like me you are a regular attendee at the theatre but for what ever reason ballet doesn’t really come onto your radar I would urge you to think again. It was lovely to see something different and provided a night of escapism.
Thank you to the Theatre Bloggers for arranging this trip and to The Hawth, Crawley for inviting us. You can find out more about Theatre Bloggers here and see where else St Petersburg Ballet are performing here.