Another weekend another ballet....
Today it was the Royal Opera House to see the Royal Ballet perform Giselle which is apparently Giselle is considered one of the great romantic ballets.
In the first act Albrecht (an aristocrat) pretends to be a simple countryman called Loys and attempts to woo fair Giselle. Giselle's mother wants her to marry a forester called Hilarion. Giselle ignores her mother and falls for the pretty boy, she announces their engagement only for Hilarion to prove that Loys is not a simple countryman but an aristocrat who is already engaged to a Duke's daughter (Bathilde). Giselle loses her mind and kills herself.
The set was lovely and the dancing beautiful, Giselle (Lauren Cuthbertson) was very graceful and beautiful to watch. I had to feel sorry for Hilarion he comes across as a bit of a boor but he really does love Giselle. Giselle comes across as selfish and well stuck up (to use a modern phrase). This means you understand why Giselle falls for Albrecht/Loys and certainly why he falls for the charms of the village beauty.
If the first act is rooted in the hear and now the second is a fantasy. Set at night in a forest glade we are at Giselle's unconsectated grave. Hilarion is mourning at Giselle grave when the Wilis (ghostly spirits) materialise summoned by their queen Myrtha, Hilarion runs for his life. Albrecht appears and puts flowers on Giselle's grave, he sees her ghostly form and follows.
The Wilis meanwhile have surrounded and force him to dance to his death. Myrta orders Giselle to entice Albrecht to his death by the beauty of her dance.She tries to resist but they are both driven to dance. She tries to protect him and just as he is about to die of exhaustion the sun comes up the Wilis power is broken and by the power of love Giselle returns to her grave. Albrecht is left to grieve alone.
Firstly the set wonderfully mysterious and the dance superb. The Wilis dance beautifully in line and time. They really did move as one! Frederico Bonelli does a fine job of expressing Albrecht's exhaustion, difficult to do when you also have a ballerina to lift. Lauren Cuthbertson is so elegant and graceful in her movement. Really beautiful to watch.
The music is by Adolphe Adam, he isn't Tchaikovsky but the music was nice and really fitted the ballet.
I would have no hesitation in recommending you see this!