Magazine article Musical Opinion

Royal Ballet School's Gisele

Magazine article Musical Opinion

Royal Ballet School's Gisele

Article excerpt

The Royal Ballet School's Matinee has always been a very enjoyable event and this year the performance at Sadler's Wells on 17 July was no exception. Usually the School presents a mixed bill, which shows its pupils from the very youngest to the most senior students demonstrating all their various talents in an increasingly difficult series of short works. This year it was decided to present a classical ballet, Giselle, with the Royal Ballet supplying all but two of the principal roles and the School providing all the supporting roles of the peasants, courtiers and the Wilis. Thus, in fact, the School was performing all the parts usually danced by the Corps of the Royal Ballet. Are we to assume that they did not have dancers with the potential for major roles?

As the peasants of the First Act, both the male and female, looked authentic, showing just the right amount of reaction to the main events of the plot. Fortunately, the two dancers playing Giselle and Count Albrecht, were sufficiently youthful not to seem at all out of place among their young friends. However, the male students who formed the Court of the Duke of Courland did look too young and self-conscious, besides being rather overwhelmed by their heavy, lavish costumes. In the Second Act the imperious Myrtha of Vanessa Palmer was admirably seconded by two senior students, Anu Viheriaranta as a cool Moyna and Maiko Nishino as an equally cold Zulme. Both acted and danced with consummate style and fine finish. …

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