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La Fille Mal Gardee from Royal Ballet (HD transmission)


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#1 Birdsall

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Posted 16 May 2012 - 06:22 PM

Did anyone see the Royal Ballet's La Fille Mal Gardee at the movies (or in person if you live in London) today?

I went to it today. The live transmission was at 2:30pm in Florida. I have only seen Ashton's La Fille once on video (Carlos Acosta video), and I enjoyed it the one time I saw it. I enjoyed it today too, especially the various dances involving so many ribbons. Colas and Lise do a lovely duet with ribbons and it ends with them creating a Cat's Cradle or whatever it is called (it might not have been a Cat's Cradle). Later Lise becomes a sort of May Pole as her friends dance around her. Then, there is an actual May Pole with ribbons. I read that all these ribbons represent attachment and ties that keep people together. It is a touching symbol.

Steven McRae and Roberta Marquez were lovely together. They really did seem like two young people in love with each other to me. Both had moments to shine. I think Marquez looks like the sweetest person you would ever meet. She exudes such a warm and sweet personality.

Since i do not know this ballet well at all I can't comment too much on the actual steps, but what I saw I really enjoyed. There were enough virtuoso moments and tender, sweet moments. It looks firmly based in the style of Petipa, but it has some 20th century moves inserted in that actually flow into the more classical. The dancer playing Alain (Ludovic Ondiviela) has to use his classical technique to actually dance sloppy. The backstage footage showed how his coach was telling him to stop using the beautiful classical line and make it more vaudeville for this goofy and nerdy character. In fact, I find the Alain character downright strange and very weird.

Philip Mosley played the Widow Simone, and it was interesting to see him in a short interview before the show as himself. He is a good-looking man, but he makes the ugliest woman I have ever seen! LOL He was great in the clog dance and very funny.

The interviews before the show had dancers showing their clogs (several corps members back up the Widow Simone in the clog dance) and how previous dancers signed the clogs underneath. These are interesting little details that we audience members would never know.

I usually like tragedy where everyone is dying for love, but I have to say that La Fille Mal Gardee brings a smile to my face. It is charming without making my eyes roll. Even the chickens dancing at the beginning are okay!

The "documentary" before and during intermission was called "A Very English Ballet," and this does seem to be true of Ashton's ballet. It has a very English feel to it.

I can't wait to explore the other Gorsky/Petipa version that Cristian has told me about, but for now this was a charming ballet. I plan to see it live at Sarasota Ballet next season.

#2 sandik

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Posted 16 May 2012 - 09:08 PM

I am envious of your experience today -- I love the Ashton Fille, and am always glad of a chance to see it.

#3 annamk

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Posted 17 May 2012 - 12:06 AM

I'm glad you enjoyed the performance, I watched it at the Royal Opera House. Fille is one of my favourite ballets: when it's well danced and the comic timing is spot on, the feeling of warmth and happiness it generates can last for days. I loved the performance last night and as it was broadcast live it was a relief that there were no technical hitches with all the ribbons or with the little pony ! I thought Steven and Roberta's charcacterisation was very convincing. She plays a naughtier Lise than others which works well for the comedy aspect and she gives Steven a warmth that he sometimes doesn't naturally have. His solo dancing was, as always, highly accomplished and the difficult lifts were executed with relative ease. I think he gets a good balance between the touching tenderness of the romantic pdd and the athleticism of the bravura pdd. Steven and Roberta's joy & energy on stage lifts the company and last night everyone looked as though they were thrilled to be there.
In the programme notes David Vaughan talks about the ribbons and the maypole: he writes that when Colas runs in and lifts Lise "and the ribbons flutter down - the lovers have relinquished all other ties but the bonds of love." Awwwwww ........

#4 Birdsall

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Posted 17 May 2012 - 03:03 AM

I'm glad you enjoyed the performance, I watched it at the Royal Opera House. Fille is one of my favourite ballets: when it's well danced and the comic timing is spot on, the feeling of warmth and happiness it generates can last for days. I loved the performance last night and as it was broadcast live it was a relief that there were no technical hitches with all the ribbons or with the little pony ! I thought Steven and Roberta's charcacterisation was very convincing. She plays a naughtier Lise than others which works well for the comedy aspect and she gives Steven a warmth that he sometimes doesn't naturally have. His solo dancing was, as always, highly accomplished and the difficult lifts were executed with relative ease. I think he gets a good balance between the touching tenderness of the romantic pdd and the athleticism of the bravura pdd. Steven and Roberta's joy & energy on stage lifts the company and last night everyone looked as though they were thrilled to be there.
In the programme notes David Vaughan talks about the ribbons and the maypole: he writes that when Colas runs in and lifts Lise "and the ribbons flutter down - the lovers have relinquished all other ties but the bonds of love." Awwwwww ........


Awwwww......so sweet about the liner notes......it makes you fall in love with love.....I also love when she is locked inside her house, and Colas opens the top of the door and lifts her up, and her body sways like a pendulum to the music. It is somehow so touching even if it isn't exactly a dance move. I guess it is a lift of sorts.

I liked Roberta Marquez being a little naughty, b/c I saw the picture or painting that the ballet is based on, and I believe Lise is not supposed to be innocent! LOL I think Marquez was naughty enough but sweet at the same time. She made Lise a very touching character.

Once again Ballet in Cinema enables us to see ballet across the Atlantic at the same time! I find it so amazing that I can watch the same ballet performance that you were at, Annamk as it is happening!!!! That is such a great development in technology!

#5 Amy Reusch

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Posted 18 May 2012 - 08:15 PM

These are wonderful clips from the Royal Ballet!!

Steven McRae and Roberta Marquez & Ludovic Ondiviela:






#6 Bella12

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Posted 19 May 2012 - 01:10 PM

These are wonderful clips from the Royal Ballet!!

Steven McRae and Roberta Marquez & Ludovic Ondiviela:


If I'm not mistaken, the clips in the first YouTube segment above are not from the recent cinema relay featuring the cast in the second segment but from the performance filmed a number of years ago for television and DVD. It featured Carlos Acosta, Marianela Nuñez, William Tuckett and Jonathan Howells.

#7 Amy Reusch

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Posted 19 May 2012 - 09:24 PM

Ha! I bet you're right.

#8 Amy Reusch

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Posted 29 May 2012 - 07:58 PM

Damn... Just lost my post...

Will try to summarize:

"Fille" finally played locally... So very glad this was better shot than the Osipova/Sarafanov "Giselle". It's safe now to invite friends back to the movie theater...

Some of the close-ups overstated the theatrical focus, making it less efective, but for a live production the framing choice flaws wete precious few. I would like to see this side by side with the Acosta/Nuņez "Fille" to compare directors' choices.

I was surprised there weren't shots of the large group dances from what I think of as the Royal box (I have never been in the ROH but assume there must be a royal box?)...it seems some of the patterns would have been pleasant to see from that angle.

I wish directors would understand that when a dancer "looks" at something rather than at the audience, the audience should be shown what the dancer is "seeing"... That "looking" is to direct our focus at something after all... It's not by chance. If the dancer is focusing on a prop, the framing should compose with that prop directing the composition... Watch that ribbon as much as the dancer, please...

My favorite true audience moment was when the teenager next to me (daughter's friend) was so startled by Colas' sudden appearence in the third act that she let out a small scream!

The intermission clips were wonderful too. And I hope that woman in the balcony shot putting on her coat and getting ready to leave early was suitably mortified by her fifteen seconds of [in]fame[y] not to repeat the rudeness.

The live tweets supered on the screen experiment seemed like it should not be repeated. Glad it was only during the bows.

Missed the chicken's bow...

Very worth the ticket price!

#9 Amy Reusch

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Posted 29 May 2012 - 08:07 PM

Would enjoy seeing Ludovic as Colas and MacRae as Alaine.

At times the female corps seemed strangely tall.

#10 Amy Reusch

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Posted 30 May 2012 - 11:46 AM

And one last thing... i could have sworn in the Paris Opera Ballet version, Alain's father gets together with the Widow Simone at the end of the ballet... Are there multiple Ashton versions?

#11 Jack Reed

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Posted 08 June 2012 - 06:44 AM

I caught up with this the evening of the 9th in a nearly-empty suburban cinema and thought the whole performance on stage - when the excessive closeups didn't interfere by cutting so much of what was going on out of the picture - was superb, all of a piece, as I prefer (and as a recent performance of Giselle by ABT on tour was not, for example) and the one in the pit, which suffered no interference, was, too, right through.

I liked best the view of about half the stage width, where we got all the "body language" from the dancers in their space; and fortunately the variations and the adagio pas de deux at the end were shown very simply and effectively. So effectively that the woman in the row in front of me joined the ROH audience's applause at these moments! But I think I too remember some odd distortions, as when a low camera made the dancers seem unnaturally tall.

Fille is not one of my favorites, not my cup of tea (the right metaphor for such an English ballet?), but I had a very good time with it the whole evening, and, realizing that, I had second thoughts about my quibbles about how it could easily have been better-shown, with camera work and editing that was less active, drawing less attention to itself - and I realized I paid the whopping sum of $10 for this! Now, there's value for money!


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