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Royal Ballet's Giselle

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Here's a bit from Debra Craine's review in the Times. Did anyone go?

Ravishing return that floats on latent passion


CHANGES are afoot at the Royal Ballet. We’ve already seen, with the most recent mixed bill, how the Australian Ross Stretton plans to give the company a new look, making it more contemporary, less classical. In a year or two it may be a very different company from the one you see at Covent Garden today.

But let’s hope one thing doesn’t change — the Royal Ballet’s ability to deliver an iconic 19th-century ballet with the shining credibility it gave Giselle last night. Thanks to its superb leading players — Alina Cojocaru and Johan Kobborg — and a striking corps de ballet, this was a performance you couldn’t beat.

[ March 22, 2002, 09:57 AM: Message edited by: alexandra ]

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Yes I was at First Night! I wish I had the time to write this up properly but I'll just say that Alina is everything the reviews say she is and more. She was just astonishing in Act I, so detailed and nuanced and she is a truely gifted actress. Her mad scene is so mesmerising I really can't find the worlds to describe.

And she and Johan are so well matched from their very first steps. Their partnership is really something special, "the real thing" as I read someone commented on one of the other boards". The lifts were wonderful in their weightlessness.

And Johan himself, wow what a dancer! Those were just entrechat sixes right, because they looked like more! I just love how Judith Mackrell described him.

"Beneath his mild, handsome looks and heroically elegant dancing Kobborg always suggests there is unstable emotional ground, liable to erupt with hot passions and slow broiling obsessions."

I have the hardest time trying to get across to others who haven't seen him how much depth his dancing and acting has and I think that sums him up rather well!

I was also really impressed with how fantastic the corps were, not just their wonderful dancing but their menace in Act II as well. I'm in love with this production! Another perfect evening! This is what Giselle should be! My only gripe is how quiet the audience seemed to be, apart from cheering on Alina and Johan of course (and a flower shower too!) I keep thinking about what Natasha Oughtred (from the corps) said at one of the Insight Evenings about how much the dancers appreciate applause after a particularly difficult bit. I thought some dancers deserved a lot more than what they got like in the pas de six, but by now I'm used to that deathly pause before someone dares to start clapping and they probably are too.

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