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Giselle, The Australian Ballet

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Ok Alexandra, here is my review. I have done only one other (on the Tivoli, at another board that didn't get through the complex logon procedure).

The only Giselle l have seen is on tape with Alessandra Ferri, who does an extremely fragile and believable Giselle. I often put this tape on to get the kids to sleep at night. By second act, they are gone. My dancing 11-year-old informs me that this is because she cannot handle the death scene at the end of act one. However, she handled it fine in the AB production.

The main performers were:

Giselle: Lisa Bolte

Count Albrecht: Matthew Trent

Hilarion: Robert Curran

Myrtha: Olivia Bell

Lisa performed this role well, and with much attention to narrative (? acting) detail. Lisa has been around for a while now, and though l was hoping to see Leeanne Benjamin, we (both daughter and l) were happy to see Lisa's Giselle. I have read a review that described Lisa as being too healthy looking to pull off a convincing Giselle. This may be true and l can see why. A more fragile looking Giselle is plausable. Her performance was touching, however, and she worked well with Matthew. I thought that some of the more demanding moves she struggled with, but she pulled off a credible performance, which was well received.

Matthew Trent, our newest principle, is fast fitting comfortably into his demanding roles. I liked him very much in this performance, and is a dancer well worth watching.

The cast were backed up by a very competent, albiet smallish crew. This puzzles me. Looking at the nightly cast, there are many names missing as they chop and change roles and shows continually. I wonder would it not have been better to use just a few really convincing people in their various roles for the season and stick to it, as this gives them a chance to really get to know their character well. Why all of this changing around? OK so, this give some of the new soloists a chance to perform a big one, but it show the public the bosses are not really sure who to put in the roles. I think with a bit more work, Lisa would have come across even better.

This is all l have to say. I had more to say on Tivoli (by Graham Murphy), which is past now. However, l would like to say l am looking forward to seeing his new worked Swan Lake (for next year) after seeing his sizzling and intimate pas. in Tivoli, a 10 min. performance that was pretty steamy. The old Tivoli was like that l believe. ( a former theatre that was like a variety show which showcased ballet dancers as well as other acts, many half dressed)

I wonder, with all the reworkings that Swan Lake gets, is there any attempt to rework Giselle? Is it possible even, like has been done with various Nutcrackers and Swan Lakes?

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Oh you lucky th ing jane.. I can't afford travel or tickets these days (I'm a poor uni student, after all)so I'm completely ballet starved

(well, apart from Tivoli... And wasn't that last pas de deux sensational? I got this feeling of voyeurism watching that one, and not particularly because they were near nude, or that the choreography was intentionally steamy... There was just something very intimate about it... I was transfixed! I would've writtena review, but it wasn't ballet :( )

Anyway... I was surprised to hear that Lisa was Giselle. She is a mature looking dancer and is quite... motherly? To me her style was epitomised in the 'Edge of Night' where she was quite melancholy and pensive. I don't imagine her as a Giselle in the traditional sense.

Thanks for your review, I love hearing about the Aussie Ballet, seeing as though I get to see them so rarely these days...

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I would have to say Kathryn, that the pas' did look exceptional compared to the other stuff, but that was really the only classical looking ballet in the whole piece (Tivoli). I loved Rachel Read and her exceptionally strong partner (she is no light-weight l bet). I did enjoy Tivoli of course, and do remember (only l was a little kid) some of what they were doing on TV. Like the black and white minstrels?? ie the half boy girl tango. I saw som of those acts on those old variety shows years ago. I loved the tap, and the humour. Oh well, so it wasn't quite ballet.

I really do look forward to a Murphy classical Swan Lake, and it would be excellent if they kept that piece (though with a few more clothes on). :(

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