Posts tagged Giselle
An illusion of lightness

Recently landed: An illusion of lightness, a new article on Marginalia (by Gracia) spins you back to the forest where Myrtha and her glow of Willis mean business: you will dance to your death

The Australian Ballet’s Valerie Tereshchenko as Myrtha, Queen of the Wilis, in Giselle, 2018 (image credit: Jeff Busby)

The Australian Ballet’s Giselle

Recently landed: Ethereal Giselle, Gracia’s written response to The Australian Ballet’s Giselle, for Fjord Review

Light and dark, day and night, youth and maturity, a flirtation and redemption, naturalistic and ethereal: Giselle spins a conjuror’s trick all the wilier for its very familiarity, its everlasting allurement.

An autumnal village presented in Act I flips to reveal the ballet blanc of Act II: two halves of a whole. We know this, we anticipate this, we lap it up. Fermented in honey before interval, raising a flagon of mead to love, and even love’s folly, and unpinned madness, we heed the warnings spun to the villagers. The flipside to a light-hearted Peasant pas de deux is heartache and mourning. We are cognisant of the fact that when we return to our seats in the theatre, the scene will have changed. Light for dark. Day for night. Of the earth for beyond this realm. A village for the darkest forest floor of folkloric apparitions who demand you dance to your death. Raise your flagon of mead for raise your ghostly spirits, cloaked in a shawl spun by otherworldly spiders.

True to a magic trick, in the Australian Ballet’s 259th performance of Maina Gielgud’s production of Giselle: how is it that I had not really noticed Hilarion, a forester (gamekeeper) before? Giselle and Count Albrecht make a ballet classic, but Giselle and Hilarion could have made for a happier life. Against the backdrop of opposites, there appears a triangle. In magic, ballet, life, it appears. Unrequited love and anguish wears a beard in the form of Jarryd Madden, and his performance portends great things to come in Lucas Jervies’ Spartacus, to conclude the 2018 Melbourne season. On Tuesday night, Madden’s Hilarion is more than a narrative ploy to reveal Albrecht’s deception through identity as the finder-of-cloak-and-sword; he is more than a game-offering, unnoticed suitor in the woods; more than a warning that Myrtha and her glow of Willis mean business: you will dance to your death.

The Australian Ballet’s Ako Kondo and Ty King-Wall in  Giselle  (image credit: Jeff Busby)

The Australian Ballet’s Ako Kondo and Ty King-Wall in Giselle (image credit: Jeff Busby)

Fruits of the working table

Recently landed: Fruits of the working table, a new post on Elsewhere (by Louise)

 Our collage, Underneath Soane's 'star-fish' ceiling, the library at No. 12 proved anything but quiet, on the cover of The La Trobe Journal, No. 95, March 2015

No rest for the wilis

Recently landed: No rest for the wilis, Gracia's written response for Fjord Review

In light of Eastoe’s announcement to retire now forever netted to Giselle’s spectral maidens, I like to think I saw an extra flicker of considered clemency in Hendricks’ beguiling and truly imposing Queen, as Eastoe entreated her to spare Jackson. It was present in Jackson’s aching tenderness, a twice-laced awareness of something wonderful coming to a close. This recognition was poured into and made a part of the ghostly Wilis/corps as they were forced with backs turned to listen but not see Eastoe and Jackson’s pleading duet that felt as if it had always been, and hoped would always continue to be. It was present in former Principal Artist, and one of the great Giselle’s, Bolte’s heartfelt consoling of Giselle/Eastoe as she unwove her hair, in "a lovely full circle". And it was there as Juliet Burnett, as one of Giselle’s Friends, clasped her hands to her face in show of shared grief during the famous mad scene.

Such beguilement by moonlight! Keep the dawn at bay! Under a fine gossamer veil, in bid to savor the ‘ballet-fantastique’, it is there that I choose to stay.

Madeleine Eastoe and Kevin Jackson in Giselle (Image credit: Jeff Busby)

You know, next week is going to seem pretty... still
Do You Speak Chinese?   Victoria Chiu, The Coopers Malthouse, Tower Theatre (Image credit: Andrew Gough, and The Sisters Hayes)

Do You Speak Chinese? Victoria Chiu, The Coopers Malthouse, Tower Theatre (Image credit: Andrew Gough, and The Sisters Hayes)

Farewells and other performances

Recently landed: Farewells and other performances, a new post on Elsewhere (by Louise)

By way of thanks and in delicious anticipation of The Australian Ballet's Madeleine Eastoe's second last Melbourne performance, we have collaged our bouquet (upon a borrowed promotional photo by Georges Antoni with Madeleine Eastoe and Chengwu Guo for The Dream)