Introducing one of our volunteer dance reviewers, Poppy O'Reilly:
Since graduating from London Studio Centre with a BA (Hons) in Theatre Dance in 2016, Poppy has returned to Devon to explore a career in teaching and dance journalism. In addition to this she spends her time coaching sports, rock climbing and yoga.
Review of Giselle | Birmingham Royal Ballet
by Poppy O'Reilly
Wednesday 23 October 2019 at Theatre Royal Plymouth
Birmingham Royal Ballet’s production of Giselle was sublimely intricate, and the precise footwork was a delight to watch, despite the occasional dancer landing off-balance. Right from the start the dancers were fully immersed in their characters, bringing to life this timeless story, and leading the audience on a journey of love and loss. Tyrone Singleton was excellent in his portrayal of Count Albrecht with exquisite batterie and a strong masculine stance. This was beautifully complemented by Delia Mathews’ re-enactment of Giselle.
The opening act provided a playful and light-hearted start to the ballet with dancers moving fluidly on and off stage. Clever costuming and set design, alongside music performed by the Royal Ballet Sinfonia, provided a spellbinding backdrop to this romantic ballet. This innocence, however, was soon shrouded by Giselle’s anguish as she finds out the truth about Count Albrecht. With the pain being too much to bear the curtain closes with Giselle taking her own life.
A hush falls over the auditorium as the curtain rises on the second act revealing an eerily silent graveyard. Myrtha, the queen of the Wilis, played by Yijing Zhang, moves serenely around the stage before being joined by the corps de ballet. As the veiled dancers captivate the audience, the ballet moves on with the spirits of young girls drawing unfortunate passers-by into the underworld.
Galina Samsova and David Bintley wasted no expenses on the theatrical side of the production with a real horse and flying ballerinas, making it all the more memorable, even if the horse did look a little bemused. David Bintley said that he wanted to give the story “a chance to touch people again” and that it certainly did.
Top Image: Giselle | Birmingham Royal Ballet