Introducing one of our volunteer dance reviewers, Ami Fullalove:
After graduating from Masters Performing Arts College in Essex, Ami appeared in many professional productions before settling in Devon to become a Business Relationship Manager within a wholesale dancewear company where she organised an annual conference for dance teachers at the prestigious Royal Ballet School in London. After realising her love of Event organising Ami moved to a company to coordinate training for Social Workers. Missing the world of Dance Ami is thrilled to be reviewing dance productions for Dance in Devon.
Review of La Fille Mal Gardee | Birmingham Royal Ballet
by Ami Fullalove
Thursday 11 October 2018 at Theatre Royal Plymouth
Frederick Ashton’s La Fille Mal Gardee
Lise – Maureya Lebowitz
Simone – Michael O’Hare
Colas – Cesar Morales
Alain – Kit Holder
This is the well-loved story of Lise a young ‘wayward girl’ who is in love with Colas a young farm hand. However Lise’s mother, the widow Simone has grand ideas and wants her to marry the rich vineyard owner’s son Alain.
This simple but amusing story created by Ashton in 1960 to reflect his ideas of an idyllic country lifestyle of days gone by, has stood the test of time. The choreography has dated yet still retains some beautifully creative work.
The ribbon work, including the ‘Fanny Elssler’ pas de deux, named after the first dancer to perform the role of Lise, used two ribbons between the couple, which at times looked a little awkward and under rehearsed, however this was redeemed by the intricate and well rehearsed ribbon work created by the village girls.
The comedy throughout was subtle and well executed and the favourite character had to be Alain, the unfortunate vineyard owner’s son, whose awkwardness charmed and endeared him to the audience, evoking sympathy when he catches the lovers kissing.
The famous clog dance performed by the Widow Simone plus four of the dancers was outstanding and received the well deserved appreciation of the whole audience.
The Widow’s role seemed larger than the male role, which is not usually the case in a classical ballet. Colas still had his opportunity to impressively demonstrate his athleticism and technique and Lise performed her solo parts beautifully. Perhaps there was something missing in the connection between the two dancers however, as if they were not used to dancing together.
As expected this was a stunning performance of a classic ballet by this prestigious company.
Top Image: Birmingham Royal Ballet