Presented by The Australian Ballet
Reviewed 2 July 2015
The Australian Ballet is offering two productions in Adelaide this year, the first being something from the classical canon. This production of Giselle was originally staged by Maina Gielgud, who has returned to Australia to lend her expert assistance.
Artistic Director, David McAllister has played it safe with this choice: popular, tried and tested. It is also a great vehicle for Principal Artist, Madeleine Eastoe, whose swan song (if you pardon the ballet pun), this is.
Eastoe shines as the eponymous Giselle, and works beautifully with Kevin Jackson as Count Albrecht. There is no doubting their technical precision and their on-stage chemistry. However, this was not enough to lift this production out of being anything more than a very competent, nicely done, piece of dance-theatre. Sadly, the production seemed to lack that spark that can turn a night at the theatre into a sublime experience.
Also turning in technically competent performances were Miwako Kubota and Chengwu Guo, both very popular members of the company. Their peasant pas de deux was certainly a highlight, although it seemed, at times, a little stiff and wobbly.
Adolphe Adam’s sweet, if not earth-moving score, was ably interpreted by the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra under the expert baton of Nicolette Fraillon.
This is a wonderful night at the ballet, and certainly an excellent introduction to anyone who has not had the full ballet experience. If it is a little disappointing to the aficionado, that does not take away from the technical excellence and beauty.
The company is also presenting The Dream from next week.
The Australian Ballet is one of the world’s great dance companies and we are lucky to have them here.
And farewell and good luck, Madeleine Eastoe.
Reviewed by Tracey Korsten
Venue: Adelaide Festival Theatre
Season: 2 – 6 July 2015
Duration: 2 hours
Tickets: from $39