Ballet Review: Giselle

Ballet Review: Giselle

The Australian Ballet is offering two productions this year, the first being Giselle. Maina Gielgud, who originally staged this ballet has returned to lend her expertise.



Madeleine Eastoe & Kevin Jackson in 'Giselle' Photo: Jeff Busby
Madeleine Eastoe & Kevin Jackson in ‘Giselle’
Photo: Jeff Busby

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
Twitter: @TraceyKorsten

Venue: Adelaide Festival Theatre

Season: 2 – 6 July 2015
Duration: 2 hours
Tickets: from $39

The Australian Ballet official website


1 Comment
  1. Roisin O Connell 5 years ago

    I have just read Tracey Korsten’s rather harsh review of the recent performance of The Australian Ballet Company’s ‘ Giselle’ in Adelaide. I visited Australia earlier this year and attended the Ballet in Melbourne and enjoyed a magical performance!!
    Sometimes one needs to consider one’s attitude on the evening and sit back, relax and enjoy all the positives of the performance.
    I felt privileged to be entertained so magnificently & it was obvious the audience felt likewise.
    Had this reviewer some personal issues with Madeleine Eastoe. To shred the overall performance and then to wish the retiring ballerina well seemed a bit of a contradiction to me
    Yours, Roisin O Connell (Ireland) mp

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