Sunday 8 July 2012

Giselle at Norwich Theatre Royal

On the afternoon of Saturday 30th June 2012 I attended the English Youth Ballet's matinee performance of Giselle at Norwich Theatre Royal. The English Youth Ballet was set up in 1998 as a pilot project at the Octagon Theatre, Somerset to give young dancers in the regions of England more opportunities to perform classical ballet within a professional setting.

Adolphe Adam's Giselle was first produced at the Paris Opera in 1841. The ballet is based on the legend of the Wilis, spirits of dance loving brides who have died tragically before their wedding day. Led by Queen Myrtha they perform their ghostly rites and seek revenge on any man who crosses their path. This production from Janet Lewis was adapted by adding extra music composed by Adolphe Adam and setting it on an English country estate in 1912 where Prince Albert is an army officer preparing for the First World War.

This was a wonderful afternoon to be at Norwich Theatre Royal with amazing dancing complete with costumes designed by Keith Bish which had been beautifully updated. English Youth Ballet have injected new life into this ballet from the Romantic Ballet period with the upstairs, downstairs theme. Performances like this give a great opportunity to young dancers. Well done to The English Youth Ballet and Norwich Theatre Royal for helping the development and enthusiasm for classical ballet.

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