Theatre Royal Glasgow. 29th Sept.
I wasn't sure whether to post a review or not after last night's production of Peter Darrell's Giselle.
Sadly the global description that comes to mind is 'boring', and what a damning comment about Giselle of all ballets.
The corps de ballet were actually fine ( except that the wilis didn't evoke any menace or sadness), and the problem lies with the principal dancers:
Nicci Theis as Giselle was technically OK, but lacks acting ability and played the role with no emotion at all as far as I could tell.
Yi-Lei Cai danced with enormous energy but again failed to portray any sense of pathos.
I'll not say any more about the ballet except to say that once again Ari Takahashi looked good as 'dancer at the festival' in the Act 1 pas de deux with Ivan Dinev, and quite outshone Nicci Theis.
SB are inevitably going to go in a different direction under Robert North. Apparently next years productions are going to be predominently his work.
Certainly a change is needed if the company is to retain it's credibility, but talent at principal level in the company is also badly needed. Relying on guest artists from other companies is fine ( Johan Kobborg and Fernanda Diniz led a sparkling production of 'La Sylphide' earlier in the year ) but they can't do all the performances, and SB's current soloists ( with the possible exception of Ari ) are just not up to carrying the bigger roles.
But perhaps with North's more contemporary ballets the whole company will look better.
Sorry to be so down on SB.
I'd love to hear opinions - especially favorable ones - from anyone else who's seen this production. But frankly, if I'd been Myrtha I'd have been completely unmoved and Albrecht would have perished long before dawn.