Saturday, April 15, 2006


This is the cast for Giselle 15th March 2006, Matinee :
Giselle: Leanne Benjamin
Court Albrecht: Edward Watson
Hilarion: Bennet Gartside
Pas de Six: Laura Morera / Ricardo Cervera, Samantha Raine / Zachary Faruque, Caroline Duprot / Steven McRae
Myrtha: Marianela Nunez
Moyna: Gemma Sykes
Zulme: Sian Murphy

Overall, it was a successful performance. The opera house were almost full house, apart from perhaps one or two single seats in the amphitheatre, balcony, etc. I guess it is a busy day for the opera house, and covent garden, for it is easter weekend.

To begin with, I do not understand, why is there a need for applause when the principal dancers appear on stage, also, why is it just for a veteran principal and not the newcomer? personally, i find it very disruptive, for the dancers, the orchestra and some of the audience. When Edward Watson appeared on stage (He was the first person on stage) there was no applaud, and when Leanne Benjamin opens the door of her little hut, the auditorium roared with applause. What have she done? She just opened the door, she didn't do any party-trick to gain any applause.. all she did was just gave the door a little push, and out she came...

anyway... back to the review...

It is Edward's first Albrecht. One can sense his nervousness. Although he did mentioned once in an interview that his first performance is usually the best... Nevertheless, he did very very well, for a first-timer. One can see his effort in portraying the role, and making immense effort to act, and it seemed rather obvious that he seems to be under a lot of pressure for this role. He was early on the music. For instance, when he knocked on Giselle's door in Act 1, he did it before the music cues him too. hence, the knocking sound effect from the orchestra came after his first knock. clearly, he did realise his untimely knock, and waited for a moment for his 2nd knock on her door. The same thing happen to Leanne as well, when she was doing a specific sequence in Act 1, she was too early in the music. Hence it made me ponder.... are the dancers TOO EARLY, or was the music LATE?

In Act 1, Edward tried to act out the character of Albrecht, based on his interpretation, it appeared that Albrecht is not as princely as the latter is meant to be, and in fact is quite a youngish fellow... I have to give Edward the credit for portraying Albrecht as an incredibly affectionate lover to Giselle. He is constantly looking at her with admiration and giving her kisses, he shows care and affection almost effortlessly. It was very realistic... as an audience, I was full of envy of Giselle for having such a passionate lover...

Leanne Benjamin was flawless. She demonstrated a very gentle Giselle. For instance, when she had to wipe the chair for Bathilde, her gesture was gentle and extremely subtle, that it portrayed Giselle as a soft, 'ladylike' girl. which personally, was very different to the many Giselle I have seen by the Royal Ballet. Leanne's madscene was quite convincing, however, in the last moment before she fell to the ground, Edward seemed to let her go, instead of her falling from his hands. It appeared that the movement was initiated from his gestures, and not a natural intention... Bennet Garside as Hilarion was amazing in Act 1 in portraying his rough, 'vulgar' character, however his eyes, and face seemed to gentle to be a Hilarion...

In Act 2, Marianela Nunez stole the show. She was an excellent choice as Myrtha. Her icy cold and authoritative presence sends out fear into the audience. her execution of the repertoire was flawless, and spot-on. Bennet Garside was extremely convincing in the 1st Act, however, when it came to the 2nd Act, i felt that he lost his character a little, and focus his energy in his dancing. which was quite ashamed...
Overall, it was an impressionable performance. The corp de ballet was magnificient and portray strong technique and uniformed structures... The only thing that I thought i would say is, Edward needs to be more careful in the way he moves on stage, as in when he puts his partner down, etc, he needs to be aware of how he do it, and the position of where he is in front of the audience. Also, i feel that he could probably use up most of the music by acting and spreading out the music rather than get to the position to wait for the music to come... I do understand that it is his first attempt as Albrecht, which is an extemely great job done, so, what i am saying is just my personal opinion....


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