Ballet review: La Sylphide (Royal Opera House, London)
Review by: Alexa Williamson
Performance date: 15 June 2012
Rating: ****1/2 (out of 5)
Nutshell review: For those who love dreamy ballets, then look no further as this is a beautiful performance with an easy to follow storyline and lots of beautiful costumes and it is literally a fairytale, which is set in Scotland. James, a Scotsman is set to marry Effie, his betrothed. However, on the dawn of his marriage, he is sitting in an armchair and sees a sylph (a fairy). He falls in love with her and she with him. Only he can see her and she appears and disappears frequently. A witch named Madge, whom James had sent away previously, decides to stop this romance and also predicts that Effie with marry someone named Gunn instead of James.
This ballet, choreographed by August Bournonville, produced by Johan Kobburg and with music by Herman Lovenskiold is the story of what happens between James and the Sylph. With elaborate sets and dreamy costumes… kilts for the men and traditional Scottish clothing for mortals and tulle, floaty dresses for the fairy women, it is a sight to behold. The dancing is passionate and inspired and the sets are grand.
Unfortunately, this tale has an unhappy ending and La Sylphide, which James loved, dies after she puts on a cape that was cursed by the witch Madge. Filled with emotion, the dancers and director have made this a beautiful story to watch and take home in one’s memory.