3 Min Read

Decadence and Heartbreak: Giselle

The West Australian Ballet’s reinterpretation of the classic story Giselle, sunk the devastation of heartbreak onto the stage of His Majesty’s Theatre.

Aurélian Scannella and Sandy Delasalle have created a contemporary masterpiece revitalising what some would know as a predictable piece of dance.

Set in a provincial village in Germany, Dayana Hardy Acuna as Giselle embodied innocence and infatuation in how she danced the leading role. The emotion that could be sensed in performing the first act alongside Oscar Valdes as Duke Albrecht truly felt enchanting.

Dayana Hardy Acuna as Giselle, Oscar Valdes as Albrecht with the dancers of West Australian Ballet in Giselle (2021). Photo by Bradbury Photography

Focusing on disloyalty and heartbreak, Albrecht’s facial expressions and charming physicality engrossed us into his arms, the same way he did with Giselle. It brought us into a prison of lust which we couldn’t escape.

Juan Carlos Osma as Giselle’s faithful lover, Hilarion played a jealous and strict take on the role. His movement felt precise and elegant, letting audiences relate to calamity in relationships.

At times, Hilarion’s character divulged too much anger in the portrayal, occasionally isolating me from the character’s reality.

Candice Adea and Julio Blanes, were magical as The Peasant Pas de Deux, shining as exceptionally talented dancers. Their gusto in characterisation and pride for their roles made them a joy to watch.

Julio Blanes performing Peasant Pas de Deux in Giselle (2021). Photo by Bradbury Photography

Act 2 saw an entire transformation in the intensity and atmosphere of the performance.

The scenography and costuming created by Peter Cazalet saw dancers beautifully dressed in white while drifting through the forest mists during a spectacular pointe routine.

Giselle’s grave in the forest feels isolated, ominous and full of despair. The West Australian Symphony Orchestra’s rendition of Adolphe Adam’s grand score harmoniously married both the elements.

Notably, Myrtha, Queen of the Wills, danced by Kiki Saito, shined as a horrific metaphor for the heartbroken as she moved strikingly with all the despair left from Albrecht’s betrayal of Giselle.

Kiki Saito as Myrtha in Giselle (2021). Photo by Bradbury Photography

In comparison to the ballet’s 2019 version of Giselle, there hasn’t been much adaption or evolution in this current production.

However, it still provides one of the most captivating experiences in the WA arts landscape.

The West Australian Ballet production of Giselle comes through on their promise of world-class performance in our fortunate state.

This masterful rendition of a 180-year-old ballet will pull on the heartstrings of any audience.

Giselle runs from now through to the 22nd of May.

Dayana Hardy Acuna as Giselle, with the dancers of West Australian Ballet in Giselle (2021). Photo by Bradbury Photography