The National Ballet of Canada
Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts
June 15, 2016
By Denise Sum
copyright © 2016 by Denise Sum
There are few ballets as enduring as "Giselle". This recent inspired performance from the National Ballet of Canada proved that even 175 years after its premiere, this Romantic era classic still has tremendous power to stir the hearts of dancers and ballet goers alike. The enduring story of love, betrayal, and redemption is artfully told in this production by Sir Peter Wright. The contrast between the earthly and vibrant first act and the haunting and spiritual second act creates a sense of wholeness in this ballet -- a sort of yin and yang. "Giselle" is also at its core a ballet about dancing itself. Dance is presented in turn as an expression of joy and danger. This opening night truly belonged to the leading dancers, Svetlana Lunkina and Harrison James, who was recently promoted to principal dancer. Together their performance was a tour de force of spirited dancing and impressive dramatic skill. The performance was dedicated in memory of the production's set and costume designer, Desmond Heeley, who passed away just days prior.
Svetlana Lunkina and Harrison James in "Le Petit Prince". Photo by Aleksandar Antonijevic.