Ballet Trips to see Cinderella and Giselle
A large number of dance students were lucky enough to attend 2 contrasting ballets just before half term. We travelled to Sadlers Wells to see Cinderella, choreographed by Matthew Bourne. Set in World War 11 in the Blitz, it was an alternative Cinderella story, demonstrating love and loss, social isolation and a feeling of not fitting in. The dance was superb and the message made us all think.
The Royal Opera House production of Giselle was a much more traditional classical ballet but again the message was around loss and betrayal, love and death. We were very lucky to attend a pre-performance question and answer session with a video of the Prima ballerina choreographing an underwater piece.
Students learn moves and steps in their dance – they have learned to trust one another with lifts and so on and how to do this effectively was a large part of the team work in Giselle - but the more difficult element of what they do is often expressing emotion such as grief or mental disturbance, anger or despair and with seats so close to the front of the auditorium, the opportunity to see facial expression and body language was superb. Many of my students have learned how to do this better as a result of seeing Giselle.
My students described Giselle as fantastic, inspiring and awesome. They learnt so much. Some of them had the good fortune to be sitting beside the Prima ballerina, Francesca’s grandparents and they described to us Francesca’s passion for dance and her upbringing. What an inspiration.
With our own dance show imminent, I am sure the students would have learned a lot about dance performance from both these shows. It was a privilege to take such courteous, polite and intelligent students to these shows.