Royal Opera House
Saturday, 2nd December 2017
Sylvia – 12/2/2017
Sylvia: Lauren Cuthbertson
Aminta: Reece Clarke
Orion: Nehemiah Kish
Eros: Valentino Zucchetti
Diana: Helen Crawford
So, last ROHSylvia bound! I love matinees, I couldn’t even explain why, I just adore them, and I always 100% enjoy Sylvia: although the plot is 100% silly, the loved-up choreography, arcadian setting and sparkling costumes are 100% ace.
My last days in London for 2017 had to be filled with ballet (and just like a child on Christmas morning I cannot wait for Nutcracker!), and my 3 days full immersion of Sylvia ended today with Lauren’s turn to embody this fierce heroine.
First of all, her lines are wonderfully amazing. Every time I saw her dancing I keep asking myself if she’s really human! I was eagerly waiting to see her and Reece Clarke, as theirs is partnership which seems to be growing at every show. Lauren herself is really into Ashton style, gorgeously lyrical and absolutely lovely in her flawlessness, and Reece is always great, he has a bright future in front of himself. Another bravo to the huntresses, that unsurprisingly amazed me from the very first second (maybe not when they triumphantly carry the carcass of a slain deer, poor thing) – this is a ballet in which the women get to call all the shots, very rare in classical ballet world. Lauren showed complicity with her attendants, and the audience got a delightful glimpse of camaraderie (which was absent with Osipova on stage) – these moments have been amazing both in Lauren’s and Marianela’s casts, even though the only difference was the main ballerina: the huntresses’ cast saw only small changes of one or two attendants, but the feeling conveyed with Lauren and Nela was incredibly powerful compared to Osipova’s run.
Reece’s opening solo was astonishing and perfectly performed, he was a convincing shepherd, and he showed off a fantastic elevation and turns, and his act 3 solo was a delight of magnificent jumps. I can’t wait to see more of his roles in the upcoming season.
Then, even though Lauren seemed maybe too sweet and lyrical for act 1, she was absolutely stunning in act 3, which perhaps suited her way better, as it is more delicate and gorgeous than the previous two. In act 1 she was perfect, absolutely perfect, but poised compared to Marianela’s triumphant interpretation. Even so, she was amazing – her act 3 variation and jumps were fantastically on point, and her pirouettes a real treat! Again, her gorgeous lines astonished the whole audience and she shone so brightly!
Orion was danced by Nehemiah Kish, but I have to say I did not feel him so convincing
Act 1: Sylvia shots Aminta and mocks the statue of Eros, god of love. (Thiago was a much much better villain). The pastoral scenes were adorable and purely Ashtonian, and I enjoyed the nymphs and fauns in act 1 – even in group roles, Anna Rose O’Sullivan always stands out with her glittering charisma and flawless technique. Great to see a change in act 2’s cast with Camille Bracher and Gemma Pitchley Gale.
In act 3 Meaghan Grace Hinkis was lovely as one of the goats, as well as Mayara Magri as Persephone, and I loved Terpsichore’s attendants – they were a delight, in particular Anna Rose and Elizabeth Harrod.
Diana, then, has quite a small part, but I love the scene from her own past (when she fell in love with Endymion) appearing in the clouds when Eros intercedes for the two lovers – Eros was, again, an amazing Valentino, who never disappoints with his flying jumps.
So, reached the end of my Sylvia runs, I know that Delibes’ score will not abandon my mind so easily (I’m in love with that glorious ouverture, it’ll be difficult to hear Nutcracker on Monday).
The music is one of the main appeals of this ballet, for it is so richly fragrant, colourful and full of gorgeous brio – a delight to the ears, and so perfectly melted with Ashton’s choreography.
Stage Door chronicles: the lovely little girl bouncing with enthusiasm in her tulle skirt waiting for autographs made my day! Her eyes were sparkling with excitement, and I believe when she saw Lauren she nearly died for happiness. She was adorable, asking all the dancers ‘are you a dancer?’ and trying to chase ballerinas going out the Stage Door.