The Devil made me do it

The Devil made me do it

As we approach our last performances of Giselle for 2015, we thought we’d revist Robert le diable and the sensual nuns that inspired the Romantic era’s battalions of ghostly women.

Ghostly women dressed in white, their heads veiled and their arms crossed in front of their chests. A distant church and a gravestone, both lit by moonlight. The women emerging from their final resting place to dance in formation as they try to entrap a man who stumbles into their midst.

Surely this must be the setting for the second act of Giselle, where the wilis, the ghosts of jilted brides, are compelled to destroy any man who comes near them in the hours between sunset and dawn?

But it’s not. The inspiration for Giselle, the most famous ballet of the Romantic age, and its predecessor, La Sylphide, was an opera that took Paris by storm in 1831. Robert le diable, composed by Giacomo Meyerbeer, was the precursor to La Sylphide and Giselle, two iconic ballets whose collaborators drew on the most scandalous scene of the opera. (more…)

2 July 2015

Monotones II and Space-Age chic

Monotones II and Space-Age chic

Made in 1965, inspired by space travel and featuring sleek white costumes topped by domed helmets, Frederick Ashton’s Monotones II belongs to an age infatuated with the interplanetary. As we gear up for our last performances of this poetic ballet, we thought we’d revisit the finest moments of 60s Space-Age chic. Rosie Findlay guides us through the galaxy.

Nicole de la Marge in Pierre Cardin by Peter Knapp, 1967. Image via gingerfizz.blogspot.com

Nicole de la Marge in Pierre Cardin by Peter Knapp, 1967. Image via gingerfizz.blogspot.com

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30 June 2015

Cinderella’s date with the Lui Bar
Madeleine Eastoe. Photography James Braund

Cinderella’s date with the Lui Bar

Our latest heavenly match with the chefs of the Vue de monde group takes it sky high – to the top of the Rialto Building and the gleaming golds and glittering views of Shannon Bennett’s Lui Bar.

It’s opening night of Alexei Ratmansky’s Cinderella, and we can’t wait to plunge into the fabulous romance and glamour and humour of this modern fairytale!

Meanwhile, in the Lui Bar … Cinderella is waiting for her Prince to join her for a special dish created by Vue de monde’s Head Chef, Justin James. While she waits, she can’t resist testing out her slippers in the lavish surroundings.

Madeleine Eastoe. Photography James Braund

Madeleine Eastoe. Photography James Braund

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19 June 2015

First glimpse: The Lilac Fairy
Gabriela Tylesova's costume for the Lilac Fairy. Photography Kate Longley

First glimpse: The Lilac Fairy

A new production of The Sleeping Beauty must have a spectacular design. For David McAllister’s Beauty, we are lucky enough to have the acclaimed Gabriela Tylesova creating the sets and costumes. Here is a sneak peek of the magical tutu she has made for the Lilac Fairy!

Gabriela Tylesova's design for the Lilac Fairy. Photography Kate Longley

Gabriela Tylesova’s costume for the Lilac Fairy. Photography Kate Longley

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17 June 2015

The Sleeping Beauty: On the page
Design for the Fairy of Grace by Gabriela Tylesova

The Sleeping Beauty: On the page

When David McAllister thought about a designer for his new production of The Sleeping Beauty, Gabriela Tylesova was his dream choice. She has realised his vision for the ballet with her characteristic blend of the bold and the fanciful – and lashings of what David calls “old-school theatre magic”. Here are just a few of her beautiful costume sketches for The Sleeping Beauty.

Design for Carabosse, the Fairy of Wisdom, by Gabriela Tylesova

Design for Carabosse, the Fairy of Wisdom, by Gabriela Tylesova

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Styling The Dream

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Frederick Ashton’s The Dream was made to celebrate the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s birth in 1964 and as homage to Shakespeare’s play A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Ashton zeroed in on the themes of love and magic, allowing him to heighten the artistic significance of the enchanted woods as one where anything is possible. For Shakespeare, the fantastical woodland setting, complete with supernatural creatures and a quarrelling King and Queen of the Fairies, was also a poetic space of nature and imagination, separate from the everyday world. Ashton’s The Dream plays up on this fantasy space, and nowhere is this more evident than in the costumes of the ballet. (more…)

11 June 2015