Senior Artist Juliet Burnett shares her preparation for the ultimate Romantic ballet – mastering the nuances of the Danish technique, exploring the character and drawing fairy flight paths.
One of my favourite aspects of this profession is researching roles as I prepare for a performance. So as a dance history nut, I was already in dreamland when I found out I’d be dancing one of the oldest surviving ballets: La Sylphide.
Fairy fantasies inhabit the aspiration of many budding young ballerinas (I was no exception), but becoming La Sylphide is not as simple as that. There is a Romantic ballet tradition to be respected and understood, and some very difficult technicalities and nuances to master. The version staged by The Australian Ballet is Danish master August Bournonville’s, choreographed in 1836, and it has been carefully preserved by The Royal Danish Ballet, so that what is seen today is more or less in its original state. What a privilege, to be joining a long lineage of Sylphides and becoming a custodian of history for a moment in time. (more…)