Saturday, 12 May 2012

La Fille Mal Gardee. RB. 1981.

Watch The Performance Here:

La Fille Mal Gardée ("The Unguarded Maiden"), perhaps the best-known work of composer Ferdinand Hérold,
is here presented in a Royal Ballet production freely adapted, arranged and conducted by John Lanchbery.
The unquestioned centre of attention is Royal Ballet superstar Lesley Collier who plays Lise,
the beautiful farm girl whom her widowed mother (Brian Shaw) plans to marry to the eligible Alain (Garry Grant)
despite Lise's love for young farmer Colas (Michael Coleman).
This is a colourful pastoral romp with pause for tender and lyrical moments and plentiful opportunities
for Collier to enchant her many admirers. Royal Ballet principal conductor Lanchbery--himself composer
of the well-loved Tales of Beatrix Potter (1971)--brings all his flair for this sort of carefree entertainment
to play and the result is delightful. Filmed for BBC television at Covent Garden in January 1981, the witty,
energetic and romantic choreography is by Frederick Ashton (his dancing chickens are hilarious,
as is Shaw's "clog dance" in Act Two) and the stage design by Osbert Lancaster,
whose legacy adds charm to a much more recent BBC Royal Ballet film of Coppélia (2000).
Hérold's score is filled with playfulness, melody and laughter, making this a very superior pantomime.

Cast & Crew
Lesley Collier
Michael Coleman
Leslie Edwards
Brian Shaw
Garry Grant
Graham Fletcher
Derek Rencher and more
Music: Ferdinand Herold
Orchestra of the Royal Opera House
Conductor: John Lanchbery
Choreography: Frederick Ashton

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