La Fille mal gardée – Morera, Muntagirov, Kay, Avis, Tuckett, Peregrine, April 24th

For some reason, this Fille didn’t go as well for me as my first of this run two days earlier. This might have been a function of my seat (upper slips), which lost some of the stage and robbed jumps and lifts of their amplitude and effect, or it could have been partly due to the people a few seats over to my right, who spent the whole time talking.

Morera was pretty as Lise but sometimes her smile seemed forced.  Certainly too this Fille was badly guarded as Tuckett’s widow Simone didn’t shut the door properly, leaving Lise to crash into it in her desperation to escape, and open it on impact. Oops! Still, she danced well, and made a cute Lise.17034004148_7921d91c83_b

There were a few moments of hesitant applause, where Nunez and Acosta had
received warmth of reaction. The ribbon dance, ended in a lift that didn’t quite triumph as I had wished, but Morera’s control of the ribbons in the “ribbon carousel” (where Lise is the centre pivot point and the ribbons spokes) achieved a fine effect, Muntagirov darting through the formation gracefully.

There were bravos for Muntagirov, notably from his Biggest Fan, a man who seems to be at everything he does, and who tosses distinctive bravos like bouquets at a wedding. (Wise choice, that man. Is it Clement Crisp?) Muntagirov didn’t seem to touch the floor with fingertips in the act I variations which was a shame, but he said he has trouble with the section, presumably as his legs are so long. Certainly though, those legs propel him in jumps of fantastic amplitude, and give him a glorious line.

17220060542_dab2305706_bMorera seems a bit tall for Muntagirov, or a bit mismatched with a smidge less ballon than I would have liked. As a pairing they were sweet though, and as the lad himself said, he doesn’t need to act much to play a twenty-five year old boy!

Kay’s Alain was a little less characterised than Hay’s and as a reviewer said, he couldn’t fall down stairs if his life depended on it. That said, it was nothing major, only a point of comparison. Steps were executed with keen musical precision, and were a pleasure to watch. I wonder just how much a coveted role this is for a dancer, Alain throws some silly shapes and is a figure of fun throughout. As one commentator on another forum said, I almost wish Ashton had given him a bride at the end too.

A few tiny flubs: in the ‘morris dance’ some sticks ungrasped,  Morera’s foot got caught in the spinning wheel thread which was awkward, but she recovered well, and a wayward ribbon from a Ribbon Maiden in that ribbon carousel scene, small things which made themselves noticed but were forgiven: this was still a fun filled Fille and the sun still shone, high and beneficent upon this gilded world.

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