Spellbinding, as you'd expect any ballet production to be
Sylvia is immensely charming as a ballet. It doesn't have the strongest story in the world(I do prefer Coppelia in that regard), but the music is incredible and one of few ballets to have a stand-alone quality where you could also play it in a concert. This is a spellbinding production, if you love Sylvia or ballet you'll be in heaven. It is such a shame though that there are not many productions of Sylvia around. The costumes and sets are traditional and colourful, almost like you are watching a dream that you don't want to wake up from. The orchestral playing is just marvellous, sometimes heroic, sometimes beautifully romantic and sometimes nuanced but always with striking tone colour and musicianship. The conducting doesn't elude them in any way, and it is also accommodating to the dancing. The choreography is everything you'd associate the late great Frederick Ashton with, elegant, light, flexible and witty. The dancing of it is full of elegance and grace, the Corps De Ballet are on top form as they dance faultlessly and with character. Sylvia though is driven by the principals, and there is little to complain about here. Darcey Bussell's Sylvia is classy, tall, athletic and elegant and she dances with passion. She also deserves credit for quite possibly the quickest costume change for any ballet production on DVD. Roberto Bolle- even taller than her- is an ideal partner, handsome and with powerful jumps and beautifully placed arm and leg movements. Martin Harvey's Eros is commanding, it's remarkable at how still he was that you'd think he really was a statue, while Thiago Soares has menace and authority as Orion, his imposing height and hunky stature doesn't take away too much from his dancing technique. To conclude, you'll be under an enchanting spell watching this production of Sylvia. 10/10 Bethany Cox
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