Saturday, 18 April 2015
Fille is to us what Napoli is to the Danes - but other countries love Fille too
La Fille mal gardée is to us what Napoli is to the Danes. Napoli. is their national ballet by their most famous choreographer even though it is set in Southern Italy. Fille is English even though it is set in Normandy. How could it be otherwise with choreography by Ashton, music by Lanchberry and sets by Osbert Lancaster?
But wait. It is also very French as Brigitte Lefèvre explains in the clip above. The very first production was in Bordeaux on the eve of the storming of the Bastille. On the anniversary of that insurrection this year the Ballet of the Paris Opera are dancing Ashton's ballet at the Palais Garnier. If this film is anything to go by they can reclaim it for themselves. Quelle joie! Quelle delice. Here are the details if you want to see it.
But Fille is also Russian. Ashton drew heavily on the experience of Tamara Karsavina who had danced the ballet in St Petersburg. And now the compliment has been returned for Ashton's version was danced last year at the Mikhailovsky Theatre in St Petersburg.
And the Americans love Fille too for it is in American Ballet Theatre's repertoire.