If there is any phrase to describe the Singapore Dance Theatre’s rendition of this two-act ballet, it has to be hauntingly romantic. Rosa Park, who played Giselle, portrayed the character really well and won several “bravos” from members of the audience.
The Sunday afternoon matinee was nothing short of a family affair, with kids as young as six or seven squirming in their seats, bearing out the entire performance while parents sat enthralled by the amazing display of great footwork set against a gorgeous backdrop of the Rhineland in the Middle Ages.
The entire sequence was further enhanced by the atmosphere at the old Victoria Theatre. Old, nostalgic, full of memories of the old bustling days of theatre performances, the venue felt like a perfect fit for the unfolding of a haunting tale of undying love. Whether the choice was deliberate or not, I must salute SDT for staging this wonderful performance in this monumental location. There was definitely something in the air that could neither be found nor replicated in the chic but cold atmosphere of the Esplanade.
Perhaps more than just good choreography and structural resonance of the theatre, it was the moral of the story that moved me the most. True love, displaying itself in unconditional forgiveness, always prevails against the easier option of hatred and vengeance. I found myself in tears over and over, amazed at how deeply Giselle had loved Albrecht to the point of defending him from Myrtha, the Queen of the Wilis despite knowing that he was originally intent only on philandering.