…the grass is always greener over there/from the countryside to Fille

Yesterday, mes amies, was a glorious day. I went to the countryside, went on a ridiculous walk, went to a glorious country public house establishment, ate the best sausages in the entire world ever, then went back to town to see Birmingham Royal Ballet’s Fille Mal Gardée and stayed up too late discussing knitting Christmas decorations with my housemate. Days really do not get much better. Have a picture of nature in its finery, I love holly:

Ohhhhhhh, but Fille Mal Gardée which is, after all, the focus of this entry was just fabulous, fabulous, fabulous. And there I channel Craig Revel-Horwood… hmm.

Fille is just the perfect happy making ballet. Really. It doesn’t matter what frame of mind you go into the theatre in, I defy you to come out not grinning from ear to ear. It’s just *mwah* charming, beautiful, easy going and happyhappyhappy.

There are dancing chickens! There’s a pony! There’s a ribbon dance! A clog dance! Morris dancing with sticks! Maypoles! Bits of ridiculous farce! It really doesn’t matter that the plot is somewhat thin on the ground, you’re too busy being happyhappyhappy and full of the joys of ballet to notice. The essential nub and gist of the plot is Widow Simone has big plans for her daughter Lise, Lise isn’t so keen on these big plans cos she likes Colas who is fit boy farmer. The entire ballet is taken up with Lise and Colas trying to snatch moments together whilst Widow Simon tries to set Lise up with Alain the son of Thomas, a prosperous vineyard owner. Plenty of farce ensues but Lise and Colas get it on in the end.

La Fille Mal Gardée: clog dance (Journallive)

Elisha Willis was a completely joyous Lise: charming, bouncy, happy. Jamie Bond’s Colas was solid and supportive, flirty and quite adorable. Rory Mackay’s Widow Simone was just amazing and Tzu-Chao Chou’s Alain you couldn’t help but love. Is it just me that feels sorry for Alain at the end? He finally plucks up the courage to wave the ring at Lise and finds her snogging Colas in a cupboard? Mind you he gets his umbrella back… but still! I feel for him! Obviously I’m happy Lise and Colas finally are allowed to get it on but Alain! Alain!

Act 1 Ribbon Dance (Birmingham Royal Ballet)

I’m a bit wary of the occasional bit of the ballet… ribbons make me nervy in case someone accidentally garrots themselves, maypoles just make me a bit nervous, and morris dancing with sticks may end in concussion. Of course it doesn’t and I’m just being unnecessarily nervy. Anyway, forget me being a nervy spectator, check out this clip of clog dance rehearsals from the Birmingham Royal Ballet’s vimeo:

Go and see Fille! Just go and see it! Now! Instantly! Be made happy by everything that is glorious about ballet!


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