Ever since it’s triumphant premiere in January 1960, Frederick Ashton's La fille mal gardée has been esteemed as one of his happiest creations. This is a charming piece, elegantly performed, a village love affair set in the idyllic Constable landscape of Ashton's imagination. Marianela Nuñez and Carlos Acosta would be show-stoppers in almost any suitable role, but as Lise and Colas they are superb. William Tuckett and Jonathan Howells, in the comic roles of Simone and Alain respectively, are every bit as arresting, both displaying a certain genius for knockabout. The luminously colourful Osbert Lancaster designs, together with the vitality of The Royal Ballet’s dancing and vibrant playing from the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House under the baton of Anthony Twiner, serve to augment the harmless good fun at which Ashton excels.
“La fille mal gardée is sheer perfection, Nuñez and Acosta are unsurpassable respectively in the feminine grace and masculine confidence of Ashton's Lise and Colas, and their mimetic skills are delicious.”
“The Royal Ballet’s present revival makes much of its vigorous characters, its brilliantly virtuosic solos and duets…[Marianella Nunez] gives the swift, intricate footwork as gorgeously as I have ever seen it. …Nunez is an excellent match for Carlos Acosta’s whizzing solos and his cheerful eagerness as her admirer Colas. …Altogether, a terrific show.”
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