La Sylphide at the London Coliseum

La Sylphide Ballet | London Coliseum

I was lucky enough to have tickets to see Queensland Ballet’s La Sylphide at the London Coliseum on Saturday, and I’d been so looking forward to going, especially as I’d had to miss seeing Sylvie Guillem’s Life in Progress due to the wretched summer flu – woe!

Heading to the London Coliseum is always a treat. The atmosphere is terrific, and you can get real bargains for tickets (if on a budget, I recommend getting tickets in the Upper Circle, which still offer very good views of the stage, but can be as inexpensive as £10). Apparently, we had a guardian angel throwing a little extra magic our way on Saturday though, as, on arriving at the theatre, we were told that the Upper Circle was in fact closed for the matinee performance, and so our tickets had been upgraded to ones in the Dress Circle. Although I’m sad to think that not enough tickets were sold for this performance to fill the theatre, it was definitely a treat to get a seat upgrade. We settled into our new row absolutely delighted and proceeded to thoroughly enjoy the performance.

Even though I am rather the balletomane, I’d never in fact seen La Sylphide live before, so I was curious to see what I’d think of it. The ballet (like so many) is a strange little story, set rather surprisingly in the Highlands of Scotland. A Scottish laird falls for a sylph, jilting his would-be wife at the alter and provoking the wrath of a wicked old crone, who sets a trap for the love-stricken laird and his sylph, with fatal consequences.

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Queensland Ballet proved themselves a very fine company, with strong performances from the cast, and I was especially excited to see Tara Schaufuss as the Sylphide. Part of a third generation of the well known Schaufuss dancing family (Tara’s father, Peter Schaufess, won awards for his production of La Sylphide), Tara is clearly an incredible dancer in her own right, with a magnetic stage presence. The costumes too were splendid – I especially appreciated the tartan skirts!

Have any of you seen a ballet recently, or have you seen La Sylphide? What did you think of it?

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