MADELEINE EASTOE and MARTIN JAMES on LA SYLPHIDE
with DAVID MC ALLISTER
Each table in The Dancers Deli was adorned with beautiful pink camelias and there was a happy air of anticipation when the President and host, Josie, introduced the three guests to talk about the famous Romantic ballet La Sylphide.
It was a special occasion in several ways, as it was the first time Madeleine had been available to speak to Ballet Society Members and it was the first time we had met Martin who is coaching The Australian Ballet’s dancers in their roles in the Ballet.
After the introductions, David decided to tell the story of La Sylphide with comments being offered by Madeleine and Martin. It was lighthearted but respectful and David didn’t miss a thing covering every minute detail. If any member of the audience didn’t know the full story when they arrived, they certainly knew all about it by the time David finished.
Martin’s career has been an extraordinary one all over the world as a Principal Artist with the Royal New Zealand Ballet, English National Ballet, Deutsche Opera Ballet and Royal Danish Ballet. He has also partnered ballerinas such as Natalia Makarova, Ekaterina Maximova and Sylvie Guillem and taught in Scotland, Denmark, Germany and New Zealand. His comments about La Sylphide and the Bournonville training which produced dancers like the late, great Danish dancer, Erik Bruhn who choreographed this production, left no doubt as to the challenges such training produced and how difficult it is.
Madeleine was described by David as a ‘diamond encrusted pearl’ – a dancer who can create the soft romantic lines required by La Sylphide and then top it off the next season with the diamond crispness required in classical movements of Swan Lake. Maddie was quite taken by that description but obviously loves the creativity and beauty of all forms of ballet. She has certainly proved she can do it all and is totally fearless when meeting any new challenge.
Society Members were totally absorbed by the guests’ talk and the evening finished with a great supper provided by the Committee. A function to remember.
Josie Woodate OAM
The Australian Ballet Society
Josie and David ~ plotting future functions?
After-talk supper and tidy-up
Dr Bruce Stringer & Mrs Beverley Stringer Ian Drew & Conni Pennell store the sound equipment
All photographs by Emma Hendry