Arts Review

Giselle Opening Night

Queensland Ballet raises the curtain to present Giselle to Brisbane audiences at the Playhouse Theatre, QPAC. After countless interruptions over the years, I’m looking at you Covid-19 pandemic and the devastating flooding that occurred earlier this year, the wait is finally over and I would encourage you to grab tickets to see this performance now while you have a chance, ideally closer to the front if you can manage, as it pays to be in a position where you notice the subtleties of the dancer’s facial expressions as they move in time to the music.


Mia Heathcote takes center stage as ‘Giselle’, and does so with an enormous amount of grace. Heathcote, born in Melbourne, started ballet at the age of 4 years old and has an impressive history performing with QB until this date. Heathcote brings a unique vulnerability to the role of ‘Giselle’, and embodies the role from head to toe, her facial expressions changing ever so subtly from curious and enchanted to panicked and frightened, as she experiences a sudden onset of chest pains. 


The performance could not be complete without its talented supporting cast members Patricio Revé and Vito Bernasconi who give this classic retelling of Giselle a whole new dimension. Revé takes his portrayal of ‘Albrecht’ one step further with the theatricality of both his movements and facial expressions, bringing an energy to the role that can only be captured in a live performance. Bernasconi plays off Revé’s energy well, and he brings both presence and personality to the role. Special mention goes to Soloist Lina Kim, as her radiant beauty and strong sense of purpose on stage cannot be overlooked.


QB Artistic Director Li Cunxin is often heard describing the way company artists are encouraged to take ownership of their assigned character, and fully embody it through their emotional and physical expression. Giselle, especially when viewed up close, allows you to fully experience a production that focuses on age-old themes such as love, betrayal and the supernatural world. First performed in Paris, France in 1841, Giselle is a timeless tale that will evoke a sense of wonder and inspire audiences time and time again. It is also worth recognising how far QB has come, being first established in 1960 and the privilege audiences have to be able to continue this journey in 2023.


Review By: Joanna Letic


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