Not everyone knows who are the most memorable characters of the dance world. About this, in every issue we talk with a dancer of a renowned ballet company to find out the who’s who amongst the most famous and iconic of ballet figures.
Column by Alessandro Bizzotto
Adhonay Soares da Silva on the happy-go-lucky male lead of “La Fille Mal Gardée”
“Colas is a happy young man; he is optimistic, nothing in life can get him down,” Adhonay Soares da Silva answers when I ask him how he would describe Colas. “He may be poor but he is proud and charming. And very in love.” With his strong technique and natural brio, the Principal dancer of the Stuttgart Ballet is an ideal interpreter of Frederick Ashton’s masterpiece, created in 1960. Despite its French origins, Ashton’s ”La Fille Mal Gardée” is an essentially English work in its humour and manner.
“For sure it is a very technical role, full of fast footwork which has to be really cleanly executed” he explains me. “Then you also need a lot of stamina. And of course, the partnering has its challenges. There are many props so you need to be careful and precise with them. Especially the use of the ribbons: there has to be the right amount of tension so everything goes smoothly.” Some dancers told me that ribbon can be very tricky to work with. “I never had problems with it so far” Adhonay tells me. “Obviously, one needs a lot of rehearsals! But ultimately all that only serves one purpose: to tell the story, to make it true and honest and make the audience fall into the story and live with the characters.”
As everyone knows, “La Fille Mal Gardée” tells of a farmer’s daughter, Lise, and the young and virtually penniless man she loves, Colas. Standing between them is Lise’s widowed mother – she has social ambitions for her daughter. Is Colas a realistic character? “He is realistic in the sense that he is an idealist and doesn’t let the hurdles in his way – such as being poor – keep him from realizing his dream of marrying Lise. This is his strength! He achieves what he wants though love, honesty and determination. I can relate to him although I am perhaps not always quite as cheerful as he is…”.
“I like both!” Adhonay answers when I ask him if he prefers dramatic roles or light and fun roles such as Colas. “The versatility of my repertoire is what makes me grow as a dancer. Each role has a special place in my heart. Mostly, I want the public to believe that I am that character they see onstage.”
If Adhonay Soares da Silva could meet Colas in real life, what would he tell him? “That I love his courage to follow his heart and dreams. That he is brave and doesn’t give up. That love can win over materialism. I think his story can be an example to everyone.”