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The Knave of Staves from Visconti Tarot

The Page

A page in the Middle Ages was a young boy who, through assisting a noble lord, was serving a kind of apprenticeship. He was a servant but one who was receiving an education that might include combat skills, singing, hawking, hunting and courtly manners.

In Giselle Act 1 the hunting party that enters in Act 2 could in some productions include up to a hundred people, one of these, assisting Bathilde's father the Duke, would be a page.

The first professional engagement of Matthew Hawkins, now an internationally respected choreographer, teacher, performer and writer, was as a page in the Royal Ballet's production of Giselle.

Matthew kindly agreed to speak to us and we recorded this conversation for the podcasts below. We hope you enjoy them

Podcast 1

Podcast 1 The story of Giselle told from Matthew's unique viewpoint on stage as a boy becomes a fascinating meditation on Giselle, on ballet and on the wider significance of dance within culture.

Lynn Seymour in Giselle

Podcast 2

Podcast 2 Authorship and Giselle, training and the relationship between the writing of a ballet class and the creation of a ballet

Olga Spessivtzeva in Giselle Act 1 and the ballotté step

1 goldenidol (2008-08-07) Olga Spessivtzeva & Sir Anton Dolin in Giselle 3 Astrid (2016-08-09) Lynn Seymour as Giselle

Card image: The Knave of Staves from Visconti Tarot | The Knave of Staves from Visconti Tarot