Posted on 12 November 2019 By Rose Mulready

As well as gods and goddesses, you’ll meet some strange beasts as you experience Sylvia. Marvellously dressed in Jérôme Kaplan's designs, they cavort around and through this majestic ballet. Fauns and river gods and bears, oh my!


The four fauns in Sylvia are much more than curios. With bounding leaps and shimmies of their fringed legs, they circle round the action of the three intertwining stories, stitching together the narrative and amplifying the emotions of the main characters. They are comedic relief, Greek chorus and deus ex machina - carrying out the gods' mischief, freaking out the mortals and in general having way too much fun.

Cameron Holmes, Yichuan Wang, Benedicte Bemet, Drew Hedditch and Shaun Andrews / Shaun Andrews. Photography Jeff Busby


It's only for a moment, but yes, there's a bear on the ballet stage, and it's a whole lot of happy for everyone - except the nymph Callisto, who's been transformed into bear form by Artemis as punishment for tricking the goddess into killing her best friend. With Artemis' hunting dogs around, we sense all will not end well for Callisto the Bear.

Robyn Hendricks. Photography Jeff Busby


When Sylvia, bewitched by a love spell, shucks her armour and starts making eyes at a rather surprised Shepherd, the brutal River God Alpheus seizes his chance to abduct her. Part gladiator, part tiger shark, part Creature from the Black Lagoon, he and his gilled and frilled gang make a frightening display, but in the end they're no match for the warrior nymph.

Benedicte Bemet and Andrew Killian / Timothy Coleman. Photography Jeff Busby