Alina Cojocaru is a very young Giselle - I wouldn't place her above 14. I agree with everyone who said that her Giselle is a real person. She comes alive for one, and the same goes for Kobborg's Albrecht. Cojocaru had several technical slips in the first act. These made no sense to me since she showed a very secure technique otherwise and they literally seemed to be slips (like slipping at the end of a pirouette).
Kobborg's talent is difficult to formulate. He didn't make a big impression on me in the beginning, but he grows on one throughout the ballet. His technique was very secure throughout and he stunned us with his batterie and his pirouettes.
After the first act, I was impressed, but the second act left the whole audience breathless.It was a unique experience. That is saying much, because often in Giselle the second act is a bit of an anti-climax. What I found remarkable was Cojocaru's variability in the second act. Every dance (almost every movement) had a different mood. Kobborg also was stunning, both in his solos and in his partnering. Their partnership is outstanding.
The production as a whole was good but we had canned music (live orchestra accompanying ballet has become rare in South Africa) and the recording was pretty bad in places.
A South African dancer who deserves mention is Andries Weidemann, who danced Hilarion. His mime was outstanding. The interaction between him and Kobborg was very powerful and convincing. His Hilarion was definitely not a "villain". On the contrary, the audience bonded with him and sympathised with him, especially as Kobborg seemed a bit of a cad at first.
We felt very honoured by the visit of two such unique dancers. I hope they felt our appreciation. I think they did, because they got a standing ovation and something like 5 curtain calls!
Edited by Ostrich, 22 July 2004 - 12:09 PM.