Posted 01 March 2005 - 08:59 PM
I saw that 1976 performance, too, Talespinner-- and indeed, I'll never forget it. the fusion of dancing and acting was beyond anythng I've seen since. In act 2, when Baryshnikov went t try to touch Makarova, his hands went right through her body..... i know it didn't happen, but I DID see it -- the illusion was so strong, which means I guess that both knew how to make it happen technically and both knew how to stand by it emotionally.....
And in the first act, Baryshnikov was a nervous wreck except when Giselle was around..... he already looked like he was about to explode..... how could he bring himself to tell her he was a prince? he DID NOT WANT TO BE A PRINCE. (And more than Odette wants to be a swan -- but that 's another ballet).
On hte other hand, with Lacarra, I saw her on opening night, when she fell off point in the toe hops. Before that happened, she already seemed phony as Giselle; she WAS a beautiful wraith-like creature in act 2, but her act 1 had no conviction to me.
The first act girl has got to be real. LeBlanc was real. I don't insist on Ulanova, I'll take Chauviree (Giselle as an aristocrat's love child, or grandchild), or Seymour -- a real peasant girl. Makarova had a very thoroughly thought- through characterization, and Ananiashvili was a high-strung, wrong-side-of-the-blanket Giselle; Kirkland I never saw, but she actuallyWAS Giselle, or a soul-mate, deep down.
I seem to be the only person who loved Kristin Long in the first act. I wrote about it this week in Danceview, so I won't repeat myself. I admit the second act wasn't great (Elizabeth Miner was great, as moyna, and Nedviguine danced heroically).... But I loved the first. Those of you who did not like Long are pretty dismissive. you don't say why.What did you not like? WHY not?