Jane Simpson, on Feb 13 2009, 07:55 AM, said:
Natalia, please could you tell us what Englund did right at the end of La Sylphide, in the last second or two, after James has (probably) died? Was she exultant, or despairing? Did she do her 'I was a sylphide myself' bit, shown by lifting up her skirt to show a bedraggled sylphide skirt underneath?
Jane, it was very subtle but powerful. Englund left James and slowly crossed the stage to audience-left wing, with a smile...but the split-second before disappearing into the wing, the smile dissolves into a look of despair and a hand comes up to her face, as if to ask "Wait - What have I just done?" No lifting of the skirt, as in the current Bolshoi production.
I remember Englund's Madge from the most recent Bournonville Festival in Copenhagen. She was great there but, IMO, she has fine-tuned the characterization even more so here. Also, she probably does it slightly differently with different Jameses.
p.s. - A crazy aside: In America, casual (non-regular) ballet audiences tend to "boo" the villains of ballets when they come out for curtain calls. I was so very angry the other night when they began to do this to Englund. She seemed a bit startled and quickly took her place back in the line of soloists. My husband and I, on the other hand, were screaming our heads off with "Brava! Brava!" to try to counter the idiocy of the boos.