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ABT in Ottawa February 26th - 28th, 20094 performances of Giselle, alternating casts


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#31 Marga

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Posted 08 March 2009 - 09:05 PM

The Myrtas continued

Simone Messmer

With nicely turned-out bourrées, much, much slower than Gillian Murphy’s (the new hallmark), Simone made her entrance in her debut as Myrta. Her reverential bend to the ground (while quite beautiful) was softer than the other Myrtas’ had been, and lingered a fraction longer. The arabesques in promenade were secure, the steps following accomplished, but Messmer did not stage enough of a foreboding environment.

Her severity increased as Act II continued, and by the time Hilarion (Isaac Stappas) was brought before her, she was a match for his Act I arrogance. He was dispensed with and Count Albrecht (Marcelo Gomes) brought in without delay. The Count’s complex personality was more of a test for Myrta, who adopted a determined stance in order to deal with him. Messmer commanded, Gomes complied, but with a flair, even in his despair, that took all attention off the Queen of the Wilis.

Melanie Hamrick as Moyna turned in another lovely performance and the debut of picked-from-the-corps Leann Underwood as Zulma was well-noted. It’s nice to see young talent given such opportunities so early in their ABT careers, but I think I would prefer to see a corps member who’s been giving her all for years get such a break. Underwood did do a beautiful job – she’s a beautiful dancer – and it was nice to get a better look at her, nonetheless.


Michele Wiles

Michele Wiles is an enigma to me. I’ve seen her do spectacular things since she was in her early 20’s. She is superbly trained and her career soared in an enviable flight path, the perfect dream of young ballerina hopefuls everywhere. Yet, in certain ballets, she just leaves me wondering why I was not more impressed with her prodigious talents. As Myrta, she has no opportunity to hold endless balances, turn phenomenal pirouettes, or even to move fast. In fact, her chance to really move during her opening bourrées was not optimally used, and her feet were relatively slow. (Of course, by the time I saw her Myrta, I was measuring opening bourrées against the incomparable Gillian Murphy’s.)

Even her pointe shoes didn’t seem to be right for her beautifully shaped feet (I know her feet and these shoes made them look like someone else’s), and their trademark color pink was too jarring for this white act. I also wanted to see more turnout in her bourrées, more heel-to-heel action.

Taken by itself, Wiles’s performance was outstanding. Her strength of technique, flying jetés, rocket-straight jumps, and effortless turns carry her through the role, but hers is a frigid Myrta who seems to be off in her own world as she goes through the motions her character makes, movements that must be second nature to her by now. I wish I had more illuminating things to say about her performance. I spoke of her moving fingers in the Myrta roundtable, and that was a curious thing. It occurred as she stood to the side with Moyna and Zulma, and because of my end of the front-row seat on the same side, I could see her almost vibrating fingers close up. It seemed involuntary, but one could read plot-led motivation into it, if one wanted to conjecture. At least, it made for an interesting thing to watch.

Isabella Boylston danced Moyna with such polish and richness of movement she reminded me of a chilled Bavarian cream – cold, smooth, and refreshing. Cold as a Wili should be, but with a creamy smooth delivery of dévelopés and arabesques, and a refreshing new dimension to Moyna that I had not seen before. Isabella gives Moyna’s choreography a nudge as she holds a balance longer, step piques more sharply into a high arabesque and lets her leg continue to rise, flies high and covers space voraciously in her glissades assemblés, fairly spins in arabesque, and piqué-turns down a diagonal with high-passéd rapidity. Zhong-Jing Fang’s Zulma was an attractive cohort with beautiful renversés, but I have to admit I was distracted by revisiting Isabella’s performance in my mind while I was watching Fang.

Veronika Part

Be still my heart! We’re not supposed to fall in love with Myrta! How can we not, however, when she is one of the most beautiful creatures that ever walked the earth? She is the coldest Queen of the Wilis of the four Ottawa Myrtas – imagine, even the city presented a proper setting of chilling, shivering temperatures -- but you warm up to her immediately. Does that make any sense? She was Marcelo’s match for charisma, sheer gorgeousness, inducing you to watch her every move. Her prey – Hilarion Gennadi Saveliev and Count Jose Manuel Carreno. They didn’t have a chance in her hell. Xiomara Reyes should have been putty in her hands, but proved to be a capable redeemer for her Count, love winning over torment.

Veronika Part (who is Estonian on her father’s side, thereby sharing a nationality with me, making me doubly proud) is an open dancer with a meticulous Kirov technique. Years in the States, and dare I say, years as a soloist, have enhanced her performance skills by stretching her abilities in all directions. She has been ably challenged with modern choreography, in which she excels, as well as classical warhorses which have given her some battle scars but which have also brought to the fore her strengths and many virtues. She’ll be cast as the star in one ballet and demoted to co-soloist the next. By the time she’s made principal (Kevin, do you hear us?) she will have earned her rank through blood, sweat, and tears. She talked about leaving ABT last year. I surely hope she has incentive to stay beyond this season’s contract.

Everything Myrta is choreographed to dance, Part takes to a new level. Her jetés are long, gliding, space-eating leaps, carried by the wind like paper airplanes. Her développé à la seconde is lifted with the steadiness of a hand-held helium balloon slowly allowed to rise by releasing its string in increments with utmost care against the pull of the earth. Her downstage jetés in attitude come right at you as they reassert her ownership of the space.

Part successfully tempers her frostiness with velvety arms and épaulement. Lovely things happen in her upper body that do not detract from her pitiless posture nor mitigate her intensity. Part brings passion to Myrta in the form of cold obsession. Not everyone could pull this off and still appear menacing. It’s part superb training, part the voluptuousness of her curvy body, part Part.

This Wili’s rebuke to the pleading Giselle is to haul her Count over the coals. Were it not for the mystical strength of love equal to Myrta’s own supernatural power and the chiming of the four o’clock bells, Count Albrecht would have been doomed at her hands.

All that’s left to say is Brava!

Simone Messmer’s Moyna showed that she was still wearing the previous evening’s mantle of Myrta, and she carried off the sequences of steps in her variation with a vivid frostiness. Yuriko Kajiya danced an engaging Zulma, being so physically suited to the part. With an introductory développé exhibiting her lovely line, a floating renversé in her variation, she looked lovely.

Coming up: Peasant Pas de Deux

#32 Marga

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Posted 09 March 2009 - 12:41 AM

Today's Sunday Ottawa Citizen newspaper has a summary of Culture Editor Peter Simpson's experiences as a supernumerary during ABT's Ottawa Giselle run, including some descriptive material about the other supers:
"Extras! Extras! Read all about 'em!"

The act is to end when Giselle dies, and as we approach that point, it's not clear to me if she's died already. She goes down once, then she's back up. Then she's down again, and then back up. It's like the end of a James Brown concert. I expect her to leap up and shout, "I feel good!" But she gets back up and dances, rather well for a dead woman, as I look around at the other supers and wonder who they are.



#33 Marga

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Posted 10 March 2009 - 03:49 AM

[size=3]Peasant Pas de Deux[/size]

This virtuoso inclusion in the middle of Act I requires virtuoso performances of the dancers doing it, otherwise they’re just in danger of embarrassing themselves. ABT chose four different sets of able performers, none of them embarrassing, but a few much more able than their counterparts. Two of them shone like brilliant stars.

Order of male peasants as I would like to see them dance this PDD again:

Daniil Simkin
Craig Salstein
Blaine Hoven
Carlos Lopez

Order of female peasants as I would like to see them dance this PDD again:

Isabella Boylston
Yuriko Kajiya
Sarah Lane
Misty Copeland

Thursday evening, Feb. 26th, 2009

Sarah Lane and Daniil Simkin

Daniil’s high-flying cabrioles, juicy renversé, dazzling double tours en l’air, suspended-in-air croisé jetés in attitude, brilliant beats, bravura finishes, combine to create a peasant pas de deux with variations that becomes a new benchmark for male dancers. Not since Herman Cornejo has there been such radiance in the male part of this PDD at ABT.

An almost flawless frolic, the only poor marks in his partnership with Sarah Lane go to the supported pirouettes in which the first couple of times Sarah's rotations were turned by Daniil off center, looking like the Leaning Tower of Pisa. One seldom knows while watching whether this is the fault of the ballerina, her partner, or a little of both. It happens quite a lot, even with world-class dancers, that it only goes to show how difficult partnering is – but, of course, dancers try to avoid it. Being askew is not an attribute in ballet unless it's mandated in the choreography. :wink:

Sarah Lane performed vivaciously, like a glittering little gemstone within an ideal setting. Her turns, extensions, jumps and balances were noteworthy. I’m afraid, though, that her pairing with Daniil Simkin is relegating her to a sort of second place in any pas de deux they do together. He is so unpretentiously flashy, and the audience is still so interested in every move he makes, that, untraditionally, all eyes are on him instead of the ballerina he’s presenting. Thank goodness for solo variations. They give the girl a chance!

Friday evening, Feb. 27th, 2009

Yuriko Kajiya and Carlos Lopez

Rapidly becoming one of my favorites, Yuriko Kajiya danced a joyful pas de deux befitting the grape festival it was a part of. Carlos Lopez was all smiles as well and the two presented a competent, happy dance. Kajiya was the one to watch. Her long lines and soaring grands jetés, beautiful turns and camera-friendly poses are very appealing. She is well-trained, dancing above her technique, but seems to be best suited (so far) to pretty ballet parts where she displays a freedom of movement to match the delight so evident in her face.

Carlos Lopez, bless his heart, danced with expertise and joie de vivre, giving it all he had. What he doesn’t have (since we’re comparing) is perfect line (and it shows in the many arabesques), a dependable landing (he landed all his tours, but in a couple of them you could see the relief/surprise on his face that he didn’t wobble), or higher than 90˚ arabesques. When he lands in arabesque plié, his working leg doesn’t have that extra lift that is so nice to see. He is, however, lovely to look at and with Kajiya, they accomplished a satisfying PDD. I’d like to see each of them with a different partner, though. I think it would be a good thing for both.

Correct me if I’m wrong (somebody, please! – one of the dancers maybe?), but I don’t think Carlos Lopez and Yuriko Kajiya performed the pas de deux. I have it marked twice in my notes that they didn’t do it. They certainly did the variations and coda, but I was surprised (after seeing Daniil and Sarah the previous evening) that they left it out. The other couples in the following two performances performed it. Why did I come away wondering what happened to it?

Saturday matinée, Feb. 28th, 2009

Misty Copeland and Craig Salstein

Here’s a coupling made in Heaven: Ms. And Mr. Excitement! Vigorous spirit defines Misty Copeland’s approach to every role and she handled the part of peasant with her usual hearty flair. Craig Salstein matched her in flamboyance, notably in every secure landing of his perfect tours en l’air. Together, they presented a display of showmanship that was more an “anything you can do…” contest than a classical period piece. It was tremendous fun to watch, but it isn’t what the peasant pas de deux is about.

Misty is ABT’s anomaly, a brilliant dancer who doesn’t fit the usual mold but who transcends the norm in an utterly winsome and gifted way. The peasant pas was a piece of cake for her and she fluently flew through it.

Salstein left me with pretty much the same feeling. This was a lark for both of them. I did prefer his arms-outstretched “ta-raa!” landings, especially those on one knee, to a dancer who shows no emotion at the end of his feats. I can’t exactly put my finger on what was lacking, or, perhaps, what was too abundantly offered. That’s why I want to see him do it again.

Saturday evening, Feb. 28th, 2009

Isabella Boylston and Blaine Hoven

I’m watching a MASH rerun as I write this and Hawkeye Pierce just wisecracked “she’s a girl with so much body it should be continued on the next girl.”
What an apt line to describe some dancers! It could easily be applied to Veronika Part, and, for the male counterpart, to Marcelo Gomes.

Since I’m writing about Isabella Boylston, my knee-jerk response is to associate the remark with Isabella’s technique and presentation, of which she has more than a full share. Isabella’s dancing in the peasant pas de deux brims over with joyful energy, unassailably pure technique, and natural musicality. This is the foundation upon which she displays her balletic wisdom, trained into muscles and mind since early childhood. Isabella Boylston’s performance savvy, acquired through years of opportunities afforded her in starring roles at ballet school, principal level variations and pas de deux in prestigious ballet competitions, and a grounding in company work at ABT II before joining the main company, has enabled her to reach a point of maturity at the age of 22 that many dancers fail to achieve in their dancing lifetime.

To witness her attack in arabesque and attitude, her crystal sharp space-carving in grand ronde de jambe en l’air, her straight-arrow piqué turns, her whirling-pinwheel supported pirouettes, her jump-over-a-haystack leap, is to see a dancer so secure in her skill that she can let herself justly enjoy the purity of the movement. She even walks on pointe with a stride that declares it preferable to walking on flat. With charming finesse, Isabella enhances her variation with just the right amount of sweetness, personality, and poise. Until now, my most memorable peasant pas de deux soloist was Erica Cornejo. I now have a new point of reference. :)

Isabella Boylston has been chosen to represent ABT at the Erik Bruhn competition in Toronto next week. I wouldn’t be surprised if a promotion within ABT were on the horizon, too. I surely hope so.

Blaine Hoven was a strong partner for Boylston who facilitated her pirouettes and lifts with ease. The two danced in lockstep synchronization, adding an eye-pleasing element to their duet. Hoven impressed with high sautés and clean turns, smartly-beaten cabrioles, attractive arabesques and secure landings. However, he does not leave one with with an unforgettable picture. There’s nothing in particular to draw out of one’s memory and savor afterwards. I’ve seen him in other ballets and find he is a bit of a chameleon, adapting himself to a role even in changing his outward appearance. The day you’re looking for his mop of blond curly hair onstage is the day he’s got it gelled straight and combed close to his head. His dancing varies, too. This day, his peasant pas interpretation wasn’t at its pinnacle.

I have a few more tidbits to share with you in the next day or two. I’ll wind up my posting of these performances after I’ve added them.


#34 Marga

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Posted 12 March 2009 - 02:04 AM

Giselle tidbits

1) The National Arts Centre's Southam Hall, the main stage theatre, has 2323 seats and they were either completely filled or just about completely filled for all 4 performances of ABT's Giselle. What recession?

2) The audience, which might have been as much as half Québecois judging from the amount of French I heard (the Québec border is just minutes away), was enthusiastic in a conservative Canadian way. Lovely people milled about during intermission, a great proportion of the women queued up (as we say here) in the endlessly long but swiftly moving washroom lineup (rest room line for you Yanks), generically expressing their delight in the daisy-plucking scene and in how beautifully everyone danced.

3) First performance and José Manuel Carreno bounds onstage. I applaud with recognition and respect. I am the only one out of well over 2000 patrons. I do the same when Xiomara Reyes steps out of her cottage. Again, it's only me honoring her.

The next night, I'm all atingle waiting for Marcelo's entrance. There he is! Wild clapping on my part. Did I hear one other person applauding? I think I did! Paloma got my appreciation next. I may have been the only one. Or perhaps it was her entrance that elicited someone else's acclaim. The hand chimed in after mine, so it was a copycat effort, but I'm glad I wasn't the only one this time.

On Saturday, David Hallberg and Maria Riccetto in turn received my ovation. Only mine. Saturday, Jose and Xiomara again heard the sound of two Estonian hands resoundingly clapping in an otherwise hushed hall.

Now, is this the way Ottawawians (that's my own word since I don't know how they call themselves -- probably Ottawans) greet their ballet stars, or is it just that not a soul in the audience recognized ABT's principals or was familiar with Giselle's opening sequence of their introduction to the stage?

4) At the end of the performance Thursday night, all received proper laudation, but not as much as a single flower to sniff between them. Friday brought the blooms, one for Paloma and one for Marcelo (I'm sorry I've forgotten whether Simone received such a tribute). Saturday matinée had the same long-stemmed flower, one each for Maria and David, but in the evening José and Xiomara again were left flowerless.

5) There were no curtain calls after Act I. That was disappointing, as eager was I to applaud the dancers who performed the peasant pas de deux, the Berthes, the Bathildes, and even the Wilfreds. The entire audience would have loved to give the elegant Russian wolfhounds a hand!

6) Binocular rental was only $3.00 (and your photo ID was taken hostage until their safe return).
Under-theatre parking was only $10. While leaving en masse, traveling through the multi-tiered underground maze following the exit signs that seem to take you in circles, no one honks their horn, ever. This is not New York, or even Toronto. Canada's capital city can be proud of the deportment of their denizens and its visitors.

7) David LaMarche is such a kick to watch conducting. His precise, brisk baton-waving provides a pleasant visual during the overtures.

8) I didn't have a backstage pass, but I had dancer friends to see, so I inquired of an usher how to get backstage. She said I could try knocking on a certain door and see if they'd let me in. After opening a door which led upstairs and to a locked door, I (along with my daughter who is always aghast at my brazenness) came back down and discovered an unmarked door with no doorknob next to the one I had opened. So, I knocked on it, Järvi imploring me to forget about it. Lo and behold, after a bit of rapping, the mystery door open-sesamed.

I was asked my business and whether I had a backstage pass, and after explaining whom we were there to see, we were admitted and told to "sit there". After a short while, Isabella Boylston came rushing toward us, arms outstretched, and we met with a warm hug. I then moved aside to reveal my daughter, and Isabella, seeing her old friend, squealed with joy and the two of them embraced and chattered excitedly. It had been 7 years, 7 months since they last saw each other.

Afterwards, I asked Järvi whether she was still upset with me for my chutzpah. No, she responded, she was glad I had persevered. It had been a wonderful reunion. Remembering how I had been just as shy at her age to do such cheeky things (reticence learned from my own mother who would NEVER be so bold), I hoped that as she got older, my daughter would become more brassy too. It makes life much more enjoyable. :sweatingbullets:

The next day I returned backstage to congratulate Isabella (she told us we could still call her Hildur) on her Moyna. This time there was no one to point out a seat or who offered to go fetch her, and I went looking for her myself, passing by many of the dancers in the corridors who were scurrying to leave for lunch between performances. Hildur and I talked animatedly (she had to join her friends but was still happy to spend time with me) and then I left for my inn in order to get an hour's rest between performances.

9) Tidbits learned from conversation with Isabella Boylston:

a) the stage was much smaller (although it seemed quite large to us in the audience) than the one at the Kennedy Center from which they had just come, and the Wilis had to close their ranks in order to fit on it. That made for less expansive movements and smaller steps on the part of the corps. We who watch from the other side of the curtain rarely think about such nitty-gritty issues.

b) Isabella was so pleased to know we were there watching her. She wished she would have known before the first performance (we visited after the second). It's nice to know you've got friends in the audience.



#35 Marga

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Posted 14 March 2009 - 12:30 AM

[size=3]Roundtable with 3 Giselles[/size]

Cast of characters

Xiomara Reyes
Paloma Herrera
Maria Riccetto

Act I

Giselle Herrera (her mother: Maria Bystrova; her "Loys": Marcelo Gomes): If I'd known he was going to leave Bathilde for me, I would have been fine. We were so in love. Why couldn't he tell me about her? Why did he keep it a secret? I trusted him completely. It's her I don't trust!

Giselle Reyes (her mother: Susan Jones; her "Loys": Jose Manuel Carreno): I had eyes only for him and thought he had eyes only for me. The shock of it all is hard to get my head around. How could he do this to me?

Giselle Riccetto (her mother: Nancy Raffa; her "Loys": David Hallberg): He was so innocent! I felt like I knew everything about him, he was so open and endearing. I wouldn't have believed he could do anything like this. It seems impossible even now. Mama was right. She's always right. Why, oh why, didn't I listen to her?

Giselle Herrera: Mama was smart. But this time she was wrong. He really loved me. I really loved him. He could not pretend a love so true. We were as one from the beginning. Even our hearts beat as one.

Giselle Riccetto: I don't know if he loved ME the way I loved him. We were having such fun! Mama warned me about boys, especially boys she didn't know. But none of the other village boys made me feel the way he did. I couldn't help falling for him. He made me tingle!

Giselle Reyes: Mama told me to watch out for all boys, even the ones we knew. They'll do anything to get you to like them, because they have only one thing on their minds, that's what mama said. But Loys wasn't like that, I told her. She still didn't believe me. At least, she didn't think that I knew how to be careful. I had to pretend that everything was okay, but I was a little worried, too, especially when he ran off without telling me and I had to look all through the crowd for him while the Countess was waiting.

Giselle Herrera: I wasn't worried at all. So he disappeared for awhile! Maybe he went to feed his horse. I knew he'd be back. We couldn't stay apart for more than a few minutes.

Giselle Riccetto: I though perhaps some other girl had gone for a stroll with him. I saw a few of the village girls flirting with him. I can't say I blame them, he's so cute! But he told me that I was the one and that we would be married. I was more worried about how I would tell mama about THAT.

Giselle Reyes: I know. She would have tried to talk me out of marrying, especially since she was so protective of me. Yes, I had a weak heart, but I always slowed down when it started to race. I felt fine otherwise.

Giselle Riccetto: Me too. I knew how to handle my heart. But mama was so anxious every time I danced and always brought up the Wilis. It was embarrassing when she told the whole village the story. I hate to be the center of attention. Except when I'm dancing, of course!

Giselle Herrera: Oh, how I loved to dance! It brought me more joy than anything else... that is, until he came along and made me know greater joy than I thought possible. Oh, how he made my heart jump -- in a good way! I even thought that it would help my heart heal, being in love with him. Those troublesome palpitations would ease because I felt so calm and secure with him. I thought he could protect me from everything, even my weak heart.

Giselle Reyes: But instead, my heart was hit with a pain sharper than any pain I had felt before . When the Countess claimed him as her fiancée, he took her hand and looked away from me. It felt like a dagger had pierced my heart. I ran to mama and collapsed. When I rose again, I felt as if the earth had swallowed me up and I was but a ghost which drifted out of my physical body. Everything went blurry. I saw Loys and me through a haze as we had been, dancing and in love. Then I was pulled into a dark void. I remember nothing after that.

Giselle Riccetto: I saw the look on Loys' face. It was shell-shock. I saw that HE needed protection and would not be able to do anything to help me. Did he even care about me anymore? Did he not remember how he showed me what the daisy said? How we danced and were so carefree? Why didn't he look at me? I lost it completely. Every fiber of my being was screaming. I couldn't stop the sensations, the pain. I needed only escape. Stumbling on his sword, I knew the only thing I wanted to do was drive it into me. Nobody could help me now. But it was seized from my hands, and then I had nothing with which to stop the pain. I couldn't see a way out. Where was Loys? Where was mama? Where was I? I just ran. Then I blacked out.

Giselle Herrera: He started toward me -- he never stopped looking at me. But she pulled him back. I thought she would make him leave with her! NO! NO! We love each other! Don't leave me, don't leave me, don't leave me! Remember -- we love each other! Mama, help me. Mama, where are you? I can't see you. No -- it's her! She's still here! Run, run, I've got to run .... away from her. She's the enemy. Loys, I can't see you! Loys, LOYS! I need you! Mama, where is Loys? Oh, mama-a-a.....

#36 Rosa

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Posted 14 March 2009 - 07:53 AM

Beautiful roundtable! Four very different Giselles... Thank you, Marga! :(

#37 Marga

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Posted 17 March 2009 - 03:19 AM

Act II

Giselle Herrera (her Myrta: Simone Messmer: her Albrecht: Marcelo Gomes): I heard my name being called. I was still Giselle! But I wasn't moving of my own volition.....I was being pulled from my grave by a force I couldn't resist...

Giselle Riccetto (her Myrta: Michele Wiles; her Albrecht: David Hallberg): I didn't know where I was but I seemed to know what to do.

Giselle Reyes (her Myrta: 1st: Gillian Murphy; 2nd: Veronika Part; her Albrecht: Jose Carreno): It was like a dream, only real, but not earthly. I had to go, but I had no freedom.

Giselle Herrera: I felt frozen....I couldn't move my legs. But yet they moved, and made me step toward her.

Giselle Reyes: I didn't know what I would be doing next.

Giselle Riccetto: I was afraid.

Giselle Herrera: All of a sudden, I was spinning uncontrollably!

Giselle Riccetto: I felt as if I would soon be flying!

Giselle Reyes: It released me! I started to dance and this made me feel like myself.

Giselle Herrera: I couldn't stop and I didn't want to stop!

Giselle Riccetto: I was no longer frightened.

Giselle Herrera: Then, she sent the Wilis away and I was left alone in the forest. Soon I saw why. It was my beloved! He was coming my way. I ran out to be with him -- but he didn't see me! I had to make him see me!

Giselle Reyes: So I ran toward him so he could feel me in the air -- and he did!

Giselle Riccetto: He lifted me up for just a moment. He touched me!

Giselle Herrera: He knew I was there. When I circled him, I surrounded him with my essence. He felt my touch on his shoulder!

Giselle Riccetto: I tossed two of his lilies into the air so he could be sure it was me.

Giselle Reyes: Then he knew. When he picked them up, he knew it was really me.

Giselle Herrera: Right after that, she had Hilarion danced to death! She was going to mete out the same fate for my Albrecht. I would not let her!

Giselle Riccetto: He had to be saved. I had to find a way.

Giselle Reyes: I would not let him die. I loved him!

Giselle Herrera: I begged for his life to be spared. She grew colder the more I pleaded, but made me even more determined.

Giselle Reyes: I had to do everything I could to overpower her. Now was the time to be strong and unrelentless. She wasn't the only one who could stand firm.

Giselle Riccetto: New energy coursed through me. I would not fail him!

Giselle Herrera: He must stay by the cross. The cross on my grave would protect him.

Giselle Reyes: But he did not stay! I tried to keep him there by coming between him and her and making the sign of the cross with the fortitude of my love, but it only held him for a moment!

Giselle Riccetto: She made me entice him away. Now I had to go to Plan B.

Giselle Herrera: I had to help him dance.

Giselle Reyes: And I couldn't let her see I was helping him!

Giselle Herrera: She was so angry that I had defied her that I lost some psychic capacity!

Giselle Riccetto: But my resolve returned and, with it, my will.

Giselle Herrera: Together, we appealed to each Wili to have mercy.

Giselle Reyes: But they are ruled by her and stand as one. We had only ourselves to outwit and outlast the authority of the Queen.

Giselle Riccetto: And my Albrecht was beginning to fade!

Giselle Reyes: But we were confident in our love, and love assures that when one is weak, the other becomes stronger.

Giselle Herrera: That is how we were able to confound the evil.

Giselle Riccetto: When he could no longer hold himself up, I bore his weight.

Giselle Herrera: I carried him through his dance! I sustained his every movement. I know he knew it!

Giselle Reyes: I danced alone as long as I could. Then, when he had to dance, I watched him closely and ran in again when he started to flag.

Giselle Riccetto: We were in a new world of our own making! I knew we could do it -- our love would withstand our opposition.

Giselle: Herrera: And it did. The bells announced the arrival of day. The Wilis and their Queen became impotent once again.

Giselle Reyes: I felt a peace embrace me and yearned to return to my grave.

Giselle Riccetto: I knew something wonderful would happen when I did.

Giselle Herrera: My sweet love was alive. I had redeemed him and he had saved me! I could now go to my rest in peace and wait for him-- as a rightful spirit -- to join me in the afterlife when it was his time.


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