Your first live Giselle......do you remember her...?
Posted 13 June 2010 - 07:14 PM
As I recall, my first live Giselle was Julie Kent, and while she was not an artist on the level of, say, Amanda McKerrow, she was a convincing actress and very beautiful technically. There are certain things she did in that performance that I have not seen anyone else do as well--especially in Act II she and Carreno worked together to achieve the most ethereal, subtle effects. For example, during a series of supported arabesques voyagés, Carreno simply carried her across the stage so that she appeared to magically float without ever coming down. And during her series of entrechat-quatre, relevé retiré, she substituted retiré sauté for the relevés, making the entire sequence airborne and using her épaulement to make it all look effortlessly angelic.
Posted 27 February 2011 - 09:42 PM
I remember one day my aunt took me to a theatre, I was probably 4 or 5, and I remember the line-up before seated. I remember seeing a girl and a guy dancing together and was interrupted by another guy on stage, and was extremely confused about the story and bored, then I fell asleep. That is my first live Giselle.
Not until some year later, on June 5, 1988 to be exact, I went to see Giselle with one of my friends, and then right when Hilarion came out and questioned Giselle about her love to Albrecht in Act 1, I suddenly remembered that it was Giselle that my aunt took me to see.
By the way, my "second" live Giselle was with Hong Kong Ballet, a matinee, with Ayako Yoshikawa as Giselle and Mark Hawkins as Albrecht (not sure if anyone has heard of them, Hong Kong Ballet was a young and much smaller company back then). I have kept the program all these years and it's still like new.
Posted 28 February 2011 - 06:39 AM
A month or two later I saw Fracci and Bruhn and that performance (at what was then called the Garden State Arts Center) I remember more clearly.
Posted 28 February 2011 - 07:11 AM
Posted 28 February 2011 - 07:25 AM
For some reason, it is the Hilarion who sticks in my memory, perhaps because he's treated rather badly in the story and doesn't get much respect. No one on stage seems to care about Hilarion. His "creeping-about" music is rather spooky, too.
I remember where we were sitting -- a stage-left box, still my favorite seat for ballet -- and the rather elegant but shabby theater. So why don't I remember Giselle herself? If I do, it's gotten mixed up with numerous other Giselles over the years since then.
The performance must have been Ballet Theater, or possibly one of the last seasons of the Ballet Russe. It wasn't the old Met. Could it have been in a Broadway theater taken over for the ballet season? I'm trying to recall something from Act II (other than poor, mistreated Hilarion). I suspect that all those white tutus have gotten mixed up in my memory with white tutus in other ballets, especially Swan Lake, which I know I saw several times before the age of 10.
Posted 28 February 2011 - 08:12 AM
Posted 28 February 2011 - 09:17 AM
Posted 28 February 2011 - 09:47 AM
I was a grad student living in England. My first Giselle was Antoinette Sibley, with Anthony Dowell; they were making a debut of some kind, I THINK as a pair, and sadly, I wasn't moved much by their performance itself -- I was really impressed by the hoopla, which involved daffodils being thrown down from the upper balconies onto the stage until the dancers were ankle deep in yellow flowers. It was almost on the scale of a political demonstration, and maybe for that reason I was struck by the staginess of it all and kinda repelled.
I loved Sibley and Dowell in Swan Lake, it was one of the great experiences of my life -- it was early in my career of going to the ballet and the first major disappointment, though I'd noticed already that sometimes things that were supposed to be great did not make me feel much of anything. When I first read King Lear, I didn't see what all the fuss was about, either.
I didn't feel the power till later -- Alicia Alonso's in Berkeley in the 70s, Makarova and Dowell in Berkeley, Lorna Feijoo's in Berkeley with your great Cuban ballet, and Sarah van Patten's this year in SF are the great performances I've seen live.
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