So why is Myrtha the queen and not someone else?
Posted 17 April 2001 - 07:17 AM
Posted 17 April 2001 - 09:54 AM
Posted 17 April 2001 - 11:06 AM
Posted 17 April 2001 - 11:11 AM
Posted 17 April 2001 - 03:28 PM
Posted 17 April 2001 - 04:05 PM
Posted 17 April 2001 - 04:29 PM
The original Myrtha also seems to have been a completely different character than we are used to now. More an amusing seductress (more sylphide ?) than a cold-hearted leader of ghosts.
Posted 17 April 2001 - 04:43 PM
Now that I think of it, would that sort of parallel work in casting? If I got to set Giselle, I would make sure Bathilde's costume made her stiff - not bad or evil - just stiff, upright and formal. (A high lace collar, full sleeves. . .) She's the palace, etiquette, society and duty. With a young, sincere Albrecht, this would work as a contrast to Giselle.
In the same way, I would try and cast a Hilarion who was physically badly matched with Giselle, just so people could see immediately they are not meant to be together. I'm just trying to figure out how to do this. . .way too tall? I thought Kronstam's casting of Peter Bo Bendixen as Hilarion to Riggins' Giselle was fascinating because both Riggins and Bendixen are very good looking, but in different ways. Riggins is callow and blond - it suited Ryom's wide-eyed, innocent face. Bendixen is dark and angular, and looks experienced. Dark and Fair distinctions would read more to a Danish audience than they would to me (and I think they're used here) but also, there's just the sense you get about Bendixen's Hilarion that he is rough, not just around the ages, but that even though he loves Giselle, he would be more than she could handle.
What about Hilarion? Should he just be too coarse, or would it make dramatic sense to intimate that he is sexually "dangerous"? (I don't mean he mauls her, just casting someone with that sort of dark magnetism to contrast with a purity in Albrecht and Giselle) Is that too much Freud for the ballet?
I'm adding this in after posting - I just wanted to throw it out and see if people thought this would be a possible reading with the right cast.
A Giselle in her late teens, and young for her age; Hilarion is several years older and has courted before. He thinks it's time for him to settle down, she is the prettiest girl in the village and he is genuinely charmed by her. But from her point of view, he's just too old, and even a bit frightening - he wants marriage and children *now*, too little courtship, it's too real. I give you rabbits, we make babies. In walks Albrecht, who is refined, gentle and a dreamer, like her. It's a spiritual match. They both see each other as idealists, and their love is pure. Would this work? It makes the revelation of his prior engagement even more painful to Giselle - she's being betrayed on all sides.
What do you think? Does this particularize the story or betray it?
[ 04-17-2001: Message edited by: Leigh Witchel ]
Posted 17 April 2001 - 05:47 PM
If you have the seen the version of Giselle with Mezentseva (sp?), you will see that their Hilarion definately does NOT suit Giselle - much too old - and physically Giselle seems to dwarf him in size.....well, at least in my opinion!
Posted 17 April 2001 - 06:38 PM
Is it throwing the wrong spin on the story to consider Bathilde and Hilarion opposite sides of the same coin - "the wrong choice"? I know that changes the original intent (there wouldn't have been a reconciliation scene with Bathilde.) It has a logical structure and symmetry, but is it forcing the story?
If I were staging the ballet, the place I would do this is in the mad scene. Nothing major - I would just make sure Bathilde did not leave immediately, and by where she is placed in relation to Albecht, Giselle and Hilarion, you can create the connection and implied comparison.
Posted 17 April 2001 - 06:45 PM
(Whatever their earlier origins, by the mid-nineteenth-century the dark/light codings did have ethnic and racialized connotations -- Just take a look at some of the 19th century illustrations of the Nibelunglied in which the bad guys are uniformly semitic in terms clearly corresponding to nineteenth-century cliches...so for twentieth century productions, although I think it's fine to draw on physical contrasts for particular casts I'm not sympathetic to it as a way of building theatrical or "moral" symbolism for a production as a whole.)
Posted 17 April 2001 - 07:51 PM
Posted 17 April 2001 - 08:17 PM
Posted 17 April 2001 - 09:18 PM
So I actually think that the GOOD pairing is Giselle and Hilarion and it is Albrecht who is "wrong". Admittedly, it would be hard to cast for that: just as a matter of practicality in partnering one couldn't have too great a mismatch in height. One also isn't likely to have dumpy, peasant-looking ballerinas in a ballet company! It would really be casting against type to cast a soubrette-type woman against a "princely" man.
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