Question #8: Is Giselle a virgin?
Posted 19 April 2001 - 09:30 AM
Now, personally, I don't buy this. I think he felt that the mad scene needed more explanation than "Oh, you cad, I'll now go mad." I don't think it does.
Some productions make it clear that Giselle is sexually innocent -- in one that I thought was particularly well thought-out, the attraction for Albrecht is because he's gentlemanly, i.e., blows kisses and doesn't touch her, unlike Hilarion, a more physically demonstrative, rougher fellow. She is supposed to be very young, but I'm not sure what ballet Silesian peasants were doing in those days. It was probably OK to mess around, with the expectation that if a little accident happened, the fellow would marry you or everyone would stone him to death.
How long have Giselle and Albrecht known each other? What is the nature of their relationship? Do we need to know?
Posted 19 April 2001 - 10:10 AM
Posted 19 April 2001 - 10:15 AM
Posted 19 April 2001 - 12:05 PM
Posted 19 April 2001 - 09:54 PM
It is quite a shock to realize that the person one has been in love with for quite some time is a completely different person who is engaged to someone else. Add a weak heart, the fact that she's been dancing all day in spite of her mother's warnings, the excitement of a royal hunting party, and I think that the final realization that Albrecht really truly isn't a peasant named Loys would be the last straw.
Posted 20 April 2001 - 02:19 AM
Mueller is certainly correct that pregnancy or merely a fate worse than death is superior as a motive, but I don't think we need it. In 19th century opera, heroines went mad on much flimsier pretexts.
Parenthetically, with all due respect to John Mueller, I think Arlene Croce holds pride of place in Fred-and-Ginger studies. As a student of Astaire's career in toto, however, Mueller gets the prize, and I'd like to take the opportunity to plug his great book, "Astaire Dancing."
Posted 20 April 2001 - 03:01 AM
Dirac - I'm curious. Where did you read this?
Posted 20 April 2001 - 06:03 AM
Posted 20 April 2001 - 09:56 AM
I read a short story once -- popular fiction in a book on Victorian pornography -- that reminded me of Albrecht. (Albrecht, Le Cad would have exercised droit de seigneur, I think.) A young scion of the upper classes, down from Oxford for the holidays, was walking through the countryside, saw a girl he liked, and had her. When it was over, she cried. He was stunned. "It never occurred to me they had feelings," he wrote, "they" meaning country folk, not females. Changed his life.
(I vote for Giselle being a virgin. Even peasant girls are virgins at some point.)
Posted 20 April 2001 - 10:09 AM
Posted 20 April 2001 - 10:28 AM
I think they couldn't have shown that Giselle was not a virgin, but I think it may have been left to your imagination.
Posted 21 April 2001 - 01:02 AM
Posted 21 April 2001 - 02:45 PM
Of course she is virgin or Albrecht will not come next time !
[ 04-21-2001: Message edited by: Andrei ]
Posted 21 April 2001 - 03:36 PM
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