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Giselle 2011

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#16 abatt


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Posted 29 May 2011 - 10:50 AM

I can't add much to the superlatives regarding the performances of Friday and Saturday evening. I had seen Vishneva many times before, so I knew what to expect from her Giselle. I had never seen Cojocaru's Giselle. She was stunning. This suited her much more than Kitri. I also saw the matinee. It wasn't on the same level of artistry as the Fri and Sat evenining performances, but it was pretty good. I was interested in seeing Kobberg, in particular. He is a marvelous actor and dancer, but the lack of any connection or chemistry between him and Dvorovenko caused the performance to be less impressive. Also, Dvorovenko is not particularly good at portraying frailty. Thank you ABT for a marvelous weekend of Giselles! Hope Murphy comes back soon.

#17 puppytreats


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Posted 29 May 2011 - 02:50 PM

I can't wait for tomorrow's performance! I have an extra third row ticket for tomorrow night (I got front row!). Contact me if interested.

#18 kfw


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Posted 29 May 2011 - 03:05 PM

I love all these reviews. Would anyone care to compare Cojocaru's Giselle last night with the one on DVD with the Royal Ballet, with Kobborg as Albrecht?

#19 canbelto


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Posted 29 May 2011 - 04:31 PM

Macauley's review of both Vishneva and Cojocaru's Giselle is up:


#20 cubanmiamiboy


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Posted 29 May 2011 - 10:20 PM

I'm green with envy.

#21 bart


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Posted 30 May 2011 - 06:18 AM

I'm envious, too. But I have to say that reading these wonderfully descriptive reports from our fellow Ballet Alert members has helped me to feel just a bit as though I had been there.

The same holds true of Macaulay's review. (Thanks, canbelto, for the link..) Is there any other dance critic who does quite as good a job of finding words to help us "see" what he has seen, and feel what he has felt?

For example, the following. (I choose it because it contains allusions to one of Ballet Alert's favorite themes: the tendency (or not) to raise the leg a little too high.

[Cojocaru] is nonetheless a marvel. Her art is one of transcendence. After Giselle leaves the sanctuary of the cross in Act II, her first step is to extend a leg to the side while holding her arms still in a halo above her head. Because Ms. Cojocaru's leg — radiant with energy — ascends way above head height, you could already hear a tizzy of excitement in the house, but she immediately made a much more affecting impression simply by the way she then parted her hands and opened her arms; the simpler feat was the more poetic.

I also appreciate the way he discusses "musicality" -- not just with a word, but with an illustration in words. For example:

And, whereas other Royal dancers in this role tend to dance on and into the beat, Ms. Cojocaru tends to arrive, with Romantic responsiveness, after it. (By contrast Ms. Vishneva, unlike many Russians, danced a few steps on the beat, pingingly.) Ms. Cojocaru doesn’t fill a musical phrase to the brim.


Both [Mr. Hallberg] and Mr. Gomes provided the most musically illuminating dancing of the two performances; both of them gave their ballerinas beautiful support. If you’d seen only Mr. Hallberg dance the long Act II series of entrechat-six, you’d think his super-definition could not be matched, but Mr. Gomes was even more wonderful in timing (he hits the downbeat with the apex of the jump) and more rich-toned.

I learn from comments like this. Just as I learn from the generosity of those Ballet Alert members who take the time to share with us what you have seen and why you admire it or do not admire it.

#22 vipa


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Posted 30 May 2011 - 04:37 PM

If you read my comments about last Friday's performance of Giselle you know I thought it was amazing. I am still feeling, recalling it and taking about it to those who were with me. We are all still in its thrall.

Someone told me that the day after the performance Hallberg twittered the follow - "Alina took me on ride last night & then we flew to a new sphere."

It would seem to me that Hallberg probably gained/learned a lot from Cojocaru - I'm not suggesting that it was totally one sided, I'm sure she got something new from working with Hallberg, it's just that she as been doing & thinking about the role for a while, and is a very established ballerina.

Hallberg is soon partnering Hee Seo in her first Giselle. I can't help but wonder if Cojocaru's impact on Hallberg will have an impact on Seo. It's interesting to think about how this all works.

If anyone has seen other performance of Giselle please post comments.

Thank you all.

#23 christine174


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Posted 30 May 2011 - 06:12 PM

Just wanted to add my thanks to all who took the time to share such detailed and nuanced reviews. I learn so much from the forum! And I agree with Bart's comments about the Macaulay review. It's hard to believe we're only halfway through the Giselle run! At least two more perfs lined up for me, and possibly three.

#24 puppytreats


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Posted 31 May 2011 - 06:55 AM

I am neither erudite nor educated enough to offer an insightful review, but I can attest to the continuing power of ballet, generally, and "Giselle", in particular, as illustrated by the following transcript of my conversation with my very tolerant significant other of nearly 20 years.

Mr. Puppytreats: Before performance: "You can give my ticket to someone else if you want [please]. I don't mind. [I'd rather stay home and watch the Mets or hockey finals if they are on tv.] I mean, why do they have to wear those outfits?"

Puppytreats: "Please join me. I will enjoy it more if you are there. You will understand my interest better if you see it. Thank you so much for the tickets. I am so excited." [Jumping up and down with glee.]

Mr. Puppytreats: "OK, but I'll take my earphones and ipod with me into the theater."

Puppytreats: "The music is very nice. You'll like it."

Mr. Puppytreats: At intermission: "The band [sic] is so good. I did not need to turn my ipod on at all. Also, the lady in red [Bathilde, performed by Leann Underwood] is so beautiful. It was worth coming here just to see her."

Puppytreats: At intermission: "Thank you. Thank you. Thank you."

Mr. Puppytreats: During Act II: "How on earth does she do that? She is amazing" [as Giselle bourees.]

Puppytreats: Before curtain calls: "Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you."

Mr. Puppytreats: "It was really good."

Mr. Puppytreats: During curtain calls: "Why does she get to be 'The Decider?'" [as Michele Wiles, who performed the part of Myrta, bows.]

Puppytreats: "Because she is the Queen of the Wilis."

Mr. Puppytreats: During curtain calls: "She's a hottie; I'm taking a picture of her" [as Paloma Herrera graciously picks up a bouquet of white roses thrown by the man sitting two seats away from us.]

Mr. Puppytreats: As we leave the theater: "The band was great. And the dancing was so well done. I couldn't read the small lettering in the program, but you didn't need to - you could understand it all just from watching the ballet. It was so emotional. Dancers are really great atheletes. And that woman in red is such a cutie."

Puppytreats: "I am afraid that I let out an audible gasp when the ballet started. Did you hear me?"

Mr. Puppytreats: "Oh, yes, I heard you. But don't worry, several others in the audience did the same thing."

Puppytreats: During the entire walk to the car: "Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you" [leaping, jumping, skipping].

Mr. Puppytreats: "Why didn't you tell me there were puppies in that show?"

Puppytreats: "None of the versions I've seen [on tape] have ever had puppies. Or the two children."

Mr. Puppytreats: "No, there were four children. See, I was watching the whole thing."

Puppytreats: "Did Roberto Bolle have a bandage wrapped around his leg under his tights. Do you think he is injured? His dancing was not affected, but I thought I saw a bandage."

Mr. Puppytreats: "Oh, I didn't look at that. Why do they have to wear those outfits? And who was that character who looked like he came from the movie "Shrek"? [Hilarion]

Puppytreats: "I know the costumes need improvement. I think they spend money on the stars, not the costumes. But you liked it?"

Mr. Puppytreats: "Yes, I'll go again."


I had the following observations:

Misty Copeland danced in the peasant pdd. She is more beautiful in person than in her photographs. She looks like someone poised to go to the next level. I was very impressed. Her partner looked tired and did not match her level of competence on that day.

Zhong-Jing Fang as Zulma and Stella Abrera [according to the program] as Moyna displayed a vivid and effective contrast. Ms. Fang held her face in an icy, numb stare, and she showed a demonstrably deferential attitude toward her queen. Contrarily, Ms. Abrera's eyes were sad and pained. One can imagine either one of these emotions in a wili.

The face of Michele Wiles, as Myrta, looked imperious, angry, sometimes frightening, and gratified in her vengeance. Ms. Wile's arms and hands are incredibly elegant and graceful (as are those of Mr. Bolle.) She has very long fingers that she points artfully, and her hand positions are beautiful. I could not tell if she was trying to suggest that the lower half of her body was being held down, earthbound, making her angry and vengeful. When she had to leave at 4 a.m., she was visibly perturbed, not just powerless and departing.

Paloma Herrera conveyed so much emotion in her dancing of the part of Giselle. During Act I, she was so innocent, and less flirtatious than other interpretations I have seen. She moved into her own world in the mad scene, and was unreachable, just as she was unreachable during the beginning and end of Act II. In Act II, she portrayed such love for Albrecht that I literally felt the emotion inside of my heart. Usually, I just feel the heartbreak, but I felt more than aching in Ms. Herrera's portrayal. The love was continuing and generous, especially as she wrapped her arms around Albrecht from behind. I got the impression that she and Albrecht met briefly in a dream world in Act II, which I never felt before.

Gennadi Saveliev danced the part of Hilarion with admirable skill.

Roberto Bolle mesmerized. He focused on Ms. Herrera intently. During Act I, he threw her in the air and caught her before letting her down, like one throws a baby. (I have not seen these types of throw lifts before). During Act II, he lifted her as if she were air, without any effort. The audience was enraptured by his solos. His failed grasps for Giselle were heartbreaking. I do not think I took a breath or blinked whenever he was on the stage.

#25 bingham


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Posted 31 May 2011 - 08:50 AM

I guess ,Mr. Puppytreats will be returning to the Met especially if the gorgeous Ms. Underwood is dancing. :wink:

#26 Helene



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Posted 31 May 2011 - 09:08 AM

Reminds me of how the only soap opera my father would ever watch was "Edge of Night" -- my sister and I recorded it every day on the Betamax -- because he thought "Raven" was so beautiful, and how my friend's father's eyes would light up during discussions of "All My Children": he would always say, "Oh, that Erika..."

I don't think my first boyfriend in NYC ever got over Susan Freedman's Coffee :lol:

I'm glad Mr. puppytreats liked it!

#27 bart


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Posted 31 May 2011 - 11:03 AM

More episodes of "Mr. and Mrs. Puppytreats at the Ballet" .... PLEASE. :clapping:

P.S. That's how we expand the ballet fan base:
(1) get them into the theater;
(2) pick a the best performance available;
(3) let them watch without telling them what to looko for (unless asked).

#28 puppytreats


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Posted 31 May 2011 - 11:30 AM

More episodes of "Mr. and Mrs. Puppytreats at the Ballet" .... PLEASE. :clapping:

P.S. That's how we expand the ballet fan base:
(1) get them into the theater;
(2) pick a the best performance available;
(3) let them watch without telling them what to looko for (unless asked).

With all the empty seats discussed on these boards, I can't see why school children are not let in for educational purposes for free.

Mr. Puppytreats drove me into Manhattan to see "Coppelia" in the cinema this weekend, too. He deserves a lot of extra puppy treats.

#29 Raylene



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Posted 31 May 2011 - 11:36 AM

I found the Cojocaru/Hallberg performance positively stunning. There were many gorgeous moments that wedded exquisite technique with an enormous generosity of spirit. The love radiated from them in a testament to their art and to all who have preceeded them in Giselle.

It is difficult to describe the ethereal. What made this performance so memorable? Was it the shimmering fluency of their movement? Was it their expansive shaping of space? To my eyes, their performance was so organic and alive that it transcended all technical considerations. Cojocaru and Hallberg demonstrated how exquisite classicism can be a portal to a more perfect beauty.

From the sublime to the more earthbound….

I wish that Giselle’s cottage and her grave weren’t invisible from stage right sight lines. That seemed a little careless from a production aspect. And IMO, the soloists were accomplished but failed to register with any weight or consequence. And finally, I found the orchestra a little jarring at times as the music disrupted rather than enhanced the mood. Something appeared to be out of sync.

#30 Juliet


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Posted 31 May 2011 - 11:39 AM

[size="4"][size="4"][font="Comic Sans MS"]Quick fyi tonight re: Myrtha:[font="Comic Sans MS"][/font]

Murphy out. Messmer in.[/font][/size][/size]

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