A review of American Ballet Theatre
in 'Giselle' by Robert Gottlieb in The New York Observer.
There are many ways to be wonderful as Giselle. Diana Vishneva, for instance, is exemplary—technically formidable, highly dramatic, impeccably polished. When you watch her, you're watching a major dancer, a ballerina, a star performing Giselle. When you watch Cojocaru, you're watching Giselle herself, who happens also to be a great dancer. There she is, and you love her. This is what happens to her, and your heart goes out to her. You see how her absolute love for Albrecht purifies and redeems, a love that never wavers, starting with the innocent way her radiant face and her body tilt towards him in the first scene; the way her eyes never leave him. His betrayal, her madness and death, cannot affect that love. And her return to the grave is so moving not because she's gone forever but because she'll never be with him again.
Marina Harss' review
for The Faster Times.
Vishneva’s mad scene was a rococo masterpiece, with frenzied eyes and an expression of abandon that reminded me of George Bataille’s description of the ecstasy of torment in “Tears of Eros,” or the eyes of Joan of Arc on the pyre in Rivette’s “Jeanne la Pucelle.” For most of the scene, her face was turned insistently toward the light, which brought out a pallid glow in her cheeks and eyes. Her body seemed to lose its coherence, like a cubist portrait; the angle of her head, shoulders, and arms seemed painfully out of whack. When she returned as a ghost in the second act, she had become a figure from a lithograph, the picture of nineteenth-century sadness and otherworldliness...