cubanmiamiboy

MCB Program III. Giselle

63 posts in this topic

Kronenberg and Guerra are certainly marketed as a love couple. Until last night, I've not found them to be an ideal romantic partnership on stage. The illusion of love depends (I think) on some kind of artistic equivalency. Guerra's growth in this role since the last time out made me believe in all the love elements of the story and made Albrecht's fate as moving, in its own way, as Giselle's.

Agree entirely about Delgado's Myrthe. Astonishing as to detail and stage presence. You don't have to be tall and long-limbed to dance big. Those who keep thinking about Delgado in terms of her ability to express joy -- the critics of the 'Delgado smile' -- are missing something if they think that is ALL she can do.

This Myrthe didn't grim. More relevant, neither did she glower, grimace, or tighten her features to convey a Really Bad Mood, as some Myrthe's do. I can still see Delgado's head in profile, mouth stern but unstrained, eyes missing nothing, chin strong without being forced to jut outward, body standing downstage in a perfectly still B-plus pose. The best stage actresses don't have to keep "doing things" to draw your eye in their direction. We don't orget this Myrthe for an instant, even when she stands still.

I regret not being able to see what Delgado will do with the very different role of transparent, naive peasant girl, whose every Act I emotion seems to pass over her features like sun and shadow on the surface of a lake.

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Agree entirely about Delgado's Myrthe. Astonishing as to detail and stage presence. You don't have to be tall and long-limbed to dance big. Those who keep thinking about Delgado in terms of her ability to express joy -- the critics of the 'Delgado smile' -- are missing something if they think that is ALL she can do.

This Myrthe didn't grim. More relevant, neither did she glower, grimace, or tighten her features to convey a Really Bad Mood, as some Myrthe's do. I can still see Delgado's head in profile, mouth stern but unstrained, eyes missing nothing, chin strong without being forced to jut outward, body standing downstage in a perfectly still B-plus pose. The best stage actresses don't have to keep "doing things" to draw your eye in their direction. We don't orget this Myrthe for an instant, even when she stands still.

I regret not being able to see what Delgado will do with the very different role of transparent, naive peasant girl, whose every Act I emotion seems to pass over her features like sun and shadow on the surface of a lake.

I agree. Never did I feel Delgado was acting. To me she lived the part, and her dancing was gorgeous! She was a top notch Myrtha! I am a fan of the beautiful Delgado smile, but I am also thrilled to see her range in portraying serious personalities as well. I am glad she'll be able to use her smile in Act 1 today!

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From the second Delgado's Myrtha I also remember being striked by her makeup. She did some heavy, expressionist all white face, with her eyes features very black, her eye caves looking deeply sunken. She reminded me of those old Bela Lugosi movies! Very effective indeed...

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From the second Delgado's Myrtha I also remember being striked by her makeup. She did some heavy, expressionist all white face, with her eyes features very black, her eye caves looking deeply sunken. She reminded me of those old Bela Lugosi movies! Very effective indeed...

It was hard to recognize her! I'm not sure she wants to be compared to Bela Lugosi, Cristian!!!!! LOL LOL LOL But I understand what you mean. You always make me laugh!

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Just home from Delgado's debut in Giselle and loved her! She radiates youth and energy! Her acting is natural like she's just inhabiting the role instead of acting the role. She has so much charisma. Cristian can give a more technical analysis of her dancing, but I felt she excelled at jumps (grand jetes), foot work, and Port de bras. To me she created magic. She was a gorgeous young girl in love. I felt her mad scene still needs work, but it was great for a first time! She was also quite lyrical and spirit-like in the second act. I think it was an incredible first Giselle!!!!!!! She's already good! She will be GREAT with time!

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Just home from Delgado's debut in Giselle and loved her! She radiates youth and energy! Her acting is natural like she's just inhabiting the role instead of acting the role. She has so much charisma. Cristian can give a more technical analysis of her dancing, but I felt she excelled at jumps (grand jetes), foot work, and Port de bras. To me she created magic. She was a gorgeous young girl in love. I felt her mad scene still needs work, but it was great for a first time! She was also quite lyrical and spirit-like in the second act. I think it was an incredible first Giselle!!!!!!! She's already good! She will be GREAT with time!

Agree with all you've said, BB. Beautifully danced, and joyful/dramatic when needed. Lovely.

To: whom may it might concern...

NO BOUQUET OF FLOWERS FOR A YOUNG DEBUTANTE IN GISELLE..?!?!

SHAMEFUL!!! mad.gifmad.gifmad.gif

So here are mine, Miss Delgado! flowers.gifflowers.gif (No more for there're only 5 emoticons allowed per post...)

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It was shocking not to give flowers to Delgado! A debut as Giselle is a major thing for a dancer, I would think!!!!

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Any report on the Catoya Giselle at the Kravis? I wanted to see that one too, and Cristian says she was the best out of all the Giselles he saw. I just could not go to two in one day and ignore my parents while visiting them! LOL And I did not want to miss Delgado's Giselle, but Cristian says Catoya is more experienced and technically proficient and the best out of all the ones he saw.

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Jennifer Kronenberg and Mary Carmen Catoya were admirable Giselles, but in quite different ways.

I saw Catoya and Reyes Saturday night. While Kronenberg's Giselle was the more moving and complex, especially in Act II. Catoya's stood out for clarity and beauty of technique.

I don't mean this to downplay Catoya's acting abilities. Catoya, a principal since 1999, came across as one of the "youngest" (Act I) Giselle's I've ever seen, and one of the least mannered.. Her's was a more more spontaneous, original Giselle than Kronenberg's, with a hint of recklessness. Sometimes Giselle's innocence can be overplayed. This Giselle had a brain and a sense of humor as well as an almost contemporary (in the best sense of the term) grasp of what it is to be a young girl in love. Her mad scene projected undertones of anger, not just pain and fear. She seemed to resent and to be fighting against her impending madness, which made her collapse at the end especially interesting.

Reyes was a strong Albrecht, but more conventional than his partner. (For real drama, I preferred his powerful Hilarion the night before.)

Catoya's technical purity was the high point of Act II. Kronenberg's Act II made me feel deeply for the character. Catoya's made me appreciate how beautiful the choreography is. One difference may have been that I moved to a seat further back (Grand Tier first row) Act II. The stage pictures were stunning, but elements of detail and individuality was inevitably lost.

Callie Manning's Myrthe is a real beauty, even when observed from a distance. She's also an Ice Maiden, upper body completely still during her fast but almost invisible pas de bourrees, no matter what the direction. The jumps were powerful though changes in upper body while in midair seemed effortless. The balances were secure and were held for dramatic effect.

Reyes did a fine job in a slightly old-fashioned manner and handled most of the technical challenges (jumps, lifts) quite well. There was something strange about those iconic brises voles -- his bending of the spine, a large gap between the two feet. Didier Bramaz's Hilarian was elegant but perhaps a tad over-subtle for tthe drama.

The corps -- a number of whom are from the school -- was impressive. These young dancers moved with remarkable synchronicity and with a real Romantic shaping, as though they had been dancing this kind of choreography for years. The effect was hypnotic, although they were not helped by the big scenery, which hemmed them in and deprived them of space upstage and to the sides. Those hops in arabesque alongee were beautifully done and would have looked better if given more space to move.

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I wouldn't have missed either these casts for the world. Vive la difference.

P.S. Regarding the Saturday matinee performance, which I missed. A good friend, a woman who has seen many Giselles beginning with Markova's in the mid 1940s, mentioned that Delgado's performance was "very promising .... technically strong .... she will be a very good Giselle in five years." My friend was enthusiastic about Renato Penteado's Albrecht. Penteado is the company's best classical dancer, but one who can also act and move in a variety of styles. He was interviewed by conductor Gary Sheldon before the Friday night performance and was delightful. (I also learned that he is married to MCB's senior Ballet Mistress, former NYCB dancer Roma Sosenko.)

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Penteado did get better and better as the performance progressed. Delgado tired at times, but she probably hasn't learned to pace herself, but I think she was a natural as Giselle as far as the acting went. Her dancing was very good too. She will be a great Giselle if she gets a chance to dance it more and more. She's not perfect but such an exciting talent! She had a lot of nightmares to deal with in her debut like the flower not wanting to be plucked, Bathilde not being where she expected when she danced backwards intending to bump into her, etc. She probably thought, "Anything that can go wrong has gone wrong!" yet she managed it all like a pro!

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Re: things going wrong. At one point in Act I a couple of the men lift Giselle so that she can stand on that little wooden bench. I remember Haiyan Wu, years ago. They deposited her right at the edge. The bench tipped over. Giselle fell to the floor. Talk about bad omens.

Nowadays, I notice, two men are delegated to grasp the edges of the bench and hold it in place.

Perhaps they need to add a daisy-tester to the cast as well?

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Re: things going wrong. At one point in Act I a couple of the men lift Giselle so that she can stand on that little wooden bench. I remember Haiyan Wu, years ago. They deposited her right at the edge. The bench tipped over. Giselle fell to the floor. Talk about bad omens. Nowadays, I notice, two men are delegated to grasp the edges of the bench and hold it in place. Perhaps they need to add a daisy-tester to the cast as well?

In the Cuban version the men bring a big wheeled artifact where Giselle stands as the Queen of Harvest. It is even more dangerous, for which the thing sometimes bounces to one side. There were issues with the veils in the Miamian staging. All the Willis were wearing veils onstage, and they were pulled at the same time. A couple of times a veil stayed onstage. One time one brave Willi kicked it to the wing with supreme elegance. Another time another took it and sort of played with it on the air before throwing it out of sight. Kronenberg wasn't wearing a veil where she got out of her grave. All the other Giselles were. During Jeanette's debut Myrtha's branch didn't brake on her hand. Another thing I noticed on ALL performances was that Giselle was easily seen getting to the grave spot bending over before her initiation, despise the Willis being placed strategically in front of it, so the magic of the moment was sort of broken.

THE MUSIC AND ORCHESTRATION.

One thing that kept bothering me during the whole production was the orchestration. It was too muffled, lacking brass grandeur and accents , particularly during the Mad Scene. Also, there were too many musical cuts-(from my Cuban standpoint). The scene of the dice players before Myrtha's appearance was there-(nice touch to see restored), but the music that I'm familiar with belonging to this moment was missing. The music I refer is sort of like a march-(in a mayor key, if I remember correctly...?)-, and AFTER that's when the men get scared away following the 12 o'clock bell sounds. Hilarion's death's music was heavily reduced, and ditto with the fanfarres and music of the approaching hunting party. As I said earlier, it was very nice to hear the fast ending of the original music, instead of Pavlova's slow arrangement, and Panteado was the only one that ran madly around the stage before collapsing on the floor when the curtain dropped-(I remember the Cuban men pulling out some very fast series of chainee turns before collapsing ON TOP of the grave). The music of the overture lacked some repetitions I remember, and Albrecht's entrance wasn't done to the music I was used to-( a repetition of the slow intro of the overture)-but instead was done to the music that goes in the Cuban version to Albrecht mischievously jumping our of his cottage changed into Loys-(a scene that NEVER happened here in Miami...a huge mishap).

To be continued...

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Some sketchy impressions on MCB Giselle.

On the contrary, maybe at the age of our three Giselles-(Kronenberg, Albertson and Catoya)-this is a better understood subject, which is one of the reason that, on one side, I love to see mature dancers on this role. Sadly, on the other side, there's the inability to be technically proficient to execute Sppessivtzeva's diagonal, at least over here...

That diagonal is just not a part of MOST stagings. I don't know the MCB dancers and maybe you are right and they cant do it. I know it is very critical to you for a giselle. But for many people and many stagings it is not. I don't know if the omission of it is due to lack of technical proficiancy, and really I think it is a staging choice. You can hate that choice but i don't think its fair to chalk it up to lack of ability in the dancers. I'm sure ABT for ex. has had dancers who COULD do it. I KNOW that osipova could, but she doesn't.

Here's a performance of Ferri in 1998, in Havana. As we can see, she decides to change some standard steps .

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