MCB Program III. Giselle
Posted 13 March 2012 - 05:42 AM
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?
Posted 13 March 2012 - 10:55 PM
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...
Posted 14 March 2012 - 09:39 PM
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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