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Giselle Spring 2012


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#31 Ilya

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Posted 20 May 2012 - 12:56 PM

Regarding question (2), brises voles seem to be more standard (e.g., Corella did them on Thursday); however, many dancers do entrechats sixes these days: e.g., Hallberg, Gomes, and Le Riche. Perhaps someone knows whether brises were part of the original Coralli/Perrot choreography? Also, I am curious---was Erik Bruhn the first one to substitute them for entrechats sixes?

#32 California

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Posted 20 May 2012 - 01:12 PM

A discussion forum on precisely this issue of brises vs. entrechats might be of interest:

http://balletalert.i...hats-or-brises/

#33 nanushka

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Posted 20 May 2012 - 01:32 PM

brises voles seem to be more standard (e.g., Corella did them on Thursday)


Cornejo did them on Friday, competently though not spectacularly.

#34 bingham

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Posted 20 May 2012 - 01:42 PM


brises voles seem to be more standard (e.g., Corella did them on Thursday)


Cornejo did them on Friday, competently though not spectacularly.

nobody has matched Mischa B.'s Brises.

#35 Roberto Dini

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Posted 20 May 2012 - 01:51 PM

Wow. Hard crowd. Cornejo's brises were certainly well beyond competent.

#36 DanceActress

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Posted 20 May 2012 - 03:23 PM

Cojocaru is one of my favorite ballerinas and while her Giselle was certainly well worth seeing IMO what I saw this time around is no longer on the same level as Osipova and Vishneva. I HOPE this can be attributed to a current injury and not just a decline in her technique due to the cumulative effect of her many injuries and well known foot problems. She still has a wonderful, floaty quality to her dancing, beautiful, easy extensions, gorgeous phrasing and line and is a very great interpretive artist but her technique has definitely declined. Last season when she flubbed a bit in DQ I put it down to a bad night. Now I don't know.


I'll speak up in defense of Cojocaru. Having seen her Lise in "La Fllle mal Gardee" a few weeks ago, I can say that her technique has not declined at all. There is a lot of intricate pointe work in that ballet, and Alina executed it with aplomb. It sounds like a recent flare-up of an old injury or a new injury! Either way, I hope she recovers soon.

I'm enjoying all of the Giselle reports since I'm not in New York this summer. I do wish I could have seen Vishneva and Gomes!

#37 DanceActress

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Posted 20 May 2012 - 03:26 PM

I was trying to quote part of nysusan's post above- that's the first paragraph!

#38 Ilya

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Posted 20 May 2012 - 06:42 PM

A discussion forum on precisely this issue of brises vs. entrechats might be of interest:

http://balletalert.i...hats-or-brises/


The discussion variously names Lifar, Nureyev, and Bruhn as the person who first introduced entrechats sixes. Also, the discussion seems to be ambivalent on the issue of whether brises were there originally. Any clarifications anyone?

Regarding Cojocaru, it seemed quite clear to me that, contrary to what was implied in some of the previous posts, the steps she was doing weren't a mistake---i.e., they were planned. She didn't fall off pointe during her variation---she deliberately performed a different set of steps. This was a little puzzling to me, since there was a lot of other pointe work elsewhere that she did quite effortlessly (e.g., pique turns in the same variation).

#39 nysusan

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Posted 20 May 2012 - 07:15 PM


A discussion forum on precisely this issue of brises vs. entrechats might be of interest:

http://balletalert.i...hats-or-brises/


The discussion variously names Lifar, Nureyev, and Bruhn as the person who first introduced entrechats sixes. Also, the discussion seems to be ambivalent on the issue of whether brises were there originally. Any clarifications anyone?

Regarding Cojocaru, it seemed quite clear to me that, contrary to what was implied in some of the previous posts, the steps she was doing weren't a mistake---i.e., they were planned. She didn't fall off pointe during her variation---she deliberately performed a different set of steps. This was a little puzzling to me, since there was a lot of other pointe work elsewhere that she did quite effortlessly (e.g., pique turns in the same variation).


agreed re: Cojocaru - ABATT metioned in her post that the changes seemed planned, and I agree. But why would she plan to simplify a variation she has done numerous times before unless she felt that she couldn't do it this time? And she also simplified the entrechat zig zag variation in the 2nd act grand pas de deux.

Re: Albrecht's entrechats vs brises vole - I saw Fonteyn/Nureyev and Fracci/Bruhn beore Misha in Giselle and my recollection is that Misha introduced the brises vole. I'm not saying that nobody did them before him, just that from what I recall the entrechats were standard till he popularized the brises.

#40 Ilya

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Posted 20 May 2012 - 07:48 PM

The earliest video of Giselle I'm aware of is Ulanova-Fedeyechev from 1956. Fadeyechev performs brises. So does Nureyev in the 1962 excerpts filmed with Fonteyn. The earliest video with entrechats that I've seen was the ABT 1969 movie with Fracci and Bruhn. (All these are on youtube, but I'm not sure if posting youtube links goes against the board policy.)

#41 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 20 May 2012 - 11:40 PM

From the various revisions and tunings Dolin did in Alonso's Giselle-(the last one being in 1980)-, none of them included either brises or entrechats. Cuban Albrecht, (Dolin/Youskevitch based)-, seems to wander around the stage stopping a lot to beg for forgiveness to Myrtha. It is a very mimed segment.

#42 mimsyb

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Posted 21 May 2012 - 04:20 AM

Correct me if I'm wrong, but what Albrect does are brises, not brise' vole'. Vole' is with the battu, as in "Bluebird" variation. The down the line brise' is without the beats. And I find them more dramatically apt. It seems as if he (Albrect) is pleading with Myrtha to allow him some "peace". The entrechat six, while amazing as a technical feat, don't hold the same dramatic thrill. MO

#43 rg

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Posted 21 May 2012 - 04:52 AM

you are mostly correct.
the Albrecht step under discussion here should be brisé, not brisé-volé.
the step associated with the Blue Bird in THE SLEEPING BEAUTY, since the Cecchetti/Petipa connection to it from 1890, is a variation on brisé-volé, which involves a rond de jambe move for the changing leg as opposed to the 'brush' through move of the classroom brisé-volé.
if mem. serves from a transcript of Balanchine's now legendary seminars for ballet teachers in the '60s?, when he was asked about brisé-volé by one of the teachers in attendance, Balanchine began his remarks by asking: do you mean brisé-volé, or do you mean 'bird step'? thus distinguishing the latter as a variant on the former.

#44 California

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Posted 21 May 2012 - 04:56 AM

In this 1974 review from Dance Magazine of his debut performance in Giselle, Baryshnikov's brises are described as: "diagonal brises voles (flying brises, quatrieme demie position)." Olga Maynard was the critic.

http://findarticles....73/ai_55739050/

I remember reading an interview with him shortly afterwards, in which he worried that the brises were "too much," but I can't find the link back for that one. I'm thinking that others might have done that step before him in that passage, but he made it "famous."

I'm also wondering if the language in that 1974 review, which was probably widely read, contributed to some of the confusion in terminology. Is Maynard wrong here?

#45 Colleen Boresta

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Posted 21 May 2012 - 05:39 AM

I also was at the May 19th matinee of Giselle.

Natalia Osipova’s Giselle is the best portrayal of that role that I have ever seen. Osipova is a young, innocent peasant girl hopelessly in love with Albrecht. She has an incredibly mobile face, which shows Giselle's every emotion – from joy to love to complete and total heartbreak. Her mad scene is so real that it is painful to watch. In Act II, Osipova is a pure creature of the spirit world. Her willi is feather light, with leaps where she floats above the stage for what seems like an eternity. Her turns are performed at a feverish pace and her hops on pointe have unbelievable elevation. What is really amazing is how Osipova uses her formidable technique to deepen her characterization of Giselle.

David Hallberg’s Albrecht is truly in love with Giselle. He has pushed his real life so far to the background that he doesn’t think about his actual fiancée when he is with Giselle. Albrecht is so shattered by Giselle’s death that it brings tears to my eyes. In Act II, Hallberg stands out for his perfect line and noble refinement. His Albrecht, however, is a noble full of emotion – love, remorse and especially sorrow. When Albrecht is trapped by the willis his every step is astonishing. The height of his leaps, his flawless double assemble turns and especially his entrechats – where he soars in the air and hangs suspended there – all are mesmerizing.

As well as Osipova and Hallberg dance separately, the real wonder is how perfectly complete they are together. Their chemistry in Act I is very genuine and unaffected. In Act II, it is otherworldly, even spiritual.

The ending of the May 19th matinee of Giselle is hauntingly beautiful. As she returns to her grave, Giselle drops one single flower. Albrecht breathes in her the scent of the flower, feeling his oneness with Giselle a single time more. Then he slowly moves away from her grave. At that point, tears are streaming down my eyes.

Stella Abrera dances the part of Myyrta with great power and control. Abrera’s Myrta makes me wonder what her life was like before she died and became a willi. How badly must she have been hurt by her lover in order to turn into such an icy and menacing queen of the willis?

Patrick Ogle is a very young and sympathetic Hilarion. The huntsman truly loves Giselle and cannot understand why she cannot see Albrecht for the nobleman he really is. As Berthe, Susan Jones
is a real mother, fully devoted to her innocent daughter with a weak heart. In the peasant pas de deux, Craig Salstein seems off, especially with regard to his leaps. His entire performance is somewhat strained. His partner, Misty Copeland, is lovely. Her dancing radiates pure joy. In Act II, the corps is wonderful, dancing in glorious tandem with each other and the music.

I hope ABT keeps dancing their Giselle for years to come. I also want to see Natalia Osipova and David Hallberg perform together in many more ballets.


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