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Giselle Spring 2012


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#46 rg

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Posted 21 May 2012 - 07:43 AM

re: brisé & brisé volé, perhaps Maynard was using the term based in what Gail Grant calls: Brisé volé en avant ("A term of the Cecchetti Method," which is contrasted with a separate step called Brisé volé en arrière.
Grant's TECHINCAL MANUAL AND DICTIONARY has 12 different entries starting w/ brisé, and describing the variants of the different schools of technique.
i now see that the fist entry for Brisé volé doesn't indicate that the step be done to the front and to the back, Blue Bird like, so it's likely a matter of where and with whom one trained that determines what the step might be called.

#47 Birdsall

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Posted 21 May 2012 - 07:55 AM

All the reviews of Giselle make me salivate!!! I wanted to originally see both Giselles on Saturday like some of you did, but to make sure I saw that and the Vishneva/Osipova Bayadere would have bumped my trip budget way up to stay that long. So I was debating. The Vishneva/Osipova Bayadere just seemed too juicy of an idea to pass up, but the Vishneva Giselle and Osipova Giselle sounded wonderful too, and sure enough, your reviews make me so jealous!!!

I love Osipova, but I thought her personality would be all wrong for Giselle, but apparently not. I am very glad to hear that she has more range than I thought she had. I thought she would be better as Gamzatti (all sparkle). I assumed Vishneva's Giselle would be terrific. I assume her Nikiya will be wonderful too. So many hard decisions for us non-New Yorkers!!! Previous years they seemed to arrange the schedule so out-of-town people could see two or even three ballets. This year it is basically one ballet per week unless you do half one week and half of the other. I hope they return to the previous few years where you could catch 2-3 ballets in one trip!!!!

#48 puppytreats

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Posted 21 May 2012 - 08:15 AM

I cannot imagine anyone performing the puppet being pulled up by a string step in Act II like Osipova, as I have seen on youtube. What is that step called? I imagine her whirling dervish is wonderful, too.

Does anyone have pictures of the different outfits?
Or links to the brise and brise vole, including Albrecht and Bluebird?

Albrecht's solo in Act I seemed different at ABT from other productions, too.

One last night, tonight, for "Giselle". I have been on the verge of tears all day in anticipation.

#49 abatt

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Posted 21 May 2012 - 08:42 AM

Puppytreats, the New York Times has a Slide Show on the internet, along with A. Macauley's review of the Giselles, on the NY Times website. You can see the different Giselle Act II dresses in the slide show. Go to today's Links to see the review.

#50 puppytreats

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Posted 21 May 2012 - 08:45 AM

abatt, I did not see the blue dresses.

#51 abatt

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Posted 21 May 2012 - 09:20 AM

The photos are primarily of the Act II white dresses, not the Act I peasant dresses.

#52 FauxPas

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Posted 21 May 2012 - 09:53 AM

  • Here is a video of Baryshnikov performing the brisés volés:
  • Here is Bujones performing entrechats sixes:
What I have noticed is that taller, longer legged danseur noble type Albrechts (Gomes, Hallberg) do the entrechats. Shorter more aerial Albrechts like Baryshnikov and Cornejo do the brisé volés.

#53 Ray

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Posted 21 May 2012 - 12:24 PM

To pull away from brises/entrechats for a moment, did anyone else notice how in one part of his variation in Act 2, Hallberg ended his double tours with his head thrown back? The feat--and the theatrical effect--were stupendous; I can't say that I've seen that ever before, esp. done with such surety.

#54 Barbara

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Posted 22 May 2012 - 02:55 AM

Ray, I think Gomes does that too and it is thrilling. This time Hallberg also flung his head back as if in exhaustion when he comes down on one knee at the end of his entrechats. Everyone here has articulated my thoughts about this memorable performance. Something I can add about Osipova is the lovely touches she adds in the first act. She is a Giselle that is obviously of a weak constitution from the very start. The way she lays her head on Albrecht's shoulder as if gathering her energy to continue dancing - so touching. And here's the icing on the cake: after the performance the trainer was on the plaza with the two Russian Borzois. What a treat! She explained they were from PA and stay in a nearby hotel during the Giselle run, a hotel with a lawn for the dogs. They know the music so well that they hear their cue and immediately arise to go on stage! A small crowd had gathered to admire the dogs when a woman arrived in a wheelchair - the dogs immediately went to her and the trainer explained that they are therapy dogs as well, which would explain their calm demeanor. A wonderful afternoon and one I won't soon forget!

#55 FauxPas

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Posted 22 May 2012 - 09:05 AM

Quick review of Monday night: Dvorovenko and Bolle.

Dvorovenko in general is a very good Giselle. She has strong acting ability and has worked out many fine effects. Yes it is a bit calculated but the effects land in all the right places. Dvorovenko is naturally a strong personality but she creates a nicely traditional sunny but shy and retiring young girl. (Her hair now has some honey blonde highlights in it) The physical and mental fragility seems a bit pasted on and emerges out of nowhere. Whereas Vishneva on Saturday night clearly indicated early hints of the heart problems and frailty. This was done even before Giselle has her first episode during the early group dance with the peasant girls. Vishneva even hinted a bit at mental instability before the mad scene. Irina was kind of vibrant and happy and then suddenly was fainting in Albrecht's arms. She danced very strongly in both acts with excellent footwork and strong technique. The Spessivtzeva variation got a big ovation which she acknowledged at the front of the stage. The mad scene was quite dramatic and wild but didn't seem to emerge from the girl we saw earlier.

Roberto Bolle is a superb Albrecht. First of all he is extremely aristocratic right from his first entrance where his measured gestures, imposing height and lofty manner definitely suggest somebody who didn't grow up in a straw thatched cottage. Giselle should have sensed that he is different than the other village boys but then again, this Albrecht looks like a Roman god leaving any young girl dazed and confused. In fact, Irina was the most infatuated and lovestruck of all the Giselles I have seen this season (Seo, Cojocaru, Vishneva and Dvorovenko). Bolle was neither a cad (like Corella or Gomes) nor a sensitive poet/ruminative Hamlet figure (like Hallberg). There was something very centered and authoritative in his mime that suggested a man who is used to dominating his companions and surroundings. Lots of smiles and flirtation but he never lost his self-command or dignity. His dancing was very clear with very controlled turns, strong leaps and crystalline beats and footwork.
Blaine Hoven and Maria Riccetto danced the Peasant PDD with lots of bouyancy and precision. Hoven looks a tiny bit thick around the waist and hips onstage but danced well and on the music with secure landings.

Act II had another strong Myrtha from Simone Messmer. Christine Shevchenko and Zhong-Jing Fang were wonderful (particularly Fang) as Moyna and Zulma. Fang should be dancing Giselle somewhere if not ABT. Bolle and Dvorovenko both did well except for an unfortunate incident during the overhead lifts. Evidently this was not rehearsed quite enough and Bolle isn't as familiar with Dvorovenko as he is with other ballerinas or Belotserkovsky (naturellement) is with his wife and partner. The first lift found Irina badly centered and she started to pitch forward and down. I think she tried to throw herself into a backbend to compensate and she nearly fell over the other way. After a few seconds of mid-air flailing, Bolle put her down (he managed remarkable composure during those horrible seconds). On the second overhead lift, Bolle made sure he had a firm grasp of Irina's hips and it went off without a hitch. Dvorovenko dug in and pushed onward like nothing happened. No other glitches marred the second act. Dvorovenko's entrechats in the grand pas were high and fast. Bolle I think added an extra set of entrechats during the coda really pushing for the superhuman. His solo was superbly danced. Bolle lost some of his aristocratic cool in Act II quite visibly moved by encountering Giselle's ghost and weeping inconsolably over her grave at the end.

There were a lot of Italians in the audience there to see their national dance hero. Lots of applause except for one person who seemed to be booing persistently in the Dress Circle level. Bolle had two stuffed animals (little plush puppy dogs) thrown onstage at his solo curtain call as a presentation/gift.

For me it was a starry and dramatic performance and both Bolle and Dvorovenko have charisma and impressive technique. But for me the real chemistry and deep interpretation came from Vishneva and Gomes on Saturday night. They were working on a deeper level of communication. Vishneva also creates a real atmosphere of magic and drama onstage - particularly her Act II wili. Every moment seemed to be a wondrous discovery. This was very good but not on the same level.

#56 California

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Posted 22 May 2012 - 09:20 AM

Faux pas - thanks for this nice summary of 5/21, especially your description of the Act II lift problem. I don't recall ever seeing such an extreme problem with a lift. Were the boos directed at anyone in particular?

Did you hear a musical catastrophe at the end of Act I, which I saw mentioned elsewhere on the Web? I just checked the New York Times and they haven't posted a review yet for this performance.

#57 ksk04

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Posted 22 May 2012 - 10:47 AM

Sounds like it was just a miscount on both of their parts-one or both went into the lift a second before or after the other. I would guess Bolle didn't catch her on the right moment before her plie into the overhead press, thereby having to haul her up into the press through brute force, putting her off center. If Irina tried to correct it, it would only make it worse as it sounds like it did. When I was dancing regularly, anytime a partnering issue happened it was always exacerbated through the woman trying to correct it mid-lift, because the man cannot predicate how to compensate. It's always best to hold whatever position and let the man fix it in his own way, even if his own way is just putting you down, thus ruining the lift. It's easy to forget that when you're hanging in the air and know something is terribly wrong though!

I've seen Irina and him in R&J together without any issue, and that has much more complicated partnering. I think Bolle actually tweeted a picture of them rehearsing Giselle as far back as March, so they've been at it for awhile.

#58 puppytreats

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Posted 22 May 2012 - 10:54 AM

Faux pas - thanks for this nice summary of 5/21, especially your description of the Act II lift problem. I don't recall ever seeing such an extreme problem with a lift. Were the boos directed at anyone in particular?

Did you hear a musical catastrophe at the end of Act I, which I saw mentioned elsewhere on the Web? I just checked the New York Times and they haven't posted a review yet for this performance.


Do you have a link?

#59 California

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Posted 22 May 2012 - 11:03 AM


Faux pas - thanks for this nice summary of 5/21, especially your description of the Act II lift problem. I don't recall ever seeing such an extreme problem with a lift. Were the boos directed at anyone in particular?

Did you hear a musical catastrophe at the end of Act I, which I saw mentioned elsewhere on the Web? I just checked the New York Times and they haven't posted a review yet for this performance.


Do you have a link?


I don't think we're supposed to discuss other sites/blogs. Still nothing from the Times.

#60 FauxPas

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Posted 22 May 2012 - 12:00 PM

The musical disaster occurred at the end of Act I during the chords where Giselle rushes in to separate Albrecht and Bathilde just before the mad scene. Someone didn't play or came in late. I have noticed that David LaMarche is quite the best conductor at ABT while Ormsby Wilkins is much less good. I think it was Wilkins last night.


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