Maria Kochetkova's Mariinsky "Giselle" Debut
Posted 04 January 2013 - 05:41 PM
The same author uploaded this excerpt as well:
The end of Act I:
Posted 05 January 2013 - 11:53 AM
Posted 06 January 2013 - 08:04 PM
Alonso's Giselle is young, lovely [& quick, clear and direct]... nonetheless Markova is still dramatically dramatically more thrilling. One watches Alonso imitate to perfection several of those touching "Victorianisms" of Markova's that are close to mincing; they are effects that suit Markova's figure but not always Alonso's. (Alonso's head, for example, when she holds it forward is not fragile enough to be innocently wagged.)
Markova ... attains expressive effects by a sovereign eveness of momentum, which makes her motion seem floating and her lift seem under a spell ... Alonso's Giselle tends to a more sforzando-edged attack and it sometimes breaks the continuity of her characterization, too.
Incidentally Alonso's bows "in character" are unfortunate.
Perhaps Kochetkova's Giselle is closer Markova's, in that they are light and small boned – though Kochetkova sometimes does have some distractions and mannerisms that take away from the character she's portraying.
But anyone who quotes Anna Ahkmatova in her Twitter feed has to be a pretty good Giselle:
He loved three things:
Evening songs, white peacocks
And worn maps of America ...
No crying of children, nor raspberry tea or neurotic acts. And ... I was his wife.
[tweet of 9/29/2012, via Google translator]
Posted 07 January 2013 - 01:36 PM
The clips are short, and the second clip especially is undercut by the inability of the camera to let us see crucial dramatic action at stage right. This makes it especially hard to generalize about the performance.
Kochethova is remarkably tiny in comparison to the other main characters on stage, which made me want to root for her. Instead of using her physical fragility to make Giselle more interesting, she seems to imagine Giselle as emotionally pallid and lacking in emotional intensity.
Cristian and Quiggan both refer to the many different kinds of Giselle over the generations. I've seen great, heartbreaking performances, and I've also seen dancers who perform these two bits without conviction, or in an affected manner, or by over-playing to the crowd. But this is the first time that I've seen someone apparently choosing to tamp down her character to the point of blandness. Giselle as village mouse might be a nice way to start Act I -- but to end it that way? In a mad scene? Perhaps it came across differently on stage.
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