I didn't see Lorena Feijoo's Giselle this year – though I did hear she was good – but I did see that of Mathilde Froustey and of Maria Kochetkova on succeeding nights (even though I wasn't going to go at all; I'm not really one of he faithful I keep telling myself). Maybe you could say one Giselle was French and the other was Russian – or the difference is like that between Braque's and Picasso's cubism – one painterly (Foustey) and the other sculptural. Kochetkova seemed always to be directly advancing her part, whereas Froustey was very light and open (I want to say like a lieder singer who happens to be in an opera) . For instance in the first act variation, the part on the diagonal on pointe, Kochetkova did it in one piece very nicely, while with Froustey it was taken in leisurely increments, a series of pauses and advances with all the time in the world to finish up.
Tiit Helimets’s Albrecht was big and calm and subtle, Taras Domitro’s was delicate and nervous, continuous reinflected, as if he were meticulously adjusting the angle of a kite. Simone Messmer’s Myrtha was dramatic, her profile like Athena’s on an archaic vase. But I thought Sofiane Sylve’s was more effective where she for a moment seems to be considering leniency for Albrecht, then quickly turns her head the other direction in a final “No!”... Lola de Avila is supposed to have had a hand in the excellence of this year’s production.