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Giselle - Spring 2014


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#46 abatt

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Posted 19 June 2014 - 05:17 AM

I went into last night's Giselle with very low expectatons for Kent.  I bought the ticket to see Bolle and Abrera.  Kent's changes of the standard choreography in Act I had me worried that this was gong to be a bad night.  However, I'm happy to report that her Act II was very satisfying.  As noted above, her willowy arm movements made up for the deficiencies in her arabesque and her footwork.  The orchestra slowed down the tempo to a crawl at certain points for Kent   The emotional connection between Bolle and Kent made this a very satisfying performance dramatically.  Bolle was thrilling in every way - wonderful actor, excellent dancer, marvelous partner.  He is a huge asset to ABT.  All the lifts that were etiher omitted or watered down by Hallberg were performed to perfection by Bolle.  He made Kent look weightless.  I had trouble focusing on Abrera during her solo because the people in the row behind me decided to have a conversation at full volume (not a whisper) in a foreign language at that moment. RUDE.

 

As noted above, Gorak had a problem in the peasant pas, but most of it was beautifully done.  Lane and Gorak make a good couple.

 

The balcony was poorly sold.  I guess Bolle is a bigger draw in Europe than the US..

 

I wanted to also mention that although I was disappointed with Semionova's Giselle, I think she has done excellent work in other ballets.  She has done wonderfully as Kitri, Nikiya, Sylvia, and other roles



#47 Colleen Boresta

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Posted 19 June 2014 - 06:12 AM

I think I already mentioned that Semionova was wonderful in Onegin and Swan Lake (with Gomes in Swan
Lake). Abatt reminded me that she was a very good Kitri though she doesn't seem to fit Kitri
physically like Osipova or Reyes. I also thought she was good in the second section of Symphony in C.
All right maybe she's not quite up to the level of NYCB ballets in the role like Koroswksi, Mearns and Reichlen. But then who is? Semionova was much better than Susan Jaffe when she danced the role years
ago. Jaffe so obviously could not keep up with the other ballerinas in the last section of Symphony
that it was hard to watch. Anyway I think Semionova is a wonderful ballerina. From what I read,
however, she's probably not a good Giselle. I think I'd have problems believing that Semionova's
Giselle had heart troubles. I had problems with Cynthia Gregory as Giselle because she just seemed too
healthy and strong. The same was true of Nina Aniashivili when I saw her dance Giselle in the late
90's.

#48 bingham

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Posted 19 June 2014 - 06:20 AM

I think I already mentioned that Semionova was wonderful in Onegin and Swan Lake (with Gomes in Swan
Lake). Abatt reminded me that she was a very good Kitri though she doesn't seem to fit Kitri
physically like Osipova or Reyes. I also thought she was good in the second section of Symphony in C.
All right maybe she's not quite up to the level of NYCB ballets in the role like Koroswksi, Mearns and Reichlen. But then who is? Semionova was much better than Susan Jaffe when she danced the role years
ago. Jaffe so obviously could not keep up with the other ballerinas in the last section of Symphony
that it was hard to watch. Anyway I think Semionova is a wonderful ballerina. From what I read,
however, she's probably not a good Giselle. I think I'd have problems believing that Semionova's
Giselle had heart troubles. I had problems with Cynthia Gregory as Giselle because she just seemed too
healthy and strong. The same was true of Nina Aniashivili when I saw her dance Giselle in the late
90's.

 Or Martine Van Hamel in the mid-70's



#49 MRR

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Posted 19 June 2014 - 06:21 AM


She got injured and never got a chance to dance Giselle again which I will never be
able to understand.

 
Yes, it's unfortunate that Semionova's second Giselle this week (the only repeat performance of the week) couldn't have been given to Stella.  Veronika Part also dances Giselle now -- might she ever get the chance to bring this role

Semionova doesn't repeat Giselle, but she does get two Swan Lakes.

I agree with Abatt and Colleen that Semionova is wonderful in the right role. I've seen her do beautiful work as O/O. Personally I don't think she is suited to Juliet or Giselle and would need a Bolle or Gomes to partner her if she essays them again.

#50 abatt

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Posted 19 June 2014 - 06:23 AM

I've also seen Semionova do wonderful work in SL with Gomes and also with  Hallberg. Her body type (very long limbs) is well suited to O/O.



#51 nanushka

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Posted 19 June 2014 - 07:05 AM

I've also seen Semionova do wonderful work in SL with Gomes and also with  Hallberg. Her body type (very long limbs) is well suited to O/O.

 

I found Semionova's O/O to be impressive but not moving.  The performance I saw (with Hallberg in 2012) seemed studied, with not enough apparent spontaneity.

 

One moment that was particularly striking to me has remained in my mind.  Early in Act II, when Odette is still frightened of Siegfried, she turns away from him downstage left, and he then comes up behind her and takes her hand.  I remember that as Hallberg reached out to take Semionova's hand, she simultaneously reached her hand back.  The gesture was all wrong: Odette does not give her hand; her hand is taken by Siegfried as she is gradually tamed/wooed by him.  Semionova was moving through the choreography rather than living the character.  This is why canbelto's descriptions of her performance as Giselle earlier in this thread rang so true to me.

 

Re MRR's above correction: thanks, I got the two weeks confused.  Semionova is the only repeating O/O, not Giselle.



#52 Silks

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Posted 19 June 2014 - 11:25 AM

I guess my complaint about last night really stemmed from the fact that a) I was really looking forward to Hallberg's entrechat sixes and b) his brises were NOT impressive NOR dramatic.

 

Batsuchan, I agree! I think the issue is also that David's entrechat sixes are stunning, one of the best in the world, while his brises were accomplished, but by no means any kind of best.



#53 ABT Fan

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Posted 19 June 2014 - 11:37 AM

 

I guess my complaint about last night really stemmed from the fact that a) I was really looking forward to Hallberg's entrechat sixes and b) his brises were NOT impressive NOR dramatic.

 

Batsuchan, I agree! I think the issue is also that David's entrechat sixes are stunning, one of the best in the world, while his brises were accomplished, but by no means any kind of best.

 

 

I still remember Hallberg's entrechat sixes from his Giselle w/ Osipova I think 2 years ago.  He took my breath away.  And, that was an extraordinary partnership (though apparently short-lived).



#54 abatt

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Posted 19 June 2014 - 11:46 AM

Hallberg has not found the kind of relationship that he had with Osipova, and his appearances have been less thrilling because of that loss.  His closest partner now is Murphy, but that comes across as a Platonic kind of relationship to the audience, not a passionate relationship. This from a previous NY Times interview with Hallberg:

 

 

Q. Can you tell me about your relationship with her (Osipova)?

 
A. We don’t verbally communicate, but it’s a very raw, very emotional, almost sexual connection. I mean — it’s a feeling. Because obviously we don’t talk, so we don’t profess anything. We just dance together. And when we dance together, it’s electric for both of us.

 

 

http://artsbeat.blog...ressure-cooker/#

 

Osipova helped Hallberg to elevate his performance.  She helped him bring more dramatic heft to the stage. There was always a sense of urgency when they performed together.  They were on their way to becoming the next "it" couple of ballet partnerships at ABT.

 

I'd be curious to know whether she has found any special partnership with anyone at RB.  I saw the broadcast of Osipova's Giselle w. Acosta, and I did not sense any special chemistry there.



#55 nanushka

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Posted 19 June 2014 - 12:48 PM

 

Hallberg has not found the kind of relationship that he had with Osipova, and his appearances have been less thrilling because of that loss.  His closest partner now is Murphy, but that comes across as a Platonic kind of relationship to the audience, not a passionate relationship. This from a previous NY Times interview with Hallberg:

 

 

Q. Can you tell me about your relationship with her (Osipova)?

 
A. We don’t verbally communicate, but it’s a very raw, very emotional, almost sexual connection. I mean — it’s a feeling. Because obviously we don’t talk, so we don’t profess anything. We just dance together. And when we dance together, it’s electric for both of us.

 

 

http://artsbeat.blog...ressure-cooker/#

 

Osipova helped Hallberg to elevate his performance.  She helped him bring more dramatic heft to the stage. There was always a sense of urgency when they performed together.  They were on their way to becoming the next "it" couple of ballet partnerships at ABT.

 

I'd be curious to know whether she has found any special partnership with anyone at RB.  I saw the broadcast of Osipova's Giselle w. Acosta, and I did not sense any special chemistry there.

 

 

I'd be curious to know some people's thoughts on his partnership with Zakharova, since they seem to have performed together quite a lot since he went to the Bolshoi.  I've only seen brief clips of a few of those performances, as I never made it to any of the theater simulcasts, etc.  I'll be seeing their Swan Lake in July.



#56 vipa

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Posted 19 June 2014 - 01:45 PM

 

 

I guess my complaint about last night really stemmed from the fact that a) I was really looking forward to Hallberg's entrechat sixes and b) his brises were NOT impressive NOR dramatic.

 

Batsuchan, I agree! I think the issue is also that David's entrechat sixes are stunning, one of the best in the world, while his brises were accomplished, but by no means any kind of best.

 

 

I still remember Hallberg's entrechat sixes from his Giselle w/ Osipova I think 2 years ago.  He took my breath away.  And, that was an extraordinary partnership (though apparently short-lived).

 

Funny you should mention Hallberg/Osipova from a few years ago.  I remember a Hallberg/Cojocaru Giselle from a few years ago the was one of the greatest performances I've ever seen.  I remember Hallberg's wonderful entrechat sixes from that performance.



#57 Amour

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Posted 19 June 2014 - 04:32 PM

I saw (and have the Blu-Ray of) the Zhakharovs/Hallberg Sleeping Beauty. That was David's first performance with the Bolshoi and he was really great (especially considering he sprained his ankle at the first few jetés). I think Zhakharova also did well. Was there chemistry? She's such a self-centered ice queen it's hard to know. Judging from her Bayadere with Lantratov (horridly boring performance) I'd say their partnership works pretty well but still it's all about her, not him. I, too, will be seeing their Swan Lake in July so that will give me a better idea about that partnership. However, I do feel David has traded a situation where he was a star (ABT) for one where he is just a partner there to serve the company star (Bolshoi, Zhakharova).

#58 abatt

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Posted 19 June 2014 - 05:06 PM

I don't think the Bolshoi is using him as just a partner. I think he's gotten great coaching there that he would never have received at ABT.  He has said as much in interviews.



#59 Batsuchan

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Posted 19 June 2014 - 07:19 PM

Re: Batsuchan's comment #4 above, Gorak is scheduled to dance Coppelia with Yuriko Kajiya, not Sarah Lane (though I'd love to see the latter pairing in that ballet!).

 

 

Oops!  You are totally right!  My mistake.  I guess it was my wishful thinking.... ;)

 

I wanted to also mention that although I was disappointed with Semionova's Giselle, I think she has done excellent work in other ballets.  She has done wonderfully as Kitri, Nikiya, Sylvia, and other roles

 

...in which she was paired with Gomes, Shklyarov, and Bolle... smile.png  I actually have enjoyed Semionova/Hallberg in the more technique-heavy ballets like Swan Lake and even her first Don Q.  It is more the "passion play" ballets where I have found them underwhelming, and although Giselle has many competition-worthy variations, I think it does require a strong emotional connection to be truly effective.

 

I also continue to think that Hallberg has difficulty partnering Semionova, so holds back a bit, in order not to overly tax him..

 

I don't think the Bolshoi is using him as just a partner. I think he's gotten great coaching there that he would never have received at ABT.  He has said as much in interviews.

 

Yes, he said basically the same thing tonight at his talk at ABT.  Not necessarily that he "would never have received" such coaching at ABT, but that he has a very dedicated coach at the Bolshoi, and that he really appreciates the strong coach-student relationship that is prized in the Russian system.

 

He also said of Zakharova/Osipova/Semionova that they are such great artists, so he likes to let them lead, basically.



#60 Amour

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Posted 19 June 2014 - 07:19 PM

But abatt every dancer in the Bolshoi (and the Mariinsky) gets their own coach, even corps dancers. I can see why David might feel he is growing more as a dancer there. However, I don't think he is a draw for Russians buying tickets. I think the Bolshoi brought him there to partner Zhakharova, because Filin felt they would be a good fit. I very well may be wrong but that's my impression from seeing him dance (unlike Lantratov, Chudin or Ovcharenko, David rarely partners anyone except Zhakharova) and hearing Filin speak at YAGP about hiring David. Bolle served the same "partner" function for Zhakharova for years when she came to the West (all those La Scala productions). He is real star in Italy, yet I felt in all those performances he was really just partnering her. Anyway, as I said, just my impression.


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