Classic_Ballet

Veronika Part doing Giselle at the Mariinsky !!!

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She is stunning in these clips. I would have thought she would have been temperamentally more well-suited Act II, but I am incredibly impressed with what she brings to Act I. I think she could be the preeminent in-house Giselle at ABT, and it would be ludicrous for KM to not cast her in the role next year (presuming he sees this clips). I particularly love the way Part executes the heart palpitation scare, gorgeously bending her neck and longingly extending her arm to reach out to Albrecht. I was also completely taken by her mad scene (not posted above but available on Youtube). She made Giselle look like a total wreck with her out-of-control movements and genuinely messy hair (rather than perfectly pin-curled hair a la Vishneva). I'm usually so focused on Part's exquisite dancing that I forget she is one of the masters of effective, expressive miming. Her miming was so well-defined in the mad scene that I felt as if I could see her memories of Albrecht etched on her mind's eye. And, at the end of the mad scene, the way she jumps, seems to die midair and then falls into Albrecht's arms was perfectly executed.

Oh, and one other really beautiful moment: I love the way she seems to become Act II Giselle, just for a second, when her mother mimes to her about her impending death.

Brava, Veronika!

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She's a beautiful woman and and no complaints here and I enjoyed seeing her a few years ago as Nikiya at ABT, but since then I have become obsessed with the Vaganova/Mariinsky legato arms. And even though she was Vaganova trained and started at the Mariinsky, her arms seem very Americanized to me. There are traces of the flowing tendency at moments, but not always. There is more stiffness than what you see in Lopatkina or Tereshkina or many other Mariinsky dancers. That is a good thing for people who prefer less flowing arms. If I had not known she was a Russian trained at the Vaganova I would have assumed she is a very, very good American dancer.

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I'm typically not a great big fan of Part: I do enjoy her work, but I just don't seem to be moved nearly to the extent as several on this forum. And I've seen her in some of her best roles: O/O (twice), Nikiya, Lilac Fairy. However, I love her in these Giselle clips, and oddly appreciate her more here than in some of her "typecast" roles. I don't know if I believe her as a frail peasant, given how tall and beautiful she is, but she conveys the sensitivity of the role so well and she has tremendous mime, as fondoffouettes said. Her mad scene is dramatic detailed and not overdone. A standout moment during the mad scene was when Giselle begins laughing after Hilarion takes the sword. The way she ran backwards as she laughed almost made it look like there was this invisible gust of wind shooting her upstage. It was really spooky and not a moment I usually take note of in the mad scene.

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Can someone tell me what to put in the youtube search box to bring up Veronika's mad scene? The other clips look like they have Russian titles. When I search her name, Mariinsky Giselle I only get other dancers. Thanks! The clips downloaded here are simply delightful and moving. I've grown to be a huge fan of hers. I remember a number of years ago seeing her in La Sylphide and thinking she might not be suited for the impish sylmph but again she was simply delightful. I had no doubt she would be a superb Giselle, in both acts!

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As much as I have to treat video clips as often the roughest of sketches, I've watched all the ones from Act I and greatly look forward to the possibility of seeing Act II.

Her "mad scene,"which I usually try to 'finesse,' is as sensitive a handling as I've ever seen and shows her at her dramatic finest.

She is one of the ballet greats of our time, perhaps beyond our times, and hopefully will be given as many opportunities as possible by ABT and the Mariinsky. My dream for years has been to see her perform Swan Lake at the Mariinsky Festival.

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As much as I have loved Veronika in what I've seen from her-(Lilac, NIkiya, Chopiniana's Prelude)-she does not "get me" as Giselle...that on top of seeing some of her old technical struggling coming back, as with her Act I Pas Seul).

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As much as I have loved Veronika in what I've seen from her-(Lilac, NIkiya, Chopiniana's Prelude)-she does not "get me" as Giselle...that on top of seeing some of her old technical struggling coming back, as with her Act I Pas Seul).

It's rare that we have video to rely on, rather than our faulty memories, and particularly with Veronika's performances. Could you be more specific and point to instances in the pas seul where you see "some of her old technical struggling coming back"?

This is not meant as a challenge. I genuinely want to know what you're referring to and want to learn to see better what's there, since I'm not a dancer myself.

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As much as I have loved Veronika in what I've seen from her-(Lilac, NIkiya, Chopiniana's Prelude)-she does not "get me" as Giselle...that on top of seeing some of her old technical struggling coming back, as with her Act I Pas Seul).

First, let me say I love Veronika Part. And it is most likely unfair to judge any performance by a few clips (however good they may be). It's always better to see something "live". Yet I couldn't help think as I watched these clips how "by the numbers" her "Giselle" seemed. She hit all the right moments, did the choreography and the mime, was "on the music", etc. Yet it didn't appear to transcend anything or go very deep into the character. I didn't see anything in her portrayal that especially stood out or made the performance different or better than many recent portrayals. This may or may not be a condition of the rest of the cast on stage. Everyone seemed very "proper" and rather contained. Why on earth are the corps girls standing in B-plus position during her mad scene? And take it again after she dies? Seems weird and un natural. But this is about Veronika and as such it is my hope that she gets more opportunities to dance the role in the future. She needs to find a way into the character more and allow the choreography and mime to do it's work. Right now, she seems to have imposed herself into the ballet and as a result, she looks a bit awkward, unfocused. These roles take time to develop. Right now, her "Giselle" seems very much a work in progress. All this said, I would love to see her Act II.

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Have to agree with cubanmiamiboy and mimsyb on this one. Though it's difficult to judge from limited clips, I wasn't terribly impressed. I have to wonder how much training she received for the role. I also think she would do better with additional performances under her belt, but it's doubtful whether those opportunities will ever come to her at ABT.

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Could you be more specific and point to instances in the pas seul where you see "some of her old technical struggling coming back"?

@ 1:17.

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Thanks, MRR for posting the mad scene! And Christian, only a slight bobble I can overlook. On to Act II!

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I also have a problem with Part's natural princess-like demeanor and how it weights on the role here. She looks way more regal than "the girl with the hat..."

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Nowadays there is a very unfortunate tendency to perform this variation excruciatingly slowly. (My great pet peeve is when the ballerina performs her first arabesque and the music comes to an almost complete halt so that she can hold the balance, and then inches along by another couple of notes, only to stop again so that she can complete her footwork and give us a good, long look at her pointed foot, and so on.) When a crawling tempo is combined with Part's air of composure and self-possession, it is very difficult for the variation to convey Giselle’s irrepressible love for dancing and the sheer joy of finally winning her mother’s permission to do it.

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Interesting thoughts from everyone. When I made my earlier comment, I wasn't meaning to say that I found Part to be one of the all-time great Giselles based on these clips. She isn't, and, in fact, I don't know if I even "see" a Giselle here. But I saw the clips of her during the entrance and mad scene and was surprised at how much I enjoyed her, especially since I could never picture her in this role. She seemed radiant in the opening scene and had some very interesting nuances in the mad scene. Considering she is making a debut in a role not suited to her and dancing with a very bland partner, I thought she performed very well.

Though I'm just now seeing the Spessivtseva clip, and she looks oddly tense (is that the word?) throughout the whole variation, not just the turns. I agree with Volcanohunter about the slow tempo, but could a ballerina of Part's height really handle much faster? As I mentioned before, I have seen Part in supposedly a lot of her best roles and am never much moved by her work (I'm definitely in a small minority on this forum). Her Shades scene in this year's Bayadere was perhaps the first time I "got" her--she was serenity personified--but then I thought her first act was dramatically inert in comparison to Vishneva's.

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...could a ballerina of Part's height really handle much faster?

Good question. At 5'10" Agnès Letestu is the tallest Giselle who comes to mind, and judging by YouTube, I'd say she performed the variation at a moderately fast tempo. I'm inclined to think the super-slow tempo is usually a matter of (misguided) interpretation, because even tiny ballerinas are prone to do it that way.

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Sylvie Guillem did Giselle, as well as Polina Semionova. Both are quite tall. Personally, I didn't buy into Semionova's Giselle for one second, although it was very strong technically. Can't recall much about Guillem, as it was too long ago. Only thing I can recall were those extensions in which she brought her leg up to her ear.

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I wonder why ballerinas nowadays are not up to the technical challenge of the double pirouettes on each side without having to change the working leg...(it is probably the fact of having to do the trick with a leg that's generally not used as the working one, usually the left one...)

@ 0:33 in Markova..

vs. Part @ 1:11

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I think this is simply a different choreographic version. All Paris Opera Ballet Giselles do double pirouettes in both directions.

Pujol:

Maurin, Guérin, Platel, Zakharova, Hurel, Guillem, Letestu, Dupont, Maurin (again); only Cojocaru (between Hurel and Guillem) switches legs mid-turn:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xUHOiLZkjHw

It's the turns in attitude I usually dread.

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Yes...they do indeed the double pirouettes without changing legs, although I observe a tendency to loose balance more frequently this way.

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Watch Gelsey Kirkland for perfection.

I like Kirkland's, but for me, the P E R F E C T version ever being filmed is Fracci's. Everything is there. The highly technical accomplishment, the wonderful, but restrained port de bras-(not a fan of the all-over-the-place/twiggy arms/hands/wrists so in vogue today)-the turn of the century choreographic heritage, the never restrained face, even during the Spessivtzeva's diagonal, the so necessary attention to her surroundings and to Loys/Bruhn-(hate productions where he's not present during the pas). I mean...PERFECTION with capital letters.

Edited to add: I realize we're getting off Part's topic. Sorry about that...

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The fracci is beautiful and joyful. Thank you for posting.

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