Classic_Ballet

Veronika Part doing Giselle at the Mariinsky !!!

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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...

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

Love Fracci's as well, but she has ways of ever so slightly modifying the 'finishes' of turns or coming off point from arabesque that make it easier to cover or elide or just plain avoid bobbles. Or so it seems to me (I'm not a technical expert). She doesn't bobble coming out of her first double pirouette, for example, but she does sort of come down in fourth position rather than fifth, and when she comes down from the opening arabesques she doesn't sink into arabesque penche. I actually applaud her intellegent approach and in terms of characterization -- wow!

I also think this kind of "youtube" analysis doesn't exactly correspond to what happens in the theater where one would be watching the overall flow of dancing/interpretive quality at least as much as parsing a particular landing or finish. At least with an artist of Fracci's calaber one would.

On video, I found Part's atypical Giselle 'look' sort of refreshing; it's not as if Giselle is supposed to be an ordinary peasant girl. But I did think her solo was marked by fudging/bobbling here and there. Almost every performance of Giselle's big Act I solo that I have seen has been marked by that to some extent--exceptions in this century would include performances I have seen by Vishneva & Osipova--so I don't judge it too harshly. But it's not ideal...

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I'm also sorry for veering off topic. I think it's clear from the Spessivtseva film that she did a penchée arabesque at the beginning of the variation, but it hasn't been universal practice, as we can see from the Markova clip Cristian posted. More recently, Natalia Osipova didn't do them either in the broadcast from the Royal Ballet. Can anyone recall how it was done by ABT in the late 1960s? Was Fracci's version typical? In Osipova's most recent film she also follows Fracci's example in not trying to hold the position after the turns in attitude. I agree that this is the intelligent way to approach them, because the finishes vex even expert technicians like Laëtitia Pujol. Just about everyone bobbles them, which is why they fill me as a viewer with so much anticipatory anxiety; I invariably find myself gripping my playbill or armrest when they approach. I also can't fault Fracci for finishing her first double en dedans in fourth position, because it seems clear to me that's how Spessivtseva did it. What I particularly love about Fracci's variation is the way she performs the renversé. So often this becomes a showy ballerina moment, but with Fracci it's an expression of pure joy.

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Watch Gelsey Kirkland for perfection.

I assume most readers here are familiar with this clip (posted with Kirkland's permission, with piano accompaniment added), but just in case. (You can see a lot more from this performance -- but in silence -- at the NYPL dance research collection.) I'm curious about how people compare this with Fracci, Part, et al.

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I'm also sorry for veering off topic. I think it's clear from the Spessivtseva film that she did a penchée arabesque at the beginning of the variation, but it hasn't been universal practice, as we can see from the Markova clip Cristian posted. More recently, Natalia Osipova didn't do them either in the broadcast from the Royal Ballet. Can anyone recall how it was done by ABT in the late 1960s? Was Fracci's version typical? In Osipova's most recent film she also follows Fracci's example in not trying to hold the position after the turns in attitude. I agree that this is the intelligent way to approach them, because the finishes vex even expert technicians like Laëtitia Pujol. Just about everyone bobbles them, which is why they fill me as a viewer with so much anticipatory anxiety; I invariably find myself gripping my playbill or armrest when they approach. I also can't fault Fracci for finishing her first double en dedans in fourth position, because it seems clear to me that's how Spessivtseva did it. What I particularly love about Fracci's variation is the way she performs the renversé. So often this becomes a showy ballerina moment, but with Fracci it's an expression of pure joy.

Well personally I like the penchee arabesque in the act one variation because it clearly mirrors the penchee arabesque she has to do in Act Two. So you can kind of connect how a movement that was an expression of joy in Act One becomes something totally different in Act Two. But I can see how some ballerinas prefer to contrast Giselle Act One and Two, so they choose not to do the penchee in the Act One variation. I think this variation can take a lot of, well, variation.

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I'm also sorry for veering off topic. I think it's clear from the Spessivtseva film that she did a penchée arabesque at the beginning of the variation, but it hasn't been universal practice, as we can see from the Markova clip Cristian posted. More recently, Natalia Osipova didn't do them either in the broadcast from the Royal Ballet. Can anyone recall how it was done by ABT in the late 1960s? Was Fracci's version typical? .

There seems to be two approaches to this solo. The Western after Markova, which is currently followed by Alonso's troupe, and have no arabesque-penchee in the opening variation, and then the Soviet one, which ABT seems to have followed post Baryshnikov-(sources told me that the choreo was pretty much the same as what we see in the Markova/Alonso/Fracci video all the way up until Misha brough the Kirov one. The double turns on each side with one leg are also part of this old heritage, which POB seems to still follows, but not RB or ABT-(or MCB for this matter). Osipova seems to be trying to bring up the choreographic past into her Giselle. She has talked already about incorporating the Spessivtzeva's diagonal into her solo instead of the Soviet round of pique turns, but when she tried in Saint Petersburg, she wasn't allowed to. Another little detail I observe is that for the performances using the pique turns sequence, the orchestra usually makes a stop to allow the ballerina to slow down her final turns before making the final accord timed with the ballerina kneeling down in her ending bending bow. The finishing of the Spessivtseva's diagonal is, on the contrary, extremely sharp , and the ballerina needs to nail down that final pas de chat to 5th position uprigh right on time without musical slowing.

Here is a contemporary "after Markova" offering of the variation, by Hayna Gutierrez, pre defection from Alonso's company.

vs.a contemporary "Soviet' rendering by Semionova with the Kirov.

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This has been posted before, but Trinidad Sevillano:

still hoping the poster of Part's Act 1 clips will post something from Act 2! smile.png

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Another choreographic detail from Spessivtzeva that seems to be followed by some western ballerinas is during the sautes en pointe. As we can see, Olga-(as Markova, Fracci and Gutierrez in the previous clips)- intertwines her sautes on pointe/petit battement with simple sautes in attitude devant-(many dancers even make some sort of choreographic zig-zag pattern here). I notice that the Russians just go with the sautes/petit battement. And yes...Olga indeed gets into arabesque penchee...

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The thing I like about the circular pique turns is that with the right ballerina, she can make it look like she's flying around the stage in a dancing frenzy and then slowing down and finally bowing as a sign of her weak heart. I think the Kirkland example is a really good one where she gives the sense of flying across the stage and finally sort of collapsing in exhaustion. The diagonal is trickier and there has to be steady momentum. But it really depends on the ballerina.

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I have said this before, but will repeat it here...I think Osipova recently was able to break thru many decades of Giselle copying and made a real difference with the role. What a wonderful artist...

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I have said this before, but will repeat it here...I think Osipova recently was able to break thru many decades of Giselle copying and made a real difference with the role. What a wonderful artist...

Royal Ballet just announced that it is releasing the DVD of her performance with Acosta on September 1, 2014: http://www.roh.org.uk/products/giselle-dvd-the-royal-ballet-2014

I don't find it yet on Amazon, but hope it will appear soon. (Wouldn't it be great if ABT would release outstanding performances on DVD as regularly as the Royal does? We can dream...)

And it looks like many of us will get to see her Giselle in November in NYC with Mikhailovsky. Yippee!

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I have said this before, but will repeat it here...I think Osipova recently was able to break thru many decades of Giselle copying and made a real difference with the role. What a wonderful artist...

WOW! I really enjoyed that version. Going to have to put it on my list to see Osipova in person.

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Amazing dancing. But, does this take place in a concentration camp? I've never seen such depressingly drab costumes and sets for Act I of Giselle. What were they thinking? "Yes, put Giselle in a khaki-colored dress so she looks even more drab and dull then the other peasant girls." And, typical of the Royal Ballet, anyone representing the nobility is dressed in overly elaborate, exaggeratedly pompous costumes. Also, who was in charge of making it look as if Osipova actually has hair? I guess a clip-in curly mullet was good enough to be immortalized on DVD.

With so few performances captured on film, I'm frustrated they would pay so little mind to the aesthetics.

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And, typical of the Royal Ballet, anyone representing the nobility is dressed in overly elaborate, exaggeratedly pompous costumes.

My goodness, where do I begin with this? From which cellar do they find all the desaturated, washed-out colors, the excessively frilly costumes, and the dusty sets? And in this respect, their Giselle actually even isn't that bad compared to their Nutcracker (Cojocaru/Dowell 2001) all-around or even the well-danced Sleeping Beauty (Cojocaru/Nunez 2006) with the ridiculous costumes for the king/queen.

What a contrast to the solid, bold, lush, and vibrant color schemes we saw in the Bolshoi last month (in line with a modern, 21st century, "sans-serif" aesthetic that we associate with quality these days, especially in their Don Q). Will the RB ever catch up to the Mariinsky and the Bolshoi in this respect or will it continue perpetuating its anachronism?

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Funny, I actually find the earth tones handsome, and appropriate for peasants. What strikes me about The Royal Ballet production, on the 2006 DVD with Cojocaru and Kobborg, is that Bathilde looks old enough to be Albrecht's mother.

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But, Giselle is a peasant, right? Is there such a thing as a peasant who can afford nice, pretty clothes? Yes, it's very drab but if I had to choose between Osipova's costume in this clip versus Part's in the Mariinsky, I'd choose Osipova's. Part's costume makes her look like a princess. Osipova's clipped on braids however are pretty bad.

Side note - I didn't realize Henry VIII had a part in Giselle? :)

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