Jane Simpson

RDB's new Giselle

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The blonde willie was Astrid Elbo and the dark-haired one, Elenora Morris, according to the program that I just fished out of my collection. I was particularly fond of Morris myself, I thought she had a gripping and very precise way of moving.

 

Thank you for your thoughts, Anne, they were as always very informative! I couldn't agree with you more about especially Matiakis who was sublime, but also one of my favorite male dancers, Chmelensky, those two were respectively the highlights of the second and first acts for me, although the entire show was good. Hopefully I'll be ready to write some more thoughts down soon, when they've marinated a bit longer.

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Thank you, Syrene, for telling me who was the two sole willies (with the new homepage of the RDB it is impossibel to do detective "after-work", ifyou wish to identify a dancer whos hasn't been named in the programme: no pictures of the dancers, no biographies - and the picture galleries are, like Jane Simpson mentioned above, uncaptioned. Total anonymity!).
It was the dark one I liked very much, too. She is at the same time precise, as you say, defining every movement with grace and claríty, and soft and expressive. I think she was nearly perfect for that specific dance style. She is a newcomer to the company I can see. I hope we will see more of her!

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I have to mention one thing more, concerning the transmission:

The filming was fantastic this time! I was so frustrated after seing Napoli and Swan Lake, that I expected the worst. But this time the cameras followed the essential parts of the drama, and also respected that sometimes the dance has first priority and must be in focus. It wasn't cut to pieces so that you loose every sense of direction and space. 

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On October 31, 2016 at 9:39 AM, KNA said:

 

The premiere wasn't broadcast and reviews so far are, unfortunately, hard to come by. Eva Kistrup posted hers quickly after: http://danceviewtimes.typepad.com/eva_kistrup/2016/10/quality-time.html

 

The performance got a very mixed reception from Jyllandsposten with three stars out of six. 

 

Can't wait to read other reports on it...

 

Apparently there was a cinemascast with Ida, which will "make the rounds," as did the recent Swan Lake & Romeo Juliet.  

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39 minutes ago, Natalia said:

 

Apparently there was a cinemascast with Ida, which will "make the rounds," as did the recent Swan Lake & Romeo Juliet.  

 

The recent Swan Lake? As in this season's run? We've seen the cinema broadcasts for all three shows, but the premieres haven't been broadcasted to cinemas. 

 

Or maybe we're talking about different things, haha! 

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First casts of recent classics, being cinemacast or webstreamed. Swan Lake with Crandall & Lendorf in 2015 and R&J with Praetorius & Kaas this past spring. This Giselle is the latest such offering. KNA, sorry that you are confused. Syrene are others are aware of these cinemacasts.

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6 hours ago, Natalia said:

First casts of recent classics, being cinemacast or webstreamed. Swan Lake with Crandall & Lendorf in 2015 and R&J with Praetorius & Kaas this past spring. This Giselle is the latest such offering. KNA, sorry that you are confused. Syrene are others are aware of these cinemacasts.

 

And I am as well, seeing as I've watched them all. I understand now that you were talking about casts, not premieres - however, from the beginning you confused me by bringing up the wrong date (the Saturday premiere which was not broadcast - the cinemacasts are live,  meaning that Giselle for instance was the premiere cast, dancing for the fourth or fifth time). So no problem at all - hope you've managed to catch some of them! :-)

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1 hour ago, Syrene Hvid said:

Giselle (w/ Ida Praetorius and Andreas Kaas in the leads) was broadcast on DR K yesterday and seems to be available from the DR K website here:

 

https://www.dr.dk/tv/se/opera-og-ballet-det-kgl-teater-tv/-/giselle-ballet-fra-det-kgl-teater

 

I'm watching this from Denmark, so I don't know if there will be any issues with watching it from other locations around the world...

Thank you! I'm in France right now and it's available :)

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2 hours ago, Syrene Hvid said:

Giselle (w/ Ida Praetorius and Andreas Kaas in the leads) was broadcast on DR K yesterday and seems to be available from the DR K website here:

 

https://www.dr.dk/tv/se/opera-og-ballet-det-kgl-teater-tv/-/giselle-ballet-fra-det-kgl-teater

 

I'm watching this from Denmark, so I don't know if there will be any issues with watching it from other locations around the world...

 

Thank you so much for the link! It's working in my part of the world, too.

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Saw it too. Thanks for the heads-up. Gorgeous production w/ substantial, realistic sets/costumes. Wonderful leads. 

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What a treat. Thanks for that link. I just watched it in Denver. Perfect transmission. I can't tell how long this will be on-line, but would recommend it.

 

Most striking: the minimalist-abstract-modern sets in both acts. Very different and interesting. The costumes (especially bodices) are also sleek and modern, a different twist.

 

Minor details: Near the end when some Albrecht's do flying brises on the diagonal (a la Baryshnikov) and others do multiple entrechants (Nureyev, Gomes, Hallberg), this Albrecht did both, although nothing was particularly thrilling.

I don't get the red flower at the very end, but maybe I missed something early on that would explain it.

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Posted (edited)

A red flower rather than a daisy had been used in the "he loves me, he loves me not" scene in Act 1.

 

I did not care for the production, which I found to be too peculiar and eccentric. How the choreography was performed seemed to have been driven by a conceptual understanding of the dramaturgy rather than springing from the music, and I found this very unsatisfying. At the same time the mime scenes that would have fully explained the story were truncated. Honestly, Adam, Coralli, Perrot, Petipa et al. have already done all the work. There's no need to re-invent the wheel. After Schandorff and Hübbe got through with the ballet, it became prosaic and lacking in universality or transcendence. Dancers consistently dragged behind the music, so I have to believe they had been coached in that way. I also didn't care for the emphasis on very high extensions. I know the dancers can do them, but for me it's an unwelcome contemporary intrusion into the ballet's style. And who were the two elderly people living across the street?

 

I didn't understand the set designer's pre-occupation with doors, and especially why two symmetrical buildings seemed to be standing in the middle of a bog in Act 2. The curtains hanging at the top of the stage in Act 1 seemed to be there solely so that they could come down one by one at the end of the Act, which was blocked poorly and un-dramatically. I thought the costumes were too self-consciously stylized and that nearly all of the women's costumes were very unflattering, especially the diamond-shaped front inserts in Act 1, and the wilis' long nude inserts, which extended past the navel and gave the dancers the appearance of having excessively long torsos and short legs. I was also sorry that Albrecht's cape had been replaced by a coat, because it came off awkwardly and arbitrarily. I realize that he couldn't have danced in it, but there was no obvious dramatic reason why he suddenly would have taken it off.

 

I haven't seen that much of her, but I think I like Ida Praetorius better as a dramatic dancer than as a classical one. She was very interesting in the first act, but in the second she looked angular and bumpy, although I half expected this on the basis of her somewhat gawky Juliet. I didn't see much of a difference between Andreas Kaas' Albrecht and his Romeo, and I think his manner is better suited to the latter. It was a low-key and naturalistic approach that lacked Romanticism and also heroism; the music of Albrecht's variation does have a heroic quality, although few interpreters pick up on it successfully because they're so busy trying to look exhausted. I thought Kizzy Matiakis was underwhelming as Myrtha, but I enjoyed Sebastian Haynes as Hilarion, even if I didn't agree with the production's a-musical approach to his mime and thought he had been given uninteresting choreography in his death scene, and also Jonathan Chmelensky in the peasant pas de deux and the second wili. (I'm not sure which of the two wilis listed in the credits she was.) Mette Bøtcher was an improbably glamorous Berthe.

 

Having said all that, I was very grateful for the chance to watch this production, even if it didn't persuade me.

Edited by volcanohunter

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The transmission will be online until April 8.

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52 minutes ago, Anne said:

The transmission will be online until April 8.

 

Thank you -- For various reasons I am struggling to find time to watch it this week, and was wondering how long I could put it off. (I watched the first few minutes; the production certainly is something different than I am used to seeing. Very curious to see the rest.)

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I started to watch this and couldn't pass Albrecht and his 80's inspired lycra shorts. What a travesty of a production, mamma mia...

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Posted (edited)

I had mixed reactions to the production, and found a great deal of it as Volcanohunter wrote above "peculiar and eccentric." (Is Giselle's family supposed to be petty bourgeois? Are her best friends all opera dancers? Are the hanging curtains meant to remind us we are in a nineteenth-century melodrama?) but I will mention two things I liked very much.

 

One is that Bathilde's initial reaction to Giselle explaining that Albrecht is her love, is to laugh--laugh disdainfully perhaps--but still she is laughing. That seems to me very convincing. As best I remember most productions I've seen, Bathilde just solemnly (if sometimes disdainfully) corrects this--from her point of view--stupid peasant. (I suppose the laugh may be the interpretive choice of the dancer playing Bathilde rather than the production. Either way, I liked it.)

 

The other is the entrance of a portion of the corps of willis from upstage so that they seem to emerge directly from the dark forest painted or projected on the backdrop. That really heightened the atmosphere . . .

 

Praetorius's piquant face and the immediacy of her acting are very appealing. There were passages of her dancing in Act II I rather liked as well, but she can still develop in this role.

Edited by Drew

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