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Giselle, June 28


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#1 balletmama

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Posted 29 June 2002 - 12:24 PM

A lovely performance...I have a vague memory (hallucination?) of Alexandra asking a while ago how we would like to see Romantic ballets presented with less than 90 degree arabesques. Well, even if I am remembering incorrectly, last night we did see just that. Julie Kent did not go for high arabesques in her lovely portrayal of Giselle. It was the quality of movement she brought to the role that was extraordinary. Lovely though Michele Wiles and Xiomara Reyes were, Julie was in a whole other universe. I would also like to applaud the ABT corps, which I usually see as a testimony to irrepressible American individualism. Last night they danced beautifully, dreamily, together. Their dancing was a major contribution to the beauty of the evening.

#2 Alexandra

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Posted 29 June 2002 - 12:55 PM

Thanks for posting that, balletmama. I was worried no one was going to ABT. Any other Giselle watchers?

#3 glebb

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Posted 29 June 2002 - 03:49 PM

I saw Amanda McKerrow and Ethan Stiefel today (June 29) and they were gorgeous. The last time I saw 'Giselle' at ABT it was performed by Makarova and Dowell!

McKerrow is not the powerhouse that so many of the ABT ballerinas are these days, but she is so pretty and so pure. I had a lot of admiration for her artistry.

Stiefel was a powerhouse today.

The couple took many page bows.

#4 dancermom2

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Posted 29 June 2002 - 04:46 PM

We went on Thursday to see Giselle. It was breathtaking to watch. I am a NYCB person through and through but I thoroughly enjoyed this ballet. We saw Ananiashvili and Carreņo dance and they received a slew of curtain calls that were well deserved and then some. The corp was also impressive! After seeing it my husband and I want to see more of ABT! :D

#5 Bridget

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Posted 29 June 2002 - 06:05 PM

I agree with Glebb about Amanda's artistry. She conveys so much emotion through her dancing. I've been known to shed a tear or two during a really good performace of Giselle, but I have never cried during a performance like I did today. Credit goes to Amanda and Ethan for impeccable dancing and great acting as well. Their characters really connected. They even hugged each other during one of the curtain calls.

#6 BW

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Posted 29 June 2002 - 06:17 PM

We also attended Thursday evening's Giselle with Nina Ananiashvili as Giselle, Jose Manuel Carreņo as Albrecht, Gennadi Saveliev as Hilarion....Michele Wiles as Myrta and her two main "assistants" were Xiomara Reyes, and Elizabeth Gaither. It was a fantastic evening at the Metropolitan Opera House! :D!

Since I'm not too good at the technical ballet descriptions, I will just say that I thoroughly enjoyed the performance - Ms. Ananiashvili is an incredibly wonderful dancer who transformed herself from the ingenue whom Albrecht stumbled upon, to the literally, heartbroken woman whose mind could not stand the reality of his betrayal. To me, her dancing was above reproach and her ability to reach out to the audience as Giselle was superb.

As for Jose Manuel Carreņo, he was, in my opinion, totally believable as one of ABT's "dreamboats" in his seduction of the young, naive, country girl as well as in his immediate remorse as he watched Giselle lose her mind and abandon her life as she danced - in the famous "mad scene".

My favorite part of the ballet was, however, in Act II - where poor Hilarion is danced to death by The Wilis - which Gennadi Saveliev did quite well, I might add :) - and the scene during which Giselle is finally brought into the circle of the dead "unwed" is the beginning of the best part to me. Michele Wiles performed in a seemingly very out of character role as Myrta, where she appeared cold and heartless towards her new initiate's pleadings...

Yet, ultimately, true love conquered all and the heartbroken Albrecht is granted his second chance at life through love... and although Giselle must return to her grave, she does so knowing that their love was real. :D

Seriously, I loved it - and I thought both Ms. Ananiashvili's and Mr. Carreņo's acting abilities were right on par with their phenomenal dancing!

So, this was the culmination for my season with ABT at the Met - we started with The Dream, moved on to the Tchaikovsky Spectacular, towards Le Corsaire to end with Thursday's Giselle....and a fine season it was! Plus, I had the extra added attraction of meeting several Alertniks at the The Dream as well as during the intermission at Thursday night's Giselle! :D

#7 mokeyrun

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Posted 29 June 2002 - 09:18 PM

I saw Alessandra Ferri and Julio Bocca on Wednesday. It was the most moving and the most convincing Giselle I've ever seen. I couldn't even think that she was just acting during the 2nd act... she was Giselle herself...

#8 Sonora

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Posted 30 June 2002 - 02:18 AM

I also thought Ferri and Bocca's Giselle Wednesday night was memorable. It's nothing new to say that Ferri and Bocca are wonderful together. I thought their individual interpretations of Giselle and Albrecht were well-realized and thoughtful, warm, and Romantic with a capitol 'R' - particularly Ferri who in the best sense seems to have alighted from that Era directly onto the Met stage.

As a couple, they bring out the best in one another, both physically and emotionally. I'm sure some of that is due to the fact that they've danced together a long time and know each other well, but part of it seems to result from a shared sensibility, maybe toward the ballet Giselle or toward dance in general. They create an effortless and highly appealing charisma that draws one into their world.

The curving lines of Ferri's body - feet, legs, arms, hands, torso - echo each other so harmoniously. I thought her Act I solo was a perfect expression of Giselle's open and tender heart.

It struck me that in the second act she perfectly characterized the transition between the 'real' and supernatural worlds. I felt I could count the hours between her death, her simple and perhaps hasty burial, and her reappearance as a Wili. Her spirit was still vital enough to penetrate the barrier between the two worlds - she hadn't completely relinquished one for the other.

Bocca was a sensitive Albrecht, heedlessly in love and later truly remorseful; I happen to prefer that sort of sympathetic interpretation of the role, and it seems to perfectly suit him. His characterization was subtle and believable.

In general I thought the production was fine, but there could always be more attention to detail in terms of the characterizations of the individual (corps) dancers (1st Act).

#9 OCBalletMom

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Posted 30 June 2002 - 09:19 AM

We went to the Tuesday night (6/25) performance with Amanda McKerrow and Max B. It was a lovely performance and I too was particularly impressed with the corps.

This was my first ballet in NY (I live in So. Cal.) so it was a special treat!

#10 Colleen Boresta

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Posted 02 July 2002 - 02:13 PM

I also saw saw the June 29th matinee of "Giselle" with Amanda
McKerrow and Ethan Stiefel. I agree with Glebb that McKerrow s not a powerhouse dancer. In fact, she simplified her first act solo somewhat, but I think this was one of those times when less was
more. McKerrow created such a complete picture of Giselle in both
acts that she totally inhabited the part. But I had seen McKerrow dance "Giselle" before, and I was expecting a wonderful performance. The real revelation to me was Ethan Stiefel as Albrecht. I always knew Stiefel could dance. And Glebb is right, he's really a powehouse dancer. Previously I'd found Stiefel to be an indifferent actor at best, but his June 29th Albrecht proved me very wrong. This was an Albrecht who really loved "Giselle"
and was devastated by her death. I'd never seen an Albrecht so
distraught. Both McKerrow and Stiefel had me so emotionally involved in the world of "Giselle" that I started crying during the mad scene (and my tears only grew stronger during Act II). It was truly a glorious and moving production of "Giselle".

#11 glebb

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Posted 02 July 2002 - 05:42 PM

From my seat in row V, McKerrow looked like a very young Ulanova, in Act I.


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