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Giannina

Giselle from Hell

71 posts in this topic

Nice touches, Manhattnik. (I can't really put my finger on my inspiration for this. If I were allowed to mime, I might borrow Albrecht's touching of the forehead and gentle shake of the head -- "I had a notion" -- but mime has been outlawed, so I'll just have to give a virtual shrug.)

I can just hear Myrthe clearing her throat over there in the corner, and looking, with mute, mimeless pleading eyes, and I just know it's because she wants to do Spring Waters. If Hilarion had to catch all of the Wilis in Spring Waters flying leaps, that would finish him off. Then Albrecht could circle the stage several times with Giselle held in the, er, V lift. I think we're onto something here.

Filching the Scherzo from Midsummer is brilliant. It's simply not fair to put Grigorovich and Cranko into these old ballets and leave Balanchine behind. Why, he'll become choreographically irrelevant to the younger generation!!! We could return the compliment by adding some of those nice running lifts from Spartacus to the finale of "The Four Temperaments." Audiences just won't want to see those old ballets -- you know, "Serenade," "Four Ts," "Concerto Barocco" -- after they've gotten a taste for these new ones.

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But Alexandra, Manhattnik: you left out the primo additional element(s) to complete your hellish scenario(s). I don't know why it hasn't occurred to me before. I can summon it up in a sentence, but first a warning to Cargill to put down her cup of tea:

Enter Albrecht, accompanied by JESTER(S).

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Oh, Nanatchka. I'm surprised at you. Le Grand Ballet Sublime would never allow jesters in "Giselle." That would be so distasteful.

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How about this version by Le Grand Ballet de Psychology Today?

Enter ALBRECHT accompanied by Doppelganger.

In fact, we have an alter ego for every single member of the production. It was turning out to be quite expensive in labor, so some of them are simply stuffed or inflatable. We found them while they were cleaning up Times Square. It saves on expenses, but they've all got 'em out there, by jingo. You should see the wilis scene, there are at least 128 wilis on stage, corporeal, alter egos, stuffed dolls, inflatable blow-up wilis and otherwise. And if you can't fathom the significance, then you're a philistine.

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Why not combine Giselle with a production of the silent film Nosferatu. Albrecht could be Harker, or even Renfield. The willies could be the vampire brides. And Hilarion could be Nosferatu himself. Complete with a sndtk by the vampire band Type O Negative. Though using specially created songs for the production unlike the dub job they did when they matched the silent film to Type O Negative music that was never intended for the purpose.

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Alexandra, I thought perhaps you'd gotten the idea from seeing a certain American ballet company performing its version of a 19th Century classic transformed into an occasion for male bravura. Regardless, I think you could sell your Giselle to Kevin McKenzie in a heartbeat.

Nanatchka, how could we have forgotten jesters? I see Albrecht and Hilarion as dance critics, faced in the second act with AN ENTIRE corps of vengeful, dead, malevolent Jesters, representing the spirits of all the poor souls who spent their careers perfecting the art of performing a double revoltade while shaking a stick with bells on it, only to expire from the slings and arrows of intolerant Western critics.

Leigh, I can see it now: The Times Square Giselle, with Dustin Hoffman as Hilarion and Jon Voight as Albrecht. Can't quite place the Giselle yet, but I see the Wilis as a fetching ensemble of departed streetwalkers.

And, did someone mention Bouvier?

Giselle -- Marilyn Monroe

Albrecht -- JFK

Hilarion -- RFK

Bathilde -- Jackie

Although the story would need to be modified to indicate that Giselle has done a lot more than play "Pluck my daisy" with Albrecht (and Hilarion, and half the villagers, for that matter) I think it has legs.

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Manhattnik, another good one. BUT, I must protest the addition of additional details. John Neumeieresque revisionists may need that, but with the right ballerina, Marilyn-Giselle could get everything across just by the way she plucks that daisy smile.gif Happy birthday, dear Bertie.....

(I should warn you all that I'm going to print some of these in the next Ballet Alert! biggrin.gif )

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Alexandra, That was great choreography, but shouldn't Albrecht's turns be of the veryveryfast variety ending very very s l o w l y, to show that he is conflicted? And while you are cribbing from other choreographers, who about Hilarion doing the original Nijinsky Sherezade fall on his neck death. And what about the poor dogs in the first act that just trot on and off in some productions? I think they should get to dance too, possibly in borrowed Midsummer costumes. For social commentary, they could kill a stag on stage while the awful aristos cheer them on. And somehow or another, there has to be a connection between Myrtha and Albrecht's mother.

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I know! Myrtha is Giselle's aunt, who was done in by Albrecht's father!

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but what are they WEARING??????

I get agitated just thinking about it.....

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They will wear jester suits, if they are jesters. Nothing else will do. But for the others,why not have the men wear feather pants? Or even the women? Why not have Myrtha dresssed as a giant iguana? In other words, let's just borrow the costumes from other productions, not neccessarily of Giselle. That would be soooooo obvious of us. Mouse Willis, anyone? We can also borrow from the plots, while we are at it. Just think: The Nutcracker Giselle. Les Giselleurs (that's with snow scenes and "skating). Romeo and Giselle. And my personal favorite, Willi Lake.

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I'm surprised no one has come up with this idea.

At the end of Act I, Giselle goes crazy, takes Albrecht's sword and...kills him (afterwards she and fiance high five and break into the wine).

Act II opens, all the wilis are now Willys, men who have been killed by wives/fiances/girlfriends for infidelity. This would take care of Alexandra's suggestions for more male solos.

(Actually I expect it to be Matthew Bourne's next project. Maybe he can recycle those goofy pants from Swan Lake.)

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That idea is similar to my yearly Nutcracker fantasy- that the mice will finally win the battle and we can all go home for act 2- or maybe to the land of CHEESE!!! biggrin.gifbiggrin.gifbiggrin.gif

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Ah, leibling. The land of cheese -- and Clara will be the little girl in the cheese commercial (the one who leaves Santa cheese and gets what looks to be the entire FAO Schwartz store in return).

The Land of Cheese could be a serviceable idea for a new Nutcracker Act II (sponsored by the Dairy Council and Velveeta). The divert dancers could be costumed as the appropriate cheese. Hmmm. What's an Arabian cheese? Or a Spanish one? (I'm sure there are some; I just don't know the names.) But roquefort or bleu have to be in there somewhere -- for Juliet's sake, if nothing else.

Yes, I realize this is Off Topic, and I have sinned. Sorry smile.gif

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It isn't off topic if Myrthe is the Dairy Queen....

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I cannot make up a "worse" or funnier Giselle than everyone else has! smile.gif But here is my version:

Giselle and Hilarion are neighbors, and both of their families have farms. They start going out. Then one day Giselle brings her fruits and vegetables to the market. She meets a fisherman named Albrecht who is selling his fish. Giselle and Albrecht fall in love. Hilarion is suspicious so he starts spying on Giselle. Giselle and Albrecht have to meet secretly at the market. Then Hilarion takes Giselle to catch fish on the lake. Giselle starts dancing on the boat. Hilarion and Bathilde team up and spot them. They row the boat closer and closer to Giselle and Albrecht's boat. Hilarion and Bathilde bump into their boat and Giselle falls off! Maybe into the orchestra pit! smile.gif

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Thanks, Hillary. Do you know the story of Bournonville's Napoli? The first act is something like that -- with different names. It's set in Naples and opens in the market. The hero (Gennaro) is...a fisherman! (The heroine (Teresina) is unemployed, but looking for a husband.) There are two "Hilarions" (Peppo, who sells lemonade, and Giacomo, who sells macaroni). At the end of the act, Teresina and Gennaro, now engaged, go for a row in his boat and are so in love they don't notice the storm coming up, and she drowns.

You must have seen it in a dream smile.gif

(She's restored to life through the power of faith and they have a great wedding!)

Thanks for posting your version smile.gif

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No, I haven't heard of that story.

Okay, here is some more interesting stuff I can add to what I said before;)

The

Dairy Queen
(who has a tutu in the shape of a block of cheese) takes out a chart and points out that there is not enough protein in the fish that Albrecht sold. But she was really just trying to get him back for selling her a bad fish when she was alive. The dairy fairies (who are wearing white tutus and have white mustaches. got milk?) agree.

But morning comes too soon and the Dairy Queen and fairies have to disapear.

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Dairy Queen......Dairy Fairies with milk moustaches.

This is priceless.

My next project, I hope......

(This is my favourite thread since the sublime ones on computer viruses and Sleeping Beauty fairies....):D

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It has been a wild ride with all these dazzling versions!! Gautier, himself, has other thoughts about Giselle---at one time he thought of adapting Victor Hugo's poem "Fantomes" for the first act:

"I had thought of making the first act consist of a mimed version of Victor Hugo's delightful poem. One would have seen a beautiful ballroom belonging to some prince; the candles would have been lighted, but the guests would not have arrived; the Wilis, attracted by the joy of dancing in a room glittering with crystal and gliding, would have shown themselves for a moment in the hope of adding to their number. The Queen of the Wilis would have touched the floor with her magic wand to fill the dancers feet with an insatiable desire for contredanses, waltzes, galops, and mazurkas. The advent of the lords and ladies would have made them fly away like so many vague shadows. Giselle, having danced all that evening excited by the magic floor and the desire to keep her lover from inviting other women to dance, would have been surprised by the cold dawn like the young Spanish girl, and the pale Queen of the Wilis, invisible to all, would have laid her icy hand on her heart"

With this scenario, I wonder what he would have done with the 2nd act....bring on the peasants?

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