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Giselle Casting

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Giselle - Casting is up

Julie Diana, Riolama Lorenzo, Arnaxcha Ochoa are Giselle

Zachary Hench, Sergio Torrado (does anyone know who is), James Ady are Albrecht.

Wow, the very young Gabriella Yudenich who was such a hit as Coffee in the Nutcracker is dancing Myrtha! That's a surprise as PA Ballet tends to cast by seniority IMO.

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I am hoping to go see both Julie and Riolama as Giselle. And as it was mentioned I also noticed that PAB is giving a few of the younger corps dancers great opportunities. Looking through the casting Gabriella Yudenich and Hawley Rowe are cast as Myrta and also Abigal Mentzer and Barette Vance are cast in Peasant Pas. Other roles featuring corps dancers are Barette Vance and Rebecca Azenberg as Moyna and Abigail Mentzer as Zulma. I am looking forward to seeing these young dancers perform these parts.

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Since the links to articles the past 2 days discuss Sergio Terrado's employment with PA Ballet, it seems OK to now talk about it. Mr Terrado has been hired as a soloist by PA Ballet. I have enjoyed his dancing a immensely when he performed as a principal dancer with San Francisco Ballet. Most notable to me was his preformance as the Bull in Chi-Lyn. I am really excited to have him added to the PA Ballet ranks and can't wait to see his Albrecht this weekend.

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Thanks for the review Dale. I will be at both shows on Saturday as well. I find it strange that the Philadelphia Inquirer has not reviewed a performance yet. Or if they have, I certainly have not been able to find the review on line.

Well the Inquirer barely has a stringer anymore, much less a full-time critic. I attended on Saturday matinee, with Ochoa as Giselle. Everyone seemed a bit tentative, with the exception of Yudenich as Myrta (I'd love to see Heidi Cruz as Myrta, too, but that's not in the cards). And that set--oy!--fresh out of Mrs. Havesham's attic, with dreary lighting to boot and a thin orchestra.

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Yudenich was the star of the Sat evening too (replacing Hawley Rowe). She was everything you imagine Myrta to be - ethereal, dramatic, icy-hot - amazing!

Alexei Charov was a great Hilarion - bold and sympathetic acting.

Well, you know where I'm going with this, don't you? Riolama Lorenzo was Giselle, and even taking into account that this was her debut, I'm not sure she's a Giselle. She's a tall strong dancer and she doesn't have an ounce of fragility in her. I don't think she's had many acting roles, as her second act was much better than the first.

Sergio Torrado (Albrecht) is a strong dancer too - his entrechat six-es were wonderfully floaty - but either he isn't a great actor or he intended toact Albrect as 'cad who breaks Giselle's heart and only really falls in love with her after her death'. Either way, he didn't earn my sympathy in the first act at all.

All that said, it was wonderful to see a 'real' ballet - no concept, no revisionist thinking. IMO this is the way to develop a company and to develop an audience. Where I was sitting, it sounded like there were plenty people who were unfamiliar with the story (who knew such people existed?!) There were also many children.

Unlike Ray, I liked the traditional set (but I was sitting in the Family Circle. Maybe it looked different closer), but I agree that the orchestra sounded thin.

I'll be seeing next Saturday's matinee with the same cast more or less (so it goes with subscriptions) and will report back again.

Edited to add: I just read the link in Dale's post. So Yudenich danced in at least three consecutive performances. No wonder the 'kids' were going crazy for her at the curtain calls.

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My flight was late on Friday night so I did not get to see that performance. So, I was extremely disappointed that Julie Diana and Zach Hench did not perform on Sunday due to illness. But I thoroughly enjoyed the performances that I did see.

Of the two Giselles, I could really read the madness of Arantxa Ochoa. And James Ady was a very charming Albrecht who obviously cared much for Giselle. On the other hand, I thought that Riolama Lorenzo did a better job being the innocent, shy Giselle. I loved watching Sergio Torrado. He has amazing technique and his dark good looks do not hurt , either. But, must agree, I did not see a connection between Giselle and Albrecht in that cast.

The most amazing performance of the weekend was Gaby Yudenich as Myrta. It was absolutely breathtaking. As I exited the theater, people were talking very positively about her performance. She just glowed. And those jumps, magnificent.

There was a last minute substitute in the Peasant Pas on Saturday matinee and the dancers did not look comfortable with each other. Francis Veyette dances with panash but misses the finishing touches, like pointed feet and solid landings. Saturday night's cast did a much better job. Yosebel Delgado and Barrette Vance danced the role beautifully, with excellent technique and Ms Vance's glorious smile. The cast on Sunday included Mr Veyette with Valerie Amiss. Who cannot love Ms Amiss's dancing? She shows her love of dancing in all of the roles that she performs. We can't help but smile with her.

The corps did an amazing job. Again, I heard audience members saying that they had never seen a corps so together. Great job PA Ballet. I look forward to seeing what else you have in store for us!

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I saw the 02/10 matinee. This time I sat in the Orchestra, and I was able to fully enjoy Riolama's lovely first act. She is a vibrant, fresh faced Giselle and her mad scene is very still and frozen. It was very very moving upclose, but it just didn't reach the Family Circle where I sat the previous week. Her second act still wasn't convincing enough - she remained flesh and blood and not a ghost. Sergio Torrado looks to be a great asset to the company - the PAB men seem to be stronger dramatically than technically and the women the opposite.

Hawley Rowe danced Myrta this time - very authoritative and stern. Less wraith like than Yudenich.

My young companion especially liked the peasant pas de deux - Barette Vance received a "pretty good dancing" and Yosbel Delgado even elicited a "wow" - and the Borzoi hunting dogs featured in the first act. :)

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I was able to attend both the matinee and evening performance on Saturday. Unfortunately, I was not able to see Julie Diana as Giselle but did see both Aranxta and Rio. Both dancers did a beautiful job but I preferred Rio overall in the role. I do have to agree with GWTW that she certainly seems to shine more in the first act then in the second. Her portrayal of Giselle as a young girl in love was very convincing and beautifully danced (but how can anyone take their eyes off of those exquisite feet). And I also agree that she did a wonderful job with the mad scene.

I was fortunate to see both James Ady and Sergio dance and thought both of them were exceptional. I agree that I saw more chemsty with James and his partner, but Sergio's technique is amazing. I have to believe that the longer Sergio is with the company, the better his interaction with his female partners will be. But kudos to both dancers for a job well done.

Other dancers that stood out to me were Gabriella Yudenich as Myrta and Barette Vance and Yosbel in Peasant Pas. Gabriella reminded me of the Queen in Snow White; very regal, autoritative and in total control of her surroundings not to mention that her jumps were fabulous. I think this role was very suited for her. Excellent job and I look forward to seeing Gabriella in more roles like this in the future as she grows with the company.

Barette and Yosebel did a beautiful job with Peasant Pas. As someone else noted before Barette's stage presence and smile are electric on stage and it is hard to take your eyes off of her, not to mention her excellent techniqe. Again I feel this role was really suited for her as well. Barette and Yosebel made a beautiful couple of stage and danced beautifully together. I hope to see more of these two in the future as well.

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