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Giselle Impressions

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I was able to see Giselle on May18 and thought the entire company was terrific. Lorna Feijoo was Giselle and was brilliant. Her dancing was accurate and emotional and her acting dramatic. She was partnered by Yuri Yanowsky. I'd never seem him before and am very impressed. Special mention goes to Romi Beppu and Reyneris Reyes who danced the Peasant Pas de Deux and stole the first act. It was one of those moments where you can't wait for the next variation to see what they will do. I usually endure the first act of Giselle to get to the second act, but I really enjoyed this one. Even Pavel Gurevich's Hilarion was more than a wooden bad guy. His mime was both emotional and intelligible and helped hold the storyline together.

Last but not least, the Orchestra was very good. I've heard SF Ballet's and NYC Ballet's orchestras this year and I'd have to say Boston's was better. It sounds strange to say, but they played in tune and followed the conductor who followed the dancers. Too many orchestras (maybe it's the conductors) seem to plod along like there's no ballet on the stage behind them. I really felt that the orchestra was at the service of the ballet that night. Bravo to conductor Jonathan McPhee.

Oh, the house was almost full too. That's great news for ballet in Boston!

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Thank you for the report, Globetrotter!

I saw Feijoo in 1999 when she toured with Ballet Nacional de Cuba, and she is my favorite Giselle of those I've seen live. I'd love to see her again, after she's had eight more years of experience in the role.

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I'm glad you posted about this, Globetrotter, as I've been meaning to. I went on May 11 and saw the same cast you did. Yuri Yanowsky was quite good, impressive in his dancing and portraying a complex Albrecht: first seeming to see Giselle as an amusement, but coming to care for her as the ballet went on. Lorna Feijoo was a wonderful Giselle, sweet and innocent and playful. Her dancing was impressive and she worked very well with Yanowsky in the second act.

Reyneris Reyes in the peasant pas de deux was great. I actually heard a few people around me gasp at some of his leaps. The audience was very enthusiastic in general--there was much applause and (positive) shouting throughout the ballet.

The sets were just beautiful, and most of the costumes were as well--except for those of some of the peasants which were, well, too orange for me. The set for the second act was marvelously eerie, and I loved the part near the beginning with one Wili, then another, and perhaps another, dancing across the back as though a vision. One in particular--I wish I knew who she was--seemed to float the whole way across.

This staging ended the first act in an interesting way I'll describe for the sake of comparison. When Giselle dies, Albrecht seems to realize what he's done and tries to go to her. But Wilfrid won't let him, and leads him away, and they disappear on the path that leads to the back of the stage. A few moments later, just as the curtain starts to come down, Albrecht suddenly runs back towards Giselle and stands a little ways away, looking on, grief-stricken. Wilfrid follows, slightly behind Albrecht, one arm outstretched, still trying to persuade him to leave although knowing it's not that simple.

Overall, I really enjoyed the production, and I heard similar audience comments on the way out. (Although one man, noticing a poster in the lobby, exclaimed, "Ooh, when is Riverdance coming?"

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I saw lorna today (May 20) in the final performance and was completely blown away. She is an amazing Giselle, and this is my favorite role I've seen her perform in. She chose to begin her act 1 variation (instead of a penche or simple preparation, both of which are standard) with a balance in coupe de pied that she seemed to hold for eternity. she was ON today, and it really seemed she could do no wrong. I was truly amazed and consider her the prima ballerina of BB

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Adding my kudos for Lorna Feijoo as Giselle -- we were also at the May 20th matinee.

The man sitting next to us wiped tears from his eyes as the ballet came to an end. It was a very affecting performance.

Yuri Yanowsky was a worthy partner. I especially liked the expression on his face in Act I when Giselle and the Princess learn about each other.

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And I too was at the May 20th matinee (with mom). Yes, Lorna Feijoo was near perfect as Giselle. Her pointes were quite hard in Act 1, but when I saw that technique in action I understood why: sure, solid, detailed and controlled. Dramatic without being histrionic when first feeling the effects of her "bad heart" and later in the mad scene.

And in Act 2... very tight very fast en dehors pirouette en attitude when 'released from the grave' and superb elevation/ballon afterwards. And while that Romantic soft-roundness wasn't always emphasized, it was still visible. But what I was overjoyed to see was that FINALLY, she (and Yanovsky) timed the pique arabesque lifts in the Grand Pas like Gelsey and Baryshnikov did twenty years ago--on the LONG note reaching out and stretching the line. Mischa & Gelsey also did a low/long lift on that note, but Feijoo's glorious extension was almost the same effect.

Myrta--always a strong character and dancer was danced/portrayed that way effectively...BUT needs to work on Romantic technique which was really missing; it was a much too Classical style: all up & out, not down/round/in.

I greatly preferred the sets, costumes, lighting in BB's Act 1 versus ABT's. It looked like an amber lit woodland village during harvest time even without German castles in background. And I liked all that pumpkin/burnt orange vs. what I call the "popsickle/creamsickle pink-oranges" that somehow got mixed into ABT's pale green/blues--noticed same color-blind costuming errors appeared in ABT's S.L. but hopefully won't in S.B..

BB's Act 2 was more murkily lit, but yes, the wilis flitting across the stage behind the scrim did create an effect of ghosts appearing/disappearing. Also having them RISE from their graves through the fog upstage, and Giselle (by elevator?) in the hollow tree behind the gravestone--rather then just entering from the wings--again, really gave the effect of the "undead", not just some country girls in white. I heard one little girl in the next row ask "Are they good ghosts?" Not sure what answer she received, but overall they were good dancers.

The costumes were also those beautiful LONG Romantic skirts, not the shorter ones ABT uses (saving the longer length ones for Les (and La?) Sylphides.) However, I still think ABT's Act2 Albrecht costume is THE best ever created: correct for time period, and rich without being overdone--and of course silver (vs. gold) thread is always better in moonlight.

Yes, I am VERY glad I saw BB's "Giselle" again, and finally saw Lorna dance. I saw Larissa last time they did "Giselle" some years ago. How did Erica Cornejo do?

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I was there too. I'm writing for Dance International so can't go on at length. I found Feijoo mannered, but like Vishneva, a dancer who is mannered at that level reminds me of incredible Kabuki - she's not living it, but I'm still getting something wondrous - a beautiful distillation like preserved violets in a lacquer box. A contrast would be someone like Julie Kent. All of these women are extremely moving in Act II, but what struck me about Kent years ago unlike the other two was the moment the clock announced the dawn. Kent wasn't beautiful at that moment. She was drained; she had saved her Albrecht (Carreno) and it took every last bit of spirit she had left; death and rest was her reward.

The moments I took away from Feijoo's performance weren't emotional, but physical - but they were stunning. In her Act II coda, she did some ronds de jambes en l'air that fluttered like moth wings - they took your breath away.

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I saw three of the four casts (Feijoo, Cornejo, Ponomarenko). They were all lovely in different ways, but I have to give my vote for Larissa Ponomarenko--her mad scene is frighteningly convincing, and her attention to subtle details makes her performance so rich. I also went to the pre-curtain talk on Friday when she and Roman Rykine were speaking about their roles. Her description of what Giselle mentally goes through during the mad scene is really enough to make one cry.

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To me Larissa Ponomarenko is one of the finest dancers of the times. Dramatically she is always so real and tremendously moving. Technically she is so pure and clear. While her Russian roots give her so much she has expanded herself to be good in anything whether it is classical or contemporary. Her Tatiana in Onegin is amazing. She is truly Boston Ballet's treasure. I wish more people could see her.

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