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Mariinsky Giselle, new DVD (Osipova guest)

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As recorded at a recent Mariinsky Festival and shown in cinemas, this DVD will become available in Japan on Oct 20, 2012:


The link is to Lawsons but it may be available elsewhere. I'm assuming that this means that it will make its way to Europe, North Am and beyond soon? This one is coded for Region 2 (incl Japan). Shinshokan label.

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Yes indeed, Helene. (No problem.)

Ideally, we'd all wait until the DVD becomes available in our countries (i.e., amazon.com in the USA, via our BA link). All of the Japanese-distributed DVDs via this Lawson's web are coded for Japanese DVD players but playable if one has invested in a multi-region, multi-system DVD player, as explained on other threads. THAT SAID, there are MANY temptations available on this site that are not on the amazon-japan site, such as a DVD the 2011 Vaganova Academy Graduation performances (the one with Olga Smirnova and Kristina Shapran graduating, among other great dancers; Burlaka's Little Humpbacked Horse recon). There are DVDs of other Vaganova graduation classes, such as the one in which Obraztsova and Shklyarov star in an act of the Sergeyev Cinderella. Yes, some of this is available via You Tube but these are pristene copies, filmed with professional equipment.

Lastly - all Danil' Simkin fans will want to take note of the new 'Danil Simkin in Tokyo' DVD, released this past August.

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I saw this yesterday at the cinema. What a disappointing experience-(from the 3-D perspective). The brightness of the image was completely doomed by the glasses, and the unidimensional effect went on and off a few times. At times I took them off-(the device I was handed were not the usual disposable ones, but instead a heavy reusable set), and in general I really didn't see that much of a change from a regular projection.

That said, here're some thoughts on the production and the dancing.

Osipova is DIVINE. It is rare to see a BALLERINA that can carry on with such gusto and excellence all the styles, and able to go around the world dancing with so many companies and adjusting to different stagings and choreographies. I'm certainly not missing her upcoming Sylvia, as I see her as one of the few currently true representers of the now almost extinct wave of international dancers of the past that were not afraid to go around and dance, dance and dance and experiment with all ballets, styles and approaches-(Markova, Alonso, Fonteyn, Nureyev, Misha, and some others). If anything, I really see Osipova's success in Giselle as a major thing, given that this is usually the forbidden territory for many ballerinas, due to either not wanting to move from their confort zone/company or simply because they are not convincing in the role, having tried it at some point sans success-(there are names here, of course, which we all know).Osipova came out of her cottage as if belonging to the air, and on the air she stayed during the whole ballet. The definition of ballet BALLON should be linked in Wikipedia with a video of her, so people would recognize-(or remember)-what being suspended on the air looks like. Her movements were quick, fast, and not mannered-(or at least definitely less mannered than other dancers that, lacking the real dancing skills and so relying in endless poses and silly mannerisms).

Her act I girl was sweet and girlish-(and this rare praise comes from me, who grew up preferring the more restricted, old fashioned approach of the Cuban ballerinas inherited from the Markova/Alonso lineage). I really liked a detail she added during the sequence when she kneels to the back of an oblivious Bathilde to touch the fabric of her rival to be dress. Right away after feeling the fine fabric, she then touches her own dress here and there, looking at herself with embarrassment, as if realizing with sadness how different the two of them are. I really liked this. Also, her madness scene wasn't just a repetition of that other one on Youtube where she rips off violently her gift from Bathilde from her neck, which got tingled on her hair and thus applying real force, every bid of the prop flying all over the stage. This time she took it off her neck with barely a single motion, leaving it behind with not too much drama, concentrating instead in the upcoming madness that will fallow. Her Act II was as ghostly and ethereal as it can be. Her grand pirouettes during the initiation scene were perfect, fast, centered, secure-(oh, how I wished she could do the Cuban version, elevating herself into a double attitude pirouette en dehors after the turns...I can just envision her). Her adagio was dreamy, and during the initial sequence her arabesque penchee-(one of the most terrifying moments to any ballerina)-were executed with great ease. We know how shaky many dancers get when transitioning from the arabesque into the low penchee, many of them not really being able to lower themselves down too much).

And then...the entrechats sequence. Oh my...NEVER have I seen such beautiful executed said sequence before. She went for the slow approach-(instead of the quick, super fast version chosen by many ballerinas)-but there were OUT OF THIS WORLD! . People even grasped at them...they looked almost as something against gravity.

Well, now that I established by devotion for Osipova's Giselle, let me give a quick review of the rest.

Sarafanov started on the weak side his performance. I'm really thinking by now that the type of manly dancers that are built and look like MEN onstage instead of boys are almost extinct-(NYers, cherish your Marcelo over there…there are not that many like him around anymore). His best moments were when he was doing his solos-(especially during his own wonderful entrechats sequence in Act II). Otherwise he didn’t really convinced me either as the fake peasant Loys-(his costume was totally wrong here…nothing to do with a peasant)-or his lukewarm Albrecht during the confrontation scene-(Bathilde looked more like his mother rather than his fiancée..).

Koundarova was beautiful as Myrtha, although she couldn’t take my eyes out of Osipova-(something many Myrthas are able to do with their Giselles). She did a very nice job though.

There were certain things I miss during this production, and here’s a brief list.

1-The Peasant PDD was gone

2-Berthe’s mime scene on Giselle’s fate was gone

3-Hilarion’s killing sequence by the willis was not effective enough. It was slightly shorter on music-(for a complete musical rendition of the scene, Het National Ballet has it, and beautifully done). Also, the willis choreo during this moment was not aggressive enough. The stager went for a slooow turning and soft port de bras for the corps, instead of the usual hard pointing and effective fast turning of the women for Hilarion to go to the right wing and die there.

4-BIGGEST MISS: WHERE IS GISELLE BEING CROWNED AS THE QUEEN OF THE HARVEST?!?!. Now, THAT is an iconic moment of the ballet. The whole act I corps revolves around the harvest, and many of the most famous studio portraits of dancers, from Grissi on, show them during this very moment. Oh no…a huge mistake to had got ridden of this.

5-Giselle’s initiation scene was less effective by showing Osipova emerge from her grave sans veil. Usually, it is the combination of the quick musical strings passage, along with Myrtha’s commanding gesture with her magical branch toward Giselle’s head that makes the veil disappear, showing the new ghost in all her white glory. Mariinsky…return the veil to Giselle.

On the good note, it was refreshing to see the original fast music re instituted to the end of the ballet-(instead of the slow, less effective Pavlova-era one so so commonly used)

Everything said, I officially declare Osipova as a GODDESS of dance. yahoo.gif

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