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Summer 2014 DC tour: Giselle (Grigorovich)

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Macaulay seems to have all sorts of trouble writing that little item. First he gets the month wrong, then he confuses Svetlana Zakharova with Polina Semionova. Oh dear, oh dear.

But if I understand correctly, at the moment it looks like this.

May 20, 22 - Svetlana Zakhrova / David Hallberg / Ekaterina Shipulina / Vitaly Biktimirov

May 21 - Anna Nikulina / Artem Ovcharenko / Maria Allash / Denis Savin

May 23, 24e - Ekaterina Krysanova / Ruslan Skvortsov / Anna Leonova / Denis Savin

May 24m - Anna Nikulina / Artem Ovcharenko / Ekaterina Shipulina / Vitaly Biktimirov

May 25 - Anna Nikulina / Artem Ovcharenko / Maria Allash / Vitaly Biktimirov

Not that there's the slightest guarantee it'll stay that way.

Edited to add Myrthas and Hanses.


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This wasn't written by AM. I pointed out these 2 mistakes in a post in the comment section, and the underling who wrote up the item thanked me for the corrections. You will see the corrections now appear at the end of the item.

By the way, what are the various merits of these casts?

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Bizarrely, the Kennedy Center website also refers to Hilarion as "Hans".

Also, it says it's staged by Grigorovich (as does this thread), but the credits for the production on the Bolshoi website don't mention Grigorovich anywhere:

Libretto by Theophile Gautier and Jean-Henry Saint-Georges

Production: Vladimir Vasiliev

Choreography: Jean Coralli, Jules Perrot, Mauris Petipa, Alexander Gorsky, Leonid Lavrovsky, Vladimir Vasiliev

Set Designer: Sergei Barkhin

Costume Designer: Hubert de Givanchi

Philippe Venet participating

Music Director: Algis Zhuraytis

Adviser: Galina Ulanova

Lighting Designer: Mikhail Sokolov

(How ironic is it that the Bolshoi misspells Petipa's first name???!!!)

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Russian companies do use Hans instead of Hilarion. At least the Mariinsky does, and it looks like the Bolshoi does too. I think the Bolshoi has two versions of Giselle also.

Exactly. The Grigorovich version is performed at the main theater--and fetches 9,000 RUB for orchestra tickets--while the Vasiliev version continues to be performed at the new theater--for the comparative bargain price of 4,000 RUB. In photos they're easy enough to tell apart because in Grigorovich's version Giselle wears a white and blue dress in Act 1, while she is dressed in a yellow skirt in Vasiliev's production. (The latter is more historically accurate, since blue dye was outrageously expensive in the old days, though the traditional blue dress helps the character stand out on stage.) It so happens that the Kennedy Center has posted photos primarily from the Vasiliev production, but the site, as noted, is pretty sloppy with these things; at least the typing errors seem to have been corrected.

Most Russian productions call the gamekeeper Hans (or Gans in Russian). Vasiliev's production is one of the few to call him Hilarion (Illarion in Russian).

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No Obraztsova?

Just my thought. mad.gif

Hmmm... lets think about this. One of the greatest Giselles of our generation is not performing in DC while 4 hours away in NY Vishneva, Part & Cojocaru are all appearing in Bayadere that weekend. Where do you think I will be? And a Jewels on Sunday is the cherry on top of my ice cream sundae! So glad the Bolshoi didn't force me to make tough choices.

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This being the Bolshoi, we can't be sure these dancers will actually appear as advertised. If changes owing to injuries are sometimes unavoidable, other changes can be more difficult to explain. For what it's worth, Ekaterina Krysanova has withdrawn from her next two performances at the Bolshoi, but this isn't necessarily a predictor of her physical condition 5-6 weeks from now.

I don't know what sort of things you look for in dancers, but based on a performance of Swan Lake I saw them give last summer, my vote goes to Krysanova and Ruslan Skvortsov, who are suited to each other in their seriousness, sincerity, lack of showboating and excess, and also speed.

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Ekaterina Krysanova has withdrawn from her next scheduled performance this weekend, as she has from all of her performances over the past month. She is still scheduled for a performance the weekend after next, just before the Washington engagement, but it would appear that her condition is touch-and-go.

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I lost track of this series, probably because I won’t be able to be there, but would surely like to be. The past will not guarantee the future, but continuity is worth considering. I just wrote this at the NYC performances topic, but in case you missed it, I truly believe that it’s worth repeating here. Last year at the Mariinsky Festival Svetlana Zakharova’s Giselle (with the Bolshoi’s Vladislav Lantrov) was possibly the best performance of *Anything* that I’ve ever seen ! The reason is that she had ever aspect totally mastered. In this performance her take was also different from any other that I’ve seen, in that her Giselle was not really naive. She seemed more of a Goddess, a Goddess of Love, and, for me, it worked magnificently as did her entire performance.

Hopefully Ekaterina Krysanova will appear because this is something that she could excel in. Although she has exceptional ‘virtuosa’ qualities, her dreamlike portrayals of lovely innocence are perhaps her most beautiful moments.

I’ve only seen Anna Nikulina once (Swan Lake), but I was impressed enough by some of her very fine qualities, that her’s is one of the very few performances (Swan Lake) of the NYC series that I’ve bought a ticket to. (It’s not that I don’t want to see more, but my stay is limited.) These same qualities of enchanting loveliness would make her an exceptional Giselle.

David? Well David is David! One of the very best!

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