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ABT Sun mat; Giselle, McKerrow-Belotserkovsky

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Choosing between Friday night (Kent-Carreno) and Saturday afternoon (McKerrow-Belotserkovsky) would be difficult. I think, in this case, it's simply a matter of personal choice. I'd let them split the gold :)

Were all of you out rolling Easter eggs this weekend??????

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Well, as I just noted in my post on Saturday evening's performance, I didn't get to see Kent and Carreno on Friday night, but I have a hard time believing they could have been as wonderful as Amanda McKerrow and Maxim Belotserkovsky this afternoon. I will, however, give anyone the benefit of the doubt if they insist, having seen Kent with Corella in last year's Sunday matinee of Swan Lake (the highlight of my 2000 ballet-going).

I'm sure it helped that I was in the sixth row today, but with McKerrow and Belotserkovsky, I was able to understand everything about Giselle and Albrecht. McKerrow's Giselle was a pure, innocent, fragile soul utterly devoted to, but not wholly trusting, the charming Loys. Belotserkovsky's Albrecht, in turn, was completely captivated by this shy, sensitive peasant creature. And it wasn't hard to see why, given the alternative of Bathilde. In what was definitely the supporting performance of the day, Stella Abrera was all cool, haughty condescension as the two-timed noblewoman.

McKerrow wasn't as strong technically as Jaffe; she couldn't manage the hops on pointe in the first act. But her performance wasn't about technique; to me, she WAS Giselle. In the second act, she was the same generous, loving girl as in Act I, or rather, she was the inner spirit of that girl.

I found Michele Wiles less effective than Murphy as Myrta, but if I hadn't seen Murphy, I doubt I would have had any complaints. Wiles wasn't as commanding as Murphy, especially in her solo, but once the Wilis came on stage and she had someone to relate to, her performance improved significantly. I thought the corps was a little off from their level of last night, but they still looked like a different company from last year's Bayadere Act II debacle.

Today was the first time I had seen Belotserkovsky in anything other than the Tharp piece last year. I was extremely impressed with his stage presence, his attention to the details of his performance, and his chemistry with Amanda McKerrow.

A few final notes: I thought Giselle's mother's mime (by Ilona McHugh on Sat. and Erica Fischbach today) was beautifully eloquent in both performances. Fischbach was particularly moving; with her gaunt look and empty eyes, she looked as if she was really foreseeing her daughter's death. I also thought the peasant pas de deux was stronger today than last night (although it was good last night also, the highlight of Act I in my view despite a little shakiness on the part of Xiomara Reyes and the fact that Herman Cornejo's bushy hair took up nearly as much space as the rest of his body). Marcelo Gomes would generally be considered too big for this pas de deux, but he managed to look like an overgrown, good-natured peasant boy who just happened to dance really, really well and who made a genuine effort to relate to and show off his partner nicely.

[ 04-15-2001: Message edited by: The Bard's Ballerina ]

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Woah...what a Happy Easter Sunday...in every respect!

Well, I missed that fabulous Good Friday performance (although I fondly remember Julie Kent's exemplary Giselle from two years ago at the Met).

To me, Sunday afternoon was close to perfection in this ballet. Gorgeously uniform corps de ballet (a-la-Kirov) and exellent miming-acting throughout. Amanda McKerrow & Maxim Belotserkovsky were simply wonderful as Giselle & Albrecht. Both would fit in nicely at the Kirov. McKerrow gave a dramatic rendering of the mad scene in Act I which, heretofore, I felt was beyond her reach. Boy, was I wrong! Between McKerrow's Hagar in the Washington Ballet's recent PILLAR OF FIRE and this Giselle, I am completely re-writing my opinions on the acting abilities of this fantastic ballerina (who came to prominence by winning the Gold Medal at 1981 Moscow IBC). Amanda McKerrow is a GEM of a actress-ballerina!

Then comes Myrta. Wow!!!! What more can be stated about the perfection of 1996 Varna IBC Gold Medalist, Michele Wiles? Her rapid ascent to soloist-and-beyond level has just been capped by a simply-brilliant Myrta debut in today's Giselle. Not to be missed, my friends! This is Tatyana Terekhova quality...only taller! ;) WOW-WOW-WOW-WOW-WOW!!!!! :):D:D

[ 04-15-2001: Message edited by: Jeannie ]

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Everytime I have seen her, I have been so moved by McKerrow's Giselle. To me, it is one of the most detailed and indivualized performances of the role I have ever seen, and one of the most believable. Her looks really help her here, she does seem like she is a little village girl and not a grand beautiful ballerina dancing a part. It really was like Wordsworth's Lucy or a little Trollope heroine come to life.

She seems like she was never the belle of the ball, and not used to attention, and that being crowned queen of the harvest with Albrecht around was just overwhelming. I remember watching her once, which some of the stage was obscured, and I could tell just by watching her face when Albrecht returned. It was just like a light come on inside her.

And her second act wasn't just about forgiving Albrecht, it was about understanding and gratitude for the one truly happy day she had had while alive. This works so well with Malakhov, who was a bit weak and cowardly, but truly in love with her. Some castle rake wouldn't have fallen for her sincerity, he would have gone for the village beauty.

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