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SFB 2015: Giselle Casts


PeggyR

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Casts for Giselle; no Myrtha for some reason. I’m thrilled that my subscription means I’ll be there for Chung’s debut, plus I just bought a ticket for Feijoo’s Giselle, which I’ve never seen and don't want to miss.

Note that if you use the View All Casting link on the website, the sorting is a little eccentric, plus all programs are smooshed together; I've tried to fix it here.

GISELLE

Choreographer: Helgi Tomasson
Composer: Adolphe Adam, with additional music, orchestrations and arrangements by Friedrich Burgmuller, Ludwig Minkus, and Emil de Cou

Thursday, January 29, 2015 - 8pm - Opening Night

Giselle: Maria Kochetkova

Albrecht: Vitor Luiz

Saturday, January 31, 2015 - 2pm

Giselle: Frances Chung*

Albrecht: Luke Ingham

Saturday, January 31, 2015 - 8pm

Giselle: Mathilde Froustey

Albrecht: Tiit Helimets

Tuesday, February 03, 2015 - 8pm

Giselle: Vanessa Zahorian

Albrecht: Taras Domitro

Wednesday, February 04, 2015 - 7:30pm

Giselle: Sarah Van Patten

Albrecht: Carlos Quenedit*

Friday, February 06, 2015 - 8pm

Giselle: Yuan Yuan Tan

Albrecht: Davit Karapetyan

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Sunday, February 08, 2015 - 2pm

Giselle: Maria Kochetkova

Albrecht: Vitor Luiz

Tuesday, February 10, 2015 - 8pm

Giselle: Lorena Feijoo

Albrecht: Tiit Helimets Top

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The SFB Giselle casting has been updated with Hilarion and Myrtha, showing that Dores Andre is dancing Myrtha at the Chung performance. I am seeing Tan-Karapetyan-Sylve. They have posted only the initial two performances of the first mixed bill. I hope that someone will post their thoughts about the Gala tomorrow night.

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Here are the updated Giselle casts. I'm really happy to be seeing debuts by Chung and Andre (Giselle and Myrtha) on 1/31.

Program 2: GISELLE

Choreography: Helgi Tomasson

Composer: Adolphe Adam, with additional music, orchestration and arrangements by Friedrich Burgmuller, Ludwig Minkus, and Emil de Cou

Thursday, January 29, 2015 - 8pm - Opening Night

Giselle: Maria Kochetkova

Albrecht: Vitor Luiz

Hilarion: Pascal Molat

Myrtha: Sofiane Sylve

Saturday, January 31, 2015 - 2pm

Giselle: Frances Chung^

Albrecht: Luke Ingham

Hilarion: James Sofranko

Myrtha: Dores Andre^

^new to role

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Saturday, January 31, 2015 - 8pm

Giselle: Mathilde Froustey

Albrecht: Tiit Helimets

Hilarion: Ruben Martin Cintas

Myrtha: Sofiane Sylve

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Tuesday, February 03, 2015 - 8pm

Giselle: Vanessa Zahorian

Albrecht: Taras Domitro

Hilarion: Pascal Molat

Myrtha: Jennifer Stahl

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Wednesday, February 04, 2015 - 7:30pm

Giselle: Sarah Van Patten

Albrecht: Carlos Quenedit#

Hilarion: Alexander Reneff-Olson

Myrtha: Sasha De Sola

#new to this production

Friday, February 06, 2015 - 8pm

Giselle: Yuan Yuan Tan

Albrecht: Davit Karapetyan

Hilarion: Ruben Martin Cintas

Myrtha: Sofiane Sylve

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Sunday, February 08, 2015 - 2pm

Giselle: Maria Kochetkova

Albrecht: Vitor Luiz

Hilarion: Pascal Molat

Myrtha: Jennifer Stahl

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Giselle - Tuesday, February 10, 2015 - 8pm

Giselle: Lorena Feijoo

Albrecht: Tiit Helimets

Hilarion: Sean Orza^

Myrtha: Sofiane Sylve

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I saw the following Twitter report -

"Standing ovation for @lapetitefrench_ (Frosutey) she was TOTALLY freaking amazing as Giselle tonite!!"

Anyone see her 2015 Giselle debut performance? It looks like I'll be seeing Kochetkova instead, but I was interested in seeing Froustey in this role.

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Hey pherank, I saw Mathilde Froustey in Giselle last year, not the first one where she ripped through a skirt with the sword, but the second time out which a friend who saw both said was even better. It was very, very good, warmer and more nuanced than Kochetkova's I thought. Froustey seemed to take her time nicely with everything – not rush anything forward. Do check out Allan Ulrich's review in the Chronicle of a week ago, he saw the same cast you'll see ... Let us know what you think.

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I was lucky enough to see Frances Chung's luminous debut Giselle on Saturday. When I saw her cast in the role, my immediate thought was that she would be superb in Act I; maybe less to in the second act. Not exactly the opposite was true, but the performance was very different from what I expected from this dancer who is so athletic and feisty in contemporary works.

Her Act I Giselle was very low key: young, gently warm, and very vulnerable. The mad scene was refreshingly devoid of histrionics, although maybe just one histrionic would have been a good idea, something to create a little more contrast. Interesting approach, though. When she discovered Albrecht's deceit, she didn't exactly go mad; she just wilted, like all the water had been poured out of her vase.

Chung really came into her own in Act II. Having mostly seen her in more modern ballets, I had no idea she has such an exquisite classical line, feather light and beautifully capturing the romantic style with seamless phrasing (and her pointe shoes were silent). What I really liked (and this was true of Froustey's debut last year, too), was that she carried the character of her Act I Giselle through into the second act. Sometimes it seems as if the second act is treated almost as an abstract ballet without much relation to what went on before. Chung kept her character's sweet gentleness intact in the white scenes, which made Albrecht seem like even more of a cad.

It's encouraging to see Chung do so well since she's a dancer who has moved up the ranks at SFB, from corps, to soloist to principal. While I think Tomasson has made wise choices in the prinicpal dancers he as brought in, Chung (among others, of course) is an excellent example of how well developing from within can pay off. I've seen comments elsewhere that she is underestimated, and that's probably true, but this performance should rectify that mistake.

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Hey pherank, I saw Mathilde Froustey in Giselle last year, not the first one where she ripped through a skirt with the sword, but the second time out which a friend who saw both said was even better. It was very, very good, warmer and more nuanced than Kochetkova's I thought. Froustey seemed to take her time nicely with everything – not rush anything forward. Do check out Allan Ulrich's review in the Chronicle of a week ago, he saw the same cast you'll see ... Let us know what you think.

FYI:

SFB posted some images of her preparing for the performance - she just looks dead serious, and completely focused within.

http://instagram.com/sfballet/

She also posted a nice blog article - Being Giselle (Google Translate can be used to produce a fairly readable English version):

http://mathildefroustey.me/2015/01/31/being-giselle/

And here with the family, together in SF:

http://instagram.com/p/yofv-8HrWi/?modal=true

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It seems every Giselle cast is good. I saw Sarah Van Patten's Giselle last night and she was spectacular. Everyone knows she can act. So it was her level of dancing that impressed me. She and Carlos are becoming excellent partners. Can't wait for their Romeo & Juliet.

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I bought a ticket for Tuesday just to see Feijoo, so I'm terribly disappointed she won't be dancing, but can't say I have any problems with Froustey as a substitute: she was glorious when I saw her last season. Really too bad about Feijoo, though. I hope she's OK.

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I bought a ticket for Tuesday just to see Feijoo, so I'm terribly disappointed she won't be dancing, but can't say I have any problems with Froustey as a substitute: she was glorious when I saw her last season. Really too bad about Feijoo, though. I hope she's OK.

I think you are very lucky, in any case. ;) I wish I could see Froustey's Giselle.

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I saw last Tuesday's with Zahorian/Domitro/Molat/Stahl ... great cast all over. Mime was especially good, Molat's on target, great presence on stage, Domitro's so clear and clean and bright, really a standard. Katita Waldo's acting was very fine grained; she looked just as a Dutch period painting of Berthe would. And Clara Blanco's dancing in the first act was perfection – so light and articulate!

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Giselle (Sunday Feb. 8 matinee)

Giselle: Maria Kochetkova
Albrecht: Vitor Luiz
Hilarion: Pascal Molat
Myrtha: Jennifer Stahl

I'm not as much a fan of the old warhorse ballets as some - I should admit that - and wanted to see Froustey's take on this ballet, or nothing. But, I knew Masha was especially good with this type of role, and so I went (I had bought the season ticket months before). And Masha was in fact operating on a very high level - her mime acting was believable and nuanced, and her technical command of the steps within the Giselle choreography was astonishing that day. Her performance was "all of a piece", which is quite an accomplishment given the range of emotions that the lead dancer must pass through over the course of the ballet.

Stahl danced well as Myrtha, and the audience was appreciative, and the Corps did very well as The Wilis - they received big applause (kudos to the audience for recognizing them so voiciferusly).

Vitor Luiz was also dancing very well, though I wasn't as taken with his Albrecht, as I was with Kochetkova's Giselle. Pascal Molat was once again firing on all cylinders in his character role as Hilarion. I want to echo this review comment:
"Many dancers play Hilarion as a brutish dolt whose greatest achievement will be dragging Giselle back to his cave. Pascal Molat presented a gentler, more intelligent character who is sincerely fond of Giselle and concerned for her well-being, though as heedless as Albrecht of unintended consequences." —Claudia Bauer
http://dancetabs.com/2015/01/san-francisco-ballet-giselle-san-francisco-2/

I'm already sad that Molat is retiring, so soon after Damian Smith, too. He's still doing some of his best work, right now, so make an effort to see him this season.

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I went to the February 6th performance of Giselle with Yuan Yuan Tan and David Karapetyan as the leads, Sofiane Sylve as Myrtha, and Ruben Martin Cintas as Hilarion. Though I enjoyed the performance by the company as a whole, I did not find Yuan Yuan Tan's performance moving. I say this with some regret, because I think she a uniquely gifted and beautiful dancer/actress. However, for me, there was no characterization (or projection) in the first act to make Giselle a real person, and the second act lacked the power of Giselle's deep, unconditional love and forgiveness that sustains and then redeems Albrecht. She certainly danced the second solo in the first act's Tomasson pas de deux with stunning musicality and beauty, but the heart of Giselle did not make it to the stage. I found myself watching Shannon Rugani as Bathilde (excellent characterization) instead of watching Giselle, because I could see what Bathilde was thinking, which made her interesting. Albrecht, David Karapetyan, danced superbly, as always, and was fully there for his Giselle. It is always an occasion to see Sofiane Sylve on stage, she danced brilliantly and with depth. I have to mention three of the dancers in the first act pas de cinq who were a delight for their dancing and stage presence: Esteban Hernandez, Mingxuan Wang, and Norika Matsuyama. Ms. Matsuyama was a revelation - she danced beyond technique with a plush grace.

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Though I enjoyed the performance by the company as a whole, I did not find Yuan Yuan Tan's performance moving.

Thanks for the write-up, Josette - I was wondering about the Tan/Karapetyan performance. I've heard more than once that Tan struggles with the Giselle role (and I think she has mentioned it herself). It's just not a character that she can easily relate to. Which brings up a point: I don't think Feijoo and Sylve have bothered to do the role in a long while (tell me if I'm wrong). So she probably could drop out of it if she really felt it wasn't working (especially with Chung now dancing the role too), but I suppose Tan doesn't give up easily. ;)

I agree that Shannon Rugani is looking very good right now.

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