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various giselles


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i saw: jamie tapper, mara galeazzi and laura morea, Justin meisssner, martin harvey and ricardo cevera.

i thought all of the girls danced very well. In particular laura morera offered a very sweet and musical performance.

I felt the men were not as strong. Although their performences were good and they partnered well, in their solo variations they did not seem very secure and seemed to be 'heaving' slightly when they jumped.

they did all seem to have a lot of potential and martin harvey had a lot of stage prescence.

overall they all danced well though and it was a charming pas de six. It cant have helped that Alinas feather light dancing managed to quite unreasonably make everyone else on stage resmble oxen!!

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yes he was musical just looked v nervous. i can see them all becoming really great dancers if they continue to develop through opportunities like this

anyway let me know waht u think

maybe it waws just 2st night jitters!!


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I caught Yoshida and Putrov in Giselle on Wednesday night. Yoshida was really exquisite, so light and lovely on her feet throughout Act I and her smile lit up the back of the amphitheatre. Putrov failed to come across so well. I was with a lot of first-time ballet goers and during the interval, while the general consensus was that Yoshida was fantastic and very musical we felt that Putrov was too introverted, not nearly as expressive. One friend commented that she couldn't really see why Giselle would fall for his Albrecht.

Act II was as always superb. I can't say enough how good I think the corps are and how different they seem from the Shades of Bayadere. Yoshida was fantastic, so much restrained passion I thought. Putrov I think plays the sombre despairing prince much better than the joyful happy in love one (or the conniving cad, however you prefer to look at it). I would have thought he'd make a good Siegfried but I have some doubts about his partnering which was a tiny bit shaky at the start and the lifts weren't as smooth and weightless as...well Kobborg's but it's really unfair to compare the two so I'll stop right here. I read on another thread an opinion that he should be made a principal because of all the principal roles he's doing. Technically he's brilliant. His dancing towards the end of the ballet was amazing to watch. But I don't think he's ready to be a principal and think he has a long way to go in terms of expressing himself. He seems to hold something back when he dances. I don't see his personality, nor do I see the character of Albrecht. I think it's quite interesting that both Dowell and Stretton have cast him in Month in the Country and Stretton used him as an understudy in Margeurite & Armand. And it's good that he's been given so many principal role opportunities because I hope they push him to bring a little emotion into him.

Galeazzi was a little shaky at the start I thought but was wonderful as her solos progressed. I really enjoy her in this role.

The pas de six were not so good - Morera, Meissner, Davies, Raine, Cervera and Howells. Their unison was really off, their arms looked tense and they didn't look comfortable throughout.

The orchestra was pretty bad. There was a duff note right from the start that nobody missed and provoked much mirth where I was sitting. Those first-time ballet goers were mostly musicians and were stunned at the difference to the way the orchestra had played from the opera the night before. Still, they adored Act II and continued to rave about it in the days after. Nice how many complete converts Giselle is churning out. I don't think the amphitheatre is ideal for Giselle. Act II looked fantastic but I was longing to see Yoshida's face in Act I. Her mad scene was very effective though I thought.

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On Saturday I had a chance to see Tamara Rojo and Angel Corella in Giselle and I have to say I absolutely loved it. Tamara is so very different to Alina. She doesn't have that fragile, "not-of-this-earth" breath-taking quality that Alina has. She seems much more earthy, displaying more personality. Initially in her dancing with Albrecht she had this wonderful balance of shyness and flirtation and she was so charming to watch. I'm flummoxed by some of the reviews that have said she doesn't even try to act because clearly she does and the critics positively gushed over her in last year's Giselle.

Her partnership with Angel was better than I expected. Before the run started I thought this pairing was the most fascinating of the five or six because I've only ever seen Angel in flamboyant roles and Tamara in very dramatic ones. Plus they'd both been schooled by Victor Ullate and I didn't ever think I'd see them dance together. I was wondering how well they'd match up. Well, they both projected youth, an instant warmth and joyfulness that I loved. They were very much in tune with each other and I felt like there was an instant connection between Giselle and Albrecht, assisted by their physically similarity with their dark eyes and dark hair. I thought they had much more in the way of instant chemistry and sparks than Cojocaru and Kobborg had.

The pas de six was again disappointing. Little unison and Edward Watson was so off I thought he must be injured until I saw him dance (much better) in the evening performance. I've heard some complaints about the lack of rehearsal time.

In Act II Tamara succeeded in that look of other-worldliness, was ghostly and dreamy in her beauty. Technically the two were just awesome, both in their solos and their pas-de-deux. It wasn't quite as effortless as that of Cojocaru and Kobborg but it was very very close and not something I would have even noticed if I hadn't seen the latter last week. I'm really happy that their partnership has worked out and given the unreliable fitness of our male principals I hope we see lots more of Angel. He's said he's in discussion to guest next season (maybe Swan Lake, Manon!) so crossed fingers.

Gillian Revie stepped in for Zenaida Yanowsky (hope she's not injured) as Myrtha and was very admirable though not as crisp. Bennet Gartside danced Hilarion - again! Poor guy, does he have to die night after night after night? And again the corps were superb in both acts. Not a compliment I have the opportunity to use often with regards to the RB so I'm going to say it as much as possible while I can! :D

That was the matinee. I also saw Act I of Leanne Benjamin and Ethan Stiefel's Giselle before I had to run to catch a flight. Again, physically Leanne and Ethan look very suited to one another but there wasn't any connection or real chemistry in my eyes. I didn't find Leanne very moving but I have to admit she isn't a favourite of mine. Ethan on the other hand is. I was really looking forward to his Albrecht especially since he's said it's his favourite role but I was very let down. His miming, which was so beautiful and expressive in Bayadere last month looked hammy and over the top here. What works for one ballet doesn't work for another I guess. The start of their first pas de deux, where they both do those series of jetés with Albrecht trying to catch Giselle looked kind of wrong. What I adored about Cojocaru and Kobborg were how in sync they seemed to be with each other. Like with the jetés even when they were dancing apart, they seemed to be dancing together. Likewise, though to a slightly lesser extent, with Rojo and Corella. There wasn't any effort made to be in unison for Ethan and Leanne. Another point I noticed is when Albrecht does his solo - Corella I think kept his focus on Giselle, like he was dancing for her, showing off to her, demonstrating his love, while Ethan had his focus on the audience. I have no idea how important this is supposed to be. Maybe this is saying something about Giselle and Albrecht in itself. Maybe I'm reading way too much into it all. But there were so many moments throughout when I couldn't help grimacing or thinking 'yuk'. I've definitely been spoiled by Cojocaru, Kobborg, Rojo and Corella. And Miyako Yoshida too. (If she's driven out of the RB from lack of roles the way Sarah Wildor was I will NOT be happy.)

I'm rather sorry I missed Act II because it usually surpasses Act I. And even if the acting is lousy great dancing can save it as I saw with Ivan Putrov and I'd expect from Ethan and Leanne. I know I'm being really unfair in reviewing just half the ballet so I'd love to hear from anyone else. I'm very curious to hear how Jamie Tapper did as the Queen.

Oh well, that's all for now. Goodbye Ethan and Angel and come back soon! Can't wait to see Darcey and Jonathan have a go, and Jamie Tapper especially with Putrov in a couple weeks.

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I saw Miyako Yoshida and Ivan Putrov last night. Ross Stretton came onstage and asked that we stand for a minute's silence before the performance.

Miyako was lovely, she is so perfect, her smile is beautiful and she looked so delightful and girlish. Her mad scene was very reproachful towards Albrecht, as if she was saying "How could you do this to me?". I think she had died of a broken heart well before she stabbed herself. However, I couldn't disagree more with Sylvia about Ivan - I think he is just amazing. He is very romantic and so gentle - maybe he played Albrecht more as being idealistic and completely in love with the thought of being in love, rather than any hot fiery passions - which would surely look out of place in this ballet? (I had the thought that because he is so technically dazzling, maybe that is why some don't find him a convincing actor - you can't suspend your disbelief that he isn't "just" a dancer, as his dancing is so incredible.) He partners very carefully too - I wouldn't worry about being dropped if I had been Miyako! It all seems so easy for him, he doesn't seem to make any effort in his jumps, yet he gets so much height and clarity into them. His entrechats were so light and fast, I turned to my friend and mouthed "WOW!!" - his beats are so fluttering it looks as if he does hundreds. His sissones just paused in the air for a while in the soubresaut before separating his legs, you could actually see this happen where he stayed in the air for a few moments like an illusion or something, I was astonished. Didn't Nureyev say something about how it was easy to do that, you just go up, wait a bit and then come down? Ivan certainly has that incredible gift. In his grand jetes chasing Giselle in Act I, you could see him trying to hold himself back as he was catching up with her too much - he covers so much ground. I didn't feel any kind of resentment towards his Albrecht for deluding Giselle, I felt very sorry for him, the look on his face when he was almost dying... and in the final moments of the ballet when he walks slowly downstage as the curtain falls, well, I could have wept.

I think it was probably me who Sylvia quoted as saying Ivan should be promoted, I truly believe that he should be. You have to remember until the end of last season he was only Corps and was doing big roles back then! He's a Soloist - not even First Soloist... surely he deserves promotion? Also, he wasn't even cast for Albrecht at the start- he is covering Johan Persson's two shows with Miyako, and Nathan Coppen's two with Jaimie Tapper! With four performances, he gets more shows than any of the other dancers. The management seem to be quietly confident in him.

The Pas de six was okay. Ricardo Cervera seems to hear the music differently to the others, he is a beautiful dancer but with the others something just wasn't quite right (Maybe if I was more musical myself I could put my finger on it.) Jaimie Tapper was lively and engaging but had noticeably turned in glissades!

Gillian Revie was Myrtha, she was quite good. I didn't think she was threatening enough towards Hilarion and Albrecht though, I think they could have got past her if they had tried! She's very pretty though and I hope she is given interesting things more. (She's the kind of dancer who I wouldn't book to see, but I'd be pleased to see her name on the cast sheet when I get there.) Laura Morera and Mara Galeazzi were her attendants, they looked very similar (on stage, not in real life!) so they gave a good unity to the Wilis. The Wilis were amazing, they are what I remember from seeing Giselle this time last year - I walked away that time with complete satisfaction our company as a whole really is wonderful, because we had such a fantastic Corps. (I barely remembered I had seen Tamara Rojo and Johan Kobborg!!) They are still great, but I didn't get the same first time thrill from seeing them.

I'm starting to worry I'm seeing too much ballet now, I find it hard knowing everyone's name but still being absorbed into the story ballets - it's hard not to think "Oh, look, there's so-and-so being a peasant!":)

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Hi Lolly, been waiting to hear what your thoughts on Giselle since I saw your post on the other thread! I guess I'm not surprised that our opinions differ so much. Maybe he had First Night nerves, not enough rehearsal time so when I saw him last week it wasn't so polished. I admit that a) I was sitting in half-way up the amphitheatre so I couldn't see his face all that clearly. (Though usually the best dance-actors are able to express themselves up to the nose-bleed seats.) And B) I'd seen Alina and Johan the week before in the most amazing, breath-taking perfect performance of my life so anyone after that was bound to be a disappointment. Johan's were filled with tiny unforgettable little moments, little personal details that made his Albrecht so much more tragic, more sorrowful, more passionate. Like after he's seen Giselle for the first time in Act II and he's kneeling before her at her grave and she's dropping flowers over him, he'd pick them one by one, looking up at her in confusion, and then he closed his eyes and let the flowers tumble over him and it felt like he was surrendering himself to her completely. It was so in tune with the music and it was just one little moment that gave me chills. The other Albrechts just picked up the flowers. I thought Ivan's Albrecht was too straightforward. There was nothing that made his Albrecht special or stand out. His partnering with Miyako wasn't as smooth and floaty - in the first lift he looked like he was struggling a tiny bit and he bumped her against him on the way down but again it was probably down to inexperience and lack of rehearsal time. It was competent and technically yes he is 100% dazzling. I don't find it hard to reconcile this with a great Albrecht because Johan and Angel were dazzling too. But I should wait and be more fair. I'm going to see him with Jamie in a couple weeks so I may change my mind. :) 4 performances is a lot os I'm sure I'll be surprised. I definitely think he should be made a first soloist. He was so effortless and head and shoulders above the other in the pas de six it was almost embarassing.

Oh well, enough from me. I'd love to read more opinions, don't mind if they're not the same as mine! :)

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When Miyako and Ivan took their first bow, Miyako looked gracious and lovely, Ivan looked a bit stunned, as if he was thinking, "I've danced... and they loved it! They are applauding us!" When he took his curtain on his own he just enjoyed the applause, it was very loud indeed!

I might try and get a slips ticket or something to see it again, it seems like there are a few still available as the upper slips weren't packed last night (nor some of the boxes).

I think Ivan should be made Principal, but I'll compromise on First Soloist with you! (For now!!);)

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Finally got round to Jamie Tapper's Giselle on 20/4, and she was really special. Tapper looked so young and fresh and she has such lovely port-de-bras. Ivan I thought was much improved. Funnily enough he looked older, more confident from the stalls than he did from the amphi. Technically he is really awesome - among other things he has the biggest jetes I've seen in a while. It's the first time I've heard the audience cheer as loudly for Albrecht as they did for Giselle, they loved him that much. His partnering still isn't super-smooth but still very acceptable. So I'll back down and say he was a pretty great Albrecht. They were both so moving and I think the general consensus was that this was a really special performance. And Mara Galeazzi was her wonderful self as Myrtha.

The evening and last night went to Darcey Bussell and Jonathan Cope - a first time for me. Gosh they make such a beautiful pair, with Darcey's youthful prettiness and Jonathan's more exotic looks. She danced with so much joy in Act I and is so well matched with Jonathan. I quite enjoyed this one though I didn't find it the most convincing of all the performances I've seen. Still their experience and confidence in themselves and each other are really evident from the start. And they both put such an individual stamp on Giselle and Albrecht. Darcey's Giselle seems so much stronger than the others I've seen, and this isn't just because she's so much taller. Her gestures, her responses to Albrecht were much more forward, not so docile. I didn't think she seemed so fragile that she could lose her mind but still, really interesting, really different. As for Albrecht, while all the other dancers I've seen sort of seem to follow a basic formula which they add to, Jonathan I think danced Albrecht his own way.

Act II - Zenaida Yanowsky as Myrtha. WOW! For me she stole the show, so menacing she was. Then Darcey's first solo. Wow again! She was so powerful I thought her Giselle could have given Myrtha a good fight! Jonathan's first lifts were pretty wobbly, but those ones in a long arc that make Giselle look like she's floating across the stage were so beautiful and completely effortless.

Another great performance and I feel very lucky to have seen them. The corps were just wonderful. No Giselle next year so I hope it isn't the last we see of Bussell and Cope in these roles. Nice to see Jane Burn back (as Moyna I think) as well.

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I wonder if Cervera is any kin of the old Spanish naval family? One of them, an admiral, lost a battle and his fleet and was taken prisoner-of-war, but was so charming, that his captors about fell in love with him, and gave him a parade on his arrival at port. Instead of putting him in jail, they put him up in a nice hotel, and gave him two guards, one of whom acted more like his butler, and the other, more like his valet than guards.

Charm can go a long way!;)

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Sylvia, I'm glad to hear that Jane Burn is back [for non-RB watchers, she's a senior soloist who's been off injured for the whole of this season] - I wonder how Ross Stretton would have cast her if she'd been available earlier?

I have to say that when I think of Jonathan Cope's Albrecht I still see him at his RBS graduation performance, 20 years ago this summer!

Mel, Cervera certainly has the charm! He's talking to the Ballet Association in London tonight, I believe - maybe someone would like to ask him about his ancestry?

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