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ABT 2017 Giselle


mussel

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Interesting to hear about Boylston's injury. I enjoyed her very much in the first act. Found her light, airy, lovely style just right for Giselle and she managed to keep her arms & upper body pretty much in check.She did some blazingly fast chaine turns, her hops on pointe were well done (though she looked down, rather than at Albrecht most of the time) and as Nana said, her acting was very naturalistic. Paris was replaced by Brandt in the PPD, she and Gorak turned in a wonderful performance. The 2nd act started well with a monumental Myrtha from Veronika Part. She really owns this role at ABT. Wonderful as Abrera was the other night even she can't come close to Parts ccombination of commanding authority with just a twinge of regret in her opening variation. The way she uses her back and arms is phenomenal. Katherine Williams and Zhong-Jing Fang were her lieutenants and they were gorgeous - the best pair I've seen so far.

 

Boylston came out well in her 2nd act entrance however, as the act went on I just wasn't engaged with her performance. I didn't notice any technical deficiencies, I just felt that she was not truly dancing in the romantic style most of the time (there were a few instances of those wild arms, jumps were too emphatic) and I wasn't pulled into the drama, which is really, really rare.

 

Now that I know she was injured, that may provide an explanation. Perhaps she was more focused on getting through the performance than anything else. I hope she recovers quickly.

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Well if that was dancing with an injury I can't wait to see what Boylston's full throttle Giselle looks like.  Although I was never really moved by the performance, it was extremely strong with regard to her technique.

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I am also surprised to learn Boylston was injured. There was just one place where her technique seemed surprisingly low-energy, a rapid series of jetes on the diagonal to exit, when she seemed to barely leave the ground. I actually wondered if Whiteside had been injured near the end; the usual acting to show exhaustion seemed too real and he seemed to writhe a little more than usual on the floor. Her technique overall was quite spectacular -- fast, high, controlled. Whiteside was a gallant, excellent partner throughout, although I'm not usually a fan of his.

 

A few minor details others haven't mentioned:

brises vs. entrechats: I much prefer the brises. Albrecht is travelling on the diagonal, clearly under Myrtha's spell, moving toward her. The entrechats just don't make sense to me dramatically, as he comes out center stage facing the audience, while Myrtha almost disappears from sight at the side of the stage. Simkin's brises were fast, but I can't shake the memory of Baryshnikov, in his 1977 performance with Makarova on Live from Lincoln Center (later released on tape). Baryshnikov started from the farthest back corner and covered the stage. Simkin started well onto the stage and didn't cover nearly as much ground in the same musical space - good, but not great. Hallberg and Whiteside both did the jumping-jack-like entrechats, impressive, but dramatically out of place.

 

overhead lifts in the lilies pas de deux: Lane-Simkin and Boylston-Whiteside did the horizontal "table-top" version twice, which is so impressive. Lane-Simkin wobbled a little side-to-side on both, but I was glad to see them try. Boylston-Whiteside seemed to have the tiniest wobble at the beginning of the first, but looked great after that. Murphy-Hallberg did a lift with her in a vertical position, one leg pulled up. I assume that's a lot simpler and it's certainly less awe-inspiring, but in looking at a lot of other famous pairings, it's actually fairly common, even among the greats.

 

Giselle's return to the grave: I like the way she leans back and seems to disappear into her grave in a reclining position, a chilling reminder that she is returning to eternity in that grave. But a small detail, visible from several places in the theater, mars that, namely, Hilarion's red shirt as he catches her, presumably intended to be out-of-sight. That made for an unintended plot complication, that HiIlarion is the one helping her rest in peace at the very end. Is there no one in dark clothing who could catch her and not be identifiable?

 

Although all three performances were superb, I must single out Simkin's Albrecht. His spectacular technique was used well, with jumps and turns that were higher, faster, more breathtaking than usual in that choreography. His attention to dramatic nuance and detail was impressive. His partnering seemed much improved. Of the three Albrecht's I've seen this season, he's actually the one I would most like to see again.

 

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To clarify on my comment on Boylston's jump, I meant the jump in her solo (two feet jumps with bending back), and I felt like her jump was not light and somewhat heavy. But her injury explains a lot. Hope she's getting better soon, and wanna see her giselle once again with her full capacity!  

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16 minutes ago, California said:

Giselle's return to the grave: I like the way she leans back and seems to disappear into her grave in a reclining position, a chilling reminder that she is returning to eternity in that grave. But a small detail, visible from several places in the theater, mars that, namely, Hilarion's red shirt as he catches her, presumably intended to be out-of-sight. That made for an unintended plot complication, that HiIlarion is the one helping her rest in peace at the very end. Is there no one in dark clothing who could catch her and not be identifiable?

 

I love this part as well and you reminded me of a similar detail that I noticed during Lane's matinee. I didn't notice Hilarion's red shirt (probably because I was sitting somewhat on the side) but I did see both of Halstein's hands reach up to catch her as she leaned backwards. It was still beautifully done, but it almost made me laugh at the sight of two hands reaching up out of the grave. I thought there must a way to do it where one doesn't notice that. 

 

I hope Boylston recovers quickly. It seems she's rarely injured. Her next performance isn't for 2 weeks so hopefully she'll be fine by then.

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40 minutes ago, nana said:

. . . I meant the jump in her solo (two feet jumps with bending back), and I felt like her jump was not light and somewhat heavy. 

I think you might mean the pas de poisson (step of the fish) -- that thing looks so clumsy and strained by almost everybody, it must be extraordinarily difficult.

 

Boylston and Lane both looked great in the "floating" steps with lifts from the partners so they seem to be just skimming the floor. When you see how poorly those can be done, you appreciate the good ones all the more.

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Thanks, California. Yes, I meant that! It must be very difficult to be seen non-laborious. Other than pas de poisson, I didn't have much complaint about Boylston's technique. I rather thought that her arabesque line is prettier than I expected. 

 

I didn't know how hard the "floating" steps are. I go to Abrera's tonight, so I can appreciate it again!

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Oh no! I was so looking forward to seeing Murphy tonight. But, at the same time I'm thrilled I get to see Shevchenko again. I feel so bad for Murphy. I hope she recovers quickly so the rest of the season goes as planned for her.

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3 minutes ago, nalgille said:

And Sarah is dancing again Wednesday night with Herman-she is replacing Maria!

 

OMG! I'm sorry about Maria, but good for Lane! Boy, the replacements and injuries (assuming Maria is also injured) are piling up early.

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My what a turn of events.  So happy for Sarah.  Kochetkova  had a lot of problems at Don Q during week one, so I'm not surprised to hear that she is withdrawing from Giselle. 

 

Not to wish anything bad on Kochetkova, but it's time to start praying for a Sarah Lane debut in Swan Lake in June.

 

Best wishes to Murphy for a speedy recovery.

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Kochetkova, normally very active on Instagram, hasn't said anything yet. She has two Corsaires next week, as does Murphy. The ABT schedule is up-to-date on all these changes. (And the new site looks great!)

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To KarenAG: the house manager will honor past dated tickets if you can get to the theater.  If you held on to your ticket and explain the transportation problem last Saturday afternoon, the house manager should seat you tomorrow night.  There is availability throughout the house.  The problem is getting there!

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Oh, how I wish I could be there for Lane's second Giselle but unfortunately I'm heading out on business tomorrow. Guess I'll just be happy that I saw the first one and keep my fingers crossed for a Swan Lake debut later in the season!

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Oh my, so many withdrawals. This can't be good.

Hopefully Murphy is just resting her hip for Corsaire and Swan Lake (she's been a rock forever, but given the technical demand of those roles she might not be performing them for much longer). Having said that, I know she probably really wanted to share the stage with Gomes and Abrera for his 20th anniversary celebration, so it makes me sad that she won't be performing tonight.

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2 hours ago, abatt said:

My what a turn of events.  So happy for Sarah.  Kochetkova  had a lot of problems at Don Q during week one, so I'm not surprised to hear that she is withdrawing from Giselle. 

 

Not to wish anything bad on Kochetkova, but it's time to start praying for a Sarah Lane debut in Swan Lake in June.

 

Best wishes to Murphy for a speedy recovery.

 

  Didn't she danced Swan Lake before with A. Corella'a Barcelona Ballet? 

 

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Just now, bingham said:

 

  Didn't she danced Swan Lake before with A. Corella'a Barcelona Ballet? 

 

 

My goodness, you're right! I even remember seeing a brief clip of her performance (or maybe a dress rehearsal) online somewhere. Corella was her Siegfried.

 

But, this would be her ABT debut, if and when she's cast.

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Ahead of Gomes' 20th anniversary performance tonight as Albrecht, some dancers are posting tributes to him on their Instagrams.

 

Here's two of my favorites.

 

First one is of an itty bitty Skylar Brandt with Sascha Radetsky and Gomes (no idea who the little boy is). The second one is, of course, with Stella.

 

 

 

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