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ABT 2017 Giselle


mussel

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I'll be there tomorrow night for GISELLE w/ Sarah/Herman/Christine. Even splurging on a hotel, rather than taking late-late bus! I have the most patient & understanding employer in the planet, LOL. And I'll be back on another bus for SAB Workshop on the weekend. I think I'm addicted to ballet.

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1 hour ago, sandik said:

 

I think several of us on this website could say the same of ourselves!

 

Ya think so, Captain Obvious? :lol:

 

KarenAG, I hope that you make it this time. Who would have thought that a 2nd chance would come this quickly? Yay!

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It was such a night. Gomes is certainly the best and I got teary after the 2nd act. It was my first time seeing Abrera's giselle and I had high expectations but I couldn't connect with her during the 1st act. First part (joyful lady) was fine (although she had a mis-step during hop on pointe), but I just didn't feel much during the mad scene. 2nd act was much more engaging and beautiful - and i've never felt so sad because of Albrecht but today i felt very sad. Also it was special to see Gomes' 20th anniversary. Hope he can dance at least 10 more years! (I wish I could see Vishneva/Gomes Giselle again sometime, but that might be just a dream). Anyways, bravo, Gomes!   

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How I have missed Marcelo Gomes so far this season!!  :wub:

 

He may not do the most turns, or have the highest jumps, or the longest lines, but all his dancing looks effortless and polished and fills every beat of the music!  He makes even the most strenuous lifts (like those dead lifts in Act II) look easy, and his dramatic prowess is simply unparalleled.

 

I so enjoyed seeing him dance tonight.  Like you, nana, I hope he can dance for many more years!!  (And I would love to see another Vishneva/Gomes "Giselle" sometime, but at least I can be happy that I had the privilege of seeing many of their incandescent performances!!)

 

Marvelous Marcelo, bravo!!! :clapping:

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Batsuchan, I agree completely. Gomes' theatricality, musicality, and partnering skills are unparalleled. I don't think I've ever giggled during the "he loves me, he loves me not" scene, but Gomes has a way of finding nuance and humor where others don't. The horizontal lifts in Act II were to die for (never a smitch of shakiness with him). I was certain he would do the brisses, but he went for the entrechat six, and though I didn't count them they were very high and tight. His grief at the end was overwhelming and authentic but not melodramatic and he made me tear up. Outstanding!

 

He and Abrera were an older couple than Lane/Simkin with a more mature love. This was the first Giselle of hers I've seen and I thought she was better in the second act. Some of her steps were too quick and not luxurious enough. I agree with nana, as much as I adore Abrera her mad scene didn't do much for me. She came across more ditsy than crazed and grief-stricken. But, parts of her Act II were simply gorgeous: her arms and upper back, wow!

 

Shevchenko gave another stellar performance of Myrta.

 

Thomas Forster as Hilarion was disappointing. Whereas Salstein on Saturday was believable as a guy who works for the court, who passionately loves Giselle, and who becomes consumed by jealousy, Forster was an "everyman" and a bit of a doofus who didn't show Giselle how much he loved her nor his disgust with Albrecht. I imagine he wooed Giselle by saying "hey, why don't you come over to my shack and we can drink Cokes and watch Netflix, and you bring the Cokes". No wonder she wasn't interested! His dancing also didn't have the crispness and immediacy that Salstein had in spades.

 

Hoven and Trenary did the pas again, and Hoven was much improved from Saturday. Trenary is simply lovely. There's a future Giselle.

 

Bravo Gomes!!

 

And, it was great to meet a fellow Ballet Alerter seated next to me!

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11 hours ago, ABT Fan said:

Hoven and Trenary did the pas again, and Hoven was much improved from Saturday. Trenary is simply lovely. There's a future Giselle.

 

 

Just as a note, I'd say Hoven must have just had an off afternoon on Saturday because I saw him do this at the rehearsal on Thursday and he was excellent then. As was Trenary--My thoughts on her were the same as yours. I definitely hope she gets Giselle soon.

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A few thoughts on last night, mostly on Stella’s performance.
 
I love Stella’s Giselle, and the message of love and redemption she conveys on the stage.  It’s so pure and beautiful.  I do, however, agree that her mad scene can read a bit kooky/ mad as opposed to the sense of heartbreak and pain Lane conveyed.  Technically Act I was fairly secure.  There was a small bobble at the beginning of the hop sequence: she stayed on pointe but went on to her right pointe for a moment near the beginning to regain her balance.  I think that Stella may have had a little more spontaneity and romance with Shklyarov in the first act, but Marcelo’s partnering in the second act enabled her to reach a higher level of performance and illusion.  Along those lines, Stella's second act is just the best right now, comparable with Vishneva's who I also loved.  I admire the lightness she achieves in both her own jumps and the supported lifts.  Her jumps from fifth (entrechat quatre and changement in coupe) are soaring and effortless.  Her grand jetes cover space wonderfully, gliding across the floor.  Those strange jumps discussed above with the arched back and legs crossed behind appeared graceful, not awkward.  I think she achieves the romantic lines beautiful.  I also found the struggle between her and Myrta a little clearer and more powerful than on Saturday afternoon.  (Shevchenko was even better than on Saturday, but I couldn't help but wish that Part replaced Murphy instead.  I do like a taller Myrta, particularly when Giselle is tall.)  My only real critique of Stella's 2nd act is that she didn't achieve much speed in those initial weird spins in attitude plie, but this is probably also due to having seen Lane just a few days ago (she spun so rapidly so truly looked possessed).  Marcelo was the ideal partner.  Those overhead lifts!  How he let her down so gradually and gently.  I can still picture it.  
 
Stella also wins my prize (along with ZJ Fang) for quiet pointes.  They were almost soundless in Act I and although I think she may have worn different (harder) shoes in Act II, she was still much softer than Lane, despite jumping higher and likely weighing more.  (I believe someone commented in a previous post that ABT should buy quieter shoes for their dancers.  This is not possible, as dancers have preferred brands [and preferred makers within those brands] depending greatly on their feet or even the ballet they are dancing.)  
 
Overall it was a great night at the ballet.  I went with my colleague who had interviewed Stella for CUNY's Asian American Life last year, and it was her first time seeing both Stella and Marcelo.  She enjoyed it immensely.  The only unfortunate event was a woman in the front row of the Grand Tier, sitting directly in front of me, who not only who sat at the front of her seat at times forcing me to peek around her to see the front of the stage and must have taken her camera out during the very end of the second act, prompting the usher to shine a flashlight down the row, disturbing that powerful moment for many of us.  I almost wonder if the video above was taken by her.  I know I'm preaching to the choir here, but please have some manners people.  Your need to capture a curtain call for YouTube should not be a reason to disrupt the theatrical experience for the rest of us.  So rude.
 
Nice to read all of the reviews this season.  Thanks everyone.
 

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I have to admit that although I'm a fan of Abrera, her performance of Giselle last night was not on par with her performance of the role two years ago in her NYC debut.  Act II was definitely much better than Act I last night.  Apart from the problem w. the hops on pointe in Act I, there were other issues.  In particular, when she has to stay on pointe unsupported, she cannot hold the position for any length of time.  As a result, the many instances where she needs to role down off pointe while raising the other leg look a little off.  However, she is still a very lyrical and nicely buoyant dancer.  I was very pleased with her Act II overall.

 

Gomes is ABT's most warm and genuine dancer.  His charisma brims in everything he does, and it makes all of his performances special.  He is not a technical wonder like Simkin, but his characterization more than makes up for any limitations in his technique due to age.  The 23  entrechat jumps he did were thrilling because they were higher and higher as he continued. The enormous leap he took in Myrta's direction was also totally winning and unexpected.  He literally pleaded at her feet.  Most Albrecht's look mechanical here.  Gomes, however, knew how to make it look believable instead of phony.   Also his partnering was peerless.

 

It was a very special performance.  To my surprise, it was not  even close to a sell out.  

 

 

 

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I traveled a long way to see the Lane/Simkin matinee and it was worth every penny and minute. It was stunning. I have never been so swept away by Giselle in my life and I've seen quite a few productions by various companies and dancers. It was haunting. Sarah Lane was everything that Giselle should be and more. The show was a remarkable achievement for both. What else can be said of Simkin? To me, he's the Baryshnikov of this generation. They had the perfect chemistry, passionate but doomed love. I know the audience was in agreement with me because the noise at final bows was deafening and people were wiping away tears. Too bad, this won't be noted by major critics. Hopefully, the grassroots campaign for Sarah will be heard by management. This is the kind of dancing we should be seeing every single night from ABT. It was world class.

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I have to admit even stronger that I do not agree with the negative review of Stella.  Her performance in Giselle is genuine and heartfelt.  Out of all the principal dancers in this role at ABT, she has the best qualities to portray Giselle.  Felicia.  Her beautiful long lines, neck and limbs really brought Giselle to life.  Her movement has quality of softness that no other dancer has currently in the roster.  She embodied the character fully and conveyed the artistry of the dancing.  I find her acting to be immaculate.  Gurl…. srsly? Have you seen her as Lady Capulet… the best acting I have ever seen!!!  And it was no different last night at the end of Act I.

 

 

Marcy is ABT’s most warm and genuine dancer.  C’est une legende!  As he was trained at the Paris Opera Ballet, he is one dancer that would not sacrifice technique.  What other dancers do for crowd pleaser is called tricks.  Felicia.  Dance is an art form, not a sport.  Technicality does not equal to tricks.  In fact, Marcelo executed perfect technique with supreme acting.  During the entrechat jumps, I can feel the audience breathing a long with him, as if we were all fighting to stay alive.  I can feel every breath, movement and eye blink have true meaning, because they come from his center, his chi, his heart, his soul and it was all genuine. C'est un artiste avec un talent incroyable!

 

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1 hour ago, Fleurfairy said:

I What else can be said of Simkin? To me, he's the Baryshnikov of this generation.

I wouldn't go quite that far.  Simkin's level of technique in his solos is quite remarkable.  HOwever, his partnering, although much improved, still needs work.  Also, Simkin is only now starting to explore a higher level of artistry.  Up until this point, it was only about what tricks he could do. He is finally realizing that in order to be given the serious roles, he must also find a way to improve his characterization and nobility.   I'm glad that he now seems to be expanding on all facets of his dancing.  For me, Cornejo is a much more complete and involving artist than Simkin.  I was thrilled that Simkin had made such a fine breakthrough as Albrecht and I hope he continues the fine work.

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1 hour ago, hyacinthhippo said:

Out of all the principal dancers in this role at ABT, she has the best qualities to portray Giselle.

 

I totally agree, hyacinthhippo, although I will admit to having never seen Hee Seo's Giselle.  (I'd love to hear thoughts from others.)

 

What's exciting to me is that there are a few ABT dancers with the chance to grow and develop in the role.  Although Abrerra is ideal both physically and temperamentally, I think Lane and Boylston are fantastic and still have room to expand and deepen the role.

 

What bums me out is the corps.  Am I becoming super picky or does the corps look sloppy these days?  Are there perhaps more new dancers at the moment?

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18 minutes ago, DeCoster said:

What bums me out is the corps.  Am I becoming super picky or does the corps look sloppy these days?  Are there perhaps more new dancers at the moment?

 

I haven't noticed that. I actually thought they looked great last night in Act II.

 

But, you're right that there are several new dancers. I saw in the program for the Sat matinee that all of the female apprentices were dancing Wilis. I don't know about last night as I didn't go over the corps casting yet and I don't have the program in front of me. But, it's still ABT so there's no excuse for sloppiness.

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40 minutes ago, DeCoster said:

What bums me out is the corps.  Am I becoming super picky or does the corps look sloppy these days?  Are there perhaps more new dancers at the moment?

 

The Wilis' traveling arabesque hops weren't as tight as in previous seasons (at least at the Lane/Simkin matinee and last night's performance). Usually they are super impressive and rightfully earn their applause in that section. But in other sections of the ballet the corps looked fine to me. 

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3 hours ago, Fleurfairy said:

I traveled a long way to see the Lane/Simkin matinee and it was worth every penny and minute. It was stunning. I have never been so swept away by Giselle in my life and I've seen quite a few productions by various companies and dancers. It was haunting. Sarah Lane was everything that Giselle should be and more. The show was a remarkable achievement for both. What else can be said of Simkin? To me, he's the Baryshnikov of this generation. They had the perfect chemistry, passionate but doomed love. I know the audience was in agreement with me because the noise at final bows was deafening and people were wiping away tears. Too bad, this won't be noted by major critics. Hopefully, the grassroots campaign for Sarah will be heard by management. This is the kind of dancing we should be seeing every single night from ABT. It was world class.

 

I'm sure your long journey to see Lane/Simkin's Giselle was worth it.  Simkin reminds me of Baryshnikov as well.  I enjoy watching him so much that I rarely miss a performance when he’s in the lead. 

 

I’ve gone out of my way to follow him since he joined the company as a soloist.  I remember screaming my head off when I caught my first glimpse of him as a soloist during ABT’s Fall season at City Center in 2008.   I think it was Flames of Paris pdd.  He caused quite a commotion, and even at that time I heard people comparing his solos to Baryshnikov.   He has grown into a mature and fine actor, and his partnering skills have gotten progressively better and better over the years.   May Lane/Simkin have a long partnership!  Their chemistry is terrific.

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The Lane/Cornejo/Shevchenko GISELLE just ended but it will stay forever in my heart. An evening of inspired genius in the three leading roles plus a few surprises thrown in. It's late and this performance deserves my full review. For now, suffice to say that Sarah Lane essayed the Giselle of my dreams...the seemingly frail, pale angel with surprising strength. The closest that I had the privilege of seeing live many moons ago, in this mold: the divine Eva Evdokimova! Lane also recalls memories of angelic Alina Cojocaru. Eva, Alina and Sarah: the Giselles that have made me cry.  Nobody, besides Eva & Alina, compares (for me) with the marvel named Sarah Lane. She should be - is - a true Romantic ballerina. We should see her in other Romantic works someday...Sylphide, Fille du Danube, the Pugni Ondine, L'Ombre (the lovely Lacotte reconstructions). Esmeralda should enter the ABT rep for Sarah; imagine her in the Pas de Six solo at Phoebe's wedding, with the endless bourrees zig-zagging across the stage, limp port-de-bras expressing sadness. 

 

More anon, once I'm back in DC and gather my thoughts on all soloists tonight. Even Moyna and Zulma were special.

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What an amazing evening of brilliant dancing.  My deepest thanks to Sarah Lane, Herman Cornejo and Christine Shevchenko for giving me one of the most unforgettable ballet experiences of my life.  Sarah Lane's dancing becomes richer and more beautiful with each performance.  She and Cornejo are an ideal partnership, just as they were nine years ago, when I first saw them.  This evening was a dream come true for me.

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Just now, laurel said:

What an amazing evening of brilliant dancing.  My deepest thanks to Sarah Lane, Herman Cornejo and Christine Shevchenko for giving me one of the most unforgettable ballet experiences of my life.  Sarah Lane's dancing becomes richer and more beautiful with each performance.  She and Cornejo are an ideal partnership, just as they were nine years ago, when I first saw them.  This evening was a dream come true for me.

I don't have time to write detail nows but tonight's performance of Lane and Cornejo was amazing and unforgettable. I will write more later, as I'm sure others will. I don't know what the NYTimes critic will have to say but tonight's performance alone made Sarah Lane deserving of a promotion to principal dancer. 

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Another astonishing performance by Sarah Lane tonight.

 

Her mad scene was just as devastating as before, her port de bras alone can break my heart they're so beautiful. The hops on pointe in Act I were perfect. Luxurious developpes and incredible control rolling through her feet. Amazing speed and gorgeous jumps. She showed such love, joy and forgiveness and she never broke character. What an actress! But tonight there was one moment I wish I could have videotaped because it was off the charts: in Act II at the end of the main pas when Albrecht kneels and Giselle bourrees over to arabesque against his back, their synchrony was so on and then after the picture-perfect moment happened, Lane kept reaching her arm up and extending her arabesque to come out of it which most ballerinas don't do. Usually they just let the arabesque and arm go, but Lane kept the arc going which was breathtaking. THAT is something only a very special dancer does. 

 

Cornejo had some gorgeous moments and beautiful jumps (he did the brisses) but I sensed that he was holding back just a little. I wonder if he was concerned about his calf that he injured during DQ. There was one big partnering flub: in the first horizontal lift Lane was wobbling in the air and she had to bring her legs down to maintain balance but the rest of her body stayed in position so she was akwardly stuck for a second or two with her butt sticking out. But they recovered well and the second lift went well. Cornejo had a tough act to follow after Gomes last night, but at the very end when he walks away from Giselle's grave I could see tears in his eyes (I was in the 3rd row) and it was impossible not to be moved by his tenderness.

 

I think I like Lane more with Simkin in Giselle, but her partnership with Cornejo is a very close second. 

 

After I left the theater I saw Cassandra Trenary on the sidewalk with her husband, I think, and I had to stop to tell her how beautiful she was in the peasant pas again tonight. She was utterly charming and gracious.

 

Unlike others on this site I usually don't go to several performances of the same ballet; my wallet and schedule gets in the way. But how could I not go back tonight after Lane was scheduled to replace Maria? How could I not see a performance for all time, again? 

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