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Alexei Ratmansky's Giselle


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23 minutes ago, cubanmiamiboy said:

Who saw this today? So many wonderful details!  So many nuances! And the Fugue is back! And Bathilde in the final scene!♥️

I saw it too. I really loved this production and I was much more touched by the ending than by the more typical one. Agree about the details/nuances. It's not radically different from other productions I've seen, but somehow these subtle changes really enhanced the drama.

I did think Myrtha on the scooter looked a bit silly (and you could hear the wheels rolling).

 

Edited by FPF
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I feel as the others who have posted do. I thought this was fabulous. And with the all of the historical research that went into this production the whole thing had not a whiff of piety about it. (I like Ratmansky's Sleeping Beauty a lot--but it did have occasional whiffs of piety, at least at the performances I saw.) This Giselle felt like new. Every single moment seemed to have been given fresh attention -- every single moment made meaningful.

Was there anything I didn't like about it?...I did think for a brief moment that when Giselle learns the truth, Albrecht is so remorseful immediately and Bathilde so kind it takes some of the sting out of that moment (at least as the scene was played by Belyakov and company today) and I sort of like the "sting" -- but I can accept this as a different interpretation when the whole is so convincingly presented. (Including, in my ballet-going experience, a surprisingly brutal at times Hans -- ie Hilarion.)

Performance-wise, I thought Smirnova and Belyakov showed much more connection than they had in the broadcast of Raymonda (where Smirnova could not have looked less interested in him) and it was a balletic connection, their lines harmonized beautifully throughout which was especially  wonderful -- and dramatically moving -- in the second act. I can't say Smirnova is ever likely to be one of my all-time favorite Giselles, but I did feel Belyakov and she were going full-throttle. Huge cheers from me.

( @cubanmiamiboy -- I think I asked on another thread what you thought of the diagonal at the end of Giselle's Act I solo; I had not thought to see that at the Bolshoi.)

Anyway--I love this production.

 

Edited by Drew
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I saw this streamed live from the Bolshoi this afternoon.  Some corrections to the casting above:  the beloved Lyudmila Semenyaka performed the role of Berthe this afternoon and was very moving in the role.

I have to say that the added and corrected mime adds many layers to the dramatic structure of "Giselle", particularly in Act I.  There are several bits that frankly, now I cannot live without.  Even the Act I initial tableau has surprises.  We see aristocrats walking to the hunt on the upstage higher path while a moment later, peasants walk by in the opposite direction on stage level.  We see the class distinctions creating separate worlds that divide Giselle and Count Albrecht in the first few minutes.  Hans (Hilarion in most productions) comes onstage and starts to poke around Loys' hut stage right.  Albrecht/Loys and Wilfred enter and Hans hides behind a tree upstage and is a witness to their entire conversation.  He realizes from the first that Loys in an imposter and his actions are to protect Giselle, not just jealousy.  Stealing the sword is to obtain evidence proving his story.  Little bits of mime are restored that seem integral:  During Berthe's warning pantomime to Giselle about dancing herself to death and becoming a Wili, there is an admonishing finger gesture that is timed exactly to the chords in the orchestra.  Bathilde is a kind, modest noblewoman who is sympathetic to Giselle and bewildered, not angered by Albrecht's betrayal. 

The music is different and longer in some places and the dancing is majorly rearranged.  The little dance sequence early in Act I where Giselle and Albrecht dance with the village girls is mostly excised - they enter and dance but briefly.   All that dance material is pushed to the sequence late in the act where Giselle is crowned queen of the harvest festival.  That is redesigned by Ratmansky as a major "Harvest Festival Grand Pas" with the village girls Act I choreography moved there.  It starts with Giselle's diagonal "Spessivtzeva" solo, then comes the peasant pas de deux (traditional but with the steps refined and made more musical and surprising and gorgeously danced by Khokhlova and cutie Alexei Putintsev).  After that comes an expanded version of the solo that Albrecht dances earlier in the act in the standard Russian version.  This turns into an expanded pas de deux for Giselle and Albrecht.  Then we get the group corps dances from both the village girls from earlier in Act I and the harvest revelers combined for a big finish.  It is the Duke of Courland, not Bathilde who interrogates Albrecht as to why he is dressed as a peasant.A touching mad scene from Smirnova and curtain.

Giselle's actual choreography is completely identical to the standard Russian version - very little changes.  Her mime is similar but expanded with subtle and expressive dramatic details.  Albrecht's solo is expanded and slightly enlarged from the standard one usually performed earlier in the act.

Act II starts with some reveling country bumpkins who are drinking in the forest late at night to music either shortened or cut in the standard version.  The Pacific Northwest Ballet had a wise old man come on and tell the revelers to get home as it is Wili witching hour but oddly Ratmansky has Hans/Hilarion push them offstage.  He then ignores his own advice by praying over Giselle's grave.  This bit frankly can either be cut down or omitted as it is in the standard text. 

Ratmansky wanted to restore many magical theatrical trick effects to Act II that Perrot and Coralli wanted but were limited by 19th century stage machinery and technology.  So both Myrtha and Giselle entered from beneath the stage via a stage elevator through a trap door.  Myrtha seems to fly across the rear of the stage left to right via a kind of scooter.  Vlashinets is a really strong Myrtha with a huge jump and great control.  She seems to fly and float without technical assistance.  Giselle initially appears to Albrecht via an alcove covered with a scrim which is lit and she magically materializes by her grave.  Giselle (or a Giselle stand-in) later floats on wires above the stage and there is a high tree with a lever contraption for her to drop lilies on Albrecht during that initial encounter.  Those bench press lifts with Giselle horizontal have been changed to Albrecht lifting her from the waist overhead with Giselle remaining vertical - it actually looks more authentic and early 19th century that way.

The bit where the Wilis form a cross comes after Giselle's wild circle dance when she comes to life - they all circle around her and it ends with them forming a crucifix formation kneeling.  This does not make sense since the Wilis are later shown to be repelled by the cross on Giselle's grave - why would they form a cross?  The "Fugue des Wilis" comes during the Wilis capture of Albrecht (both that and the killing of Hans/Hilarion is totally restaged).  They form a circle around Albrecht and he and Giselle escape the circle and take refuge by the stone cross over her grave.  It is a brief but striking moment and Ratmansky's original choreography is imaginative and inventive.  Olga Smirnova is technically strong in Act II with excellent entrechats.  The pas de deux is mostly exactly the same but Albrecht's solo has a bit where he changes legs that exactly follows the musical structure that I now need to see performed in every production.  Smirnova got cheers for her solos, particularly her entrechats but the series en derriere didn't get off the ground very high to give that flying look.  The final coda with Albrecht doing a series of high entrechats or brisés has been changed to him dancing around the stage - I think the standard choreography gives one a stronger sense of being forced to dance oneself to death.   99% of Giselle's steps and staging are the same, Albrecht's choreography is majorly retooled.

The final scene has Giselle not returning to her own grave but to a bower stage right.  She gestures to Albrecht to remain faithful to Bathilde and then she sinks into some enveloping greenery and disappears into the ground.  I think she needs to return to her own grave at that point.  Evidently, Gauthier and Perrot wanted the covered with grass effect and delayed the premiere back in 1841 Paris.  At that point Bathilde enters and Wilfred is supporting Albrecht who reaches towards her in distress and she gazes to him with forgiveness.  The final bars of music was originally major key and triumphant rather than those sad sweet minor key phrases we hear in the standard version with Albrecht alone and stumbling around clutching the lilies.

Dramatically, this is a very effective version.  The choreographic changes will divide some people.  I mostly liked them and loved the added subtle details.  The Bolshoi performers were uniformly excellent.

There were minor technical problems with the transmission at Empire 25 Times Square.  Some regular audio dropouts in Act I, some pixelization in Act II and also red lights that randomly appeared that may have been on the Bolshoi technical crew's end.

Edited by FauxPas
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One detail that I don't remember seeing in other productions is that Albrecht brings red roses to Giselle's grave--usually he brings lilies, which Giselle either picks or tosses here.

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I saw it today and loved it. It's going to be difficult seeing the more stripped down version at ABT this spring at the Met, now that we know what's missing. I won't try to report on things others have noted, especially the excellent press reviews after the premiere. Just a few observations for now:

  • The scooter thing for Myrtha still makes noise, but visually it's stunning -- a flash of light across the back.
  • Giselle on a wire later high up in the back works.
  • I was struck by the very fast tempi in many places, such as peasant PdD.  Two superb dancers pulled it off and took bows before the curtain after Act I.
  • I can understand why people don't use the fugue music nowadays, as interesting as it is historically. Ratmansky in the taped interview said that Adam was especially proud of it, as fugues had never before been used in a ballet. Now we know why! It was like somebody accidentally changed the channel to another composer. I did like the choreography Ratmansky created for it. 
  • Lots of mime, especially in Act I, but it was understandable.
  • Excellent camera work. They have one high up that could look down on patterns like the Act II cross - much appreciated.

I really, really hope Bolshoi brings this to North America for the 2020-21 season. I'd like so much to see it a few more times and get a better feel for all the changes.

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(intermission on the West Coast)

Semenyaka for the win.

Peasant Pas was the BOMB, choreography and dancing. ❤️ ❤️ ❤️

Smirnova's eyes in the Mad Scene were divine.

Loved the loft in the beige peasant skirts, and many thanks to the cameraperson and director for giving us the overhead shot of the corps doing the crossing lines.

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Forgot to say above that Smirnova was one of the least consumptive Giselles I have ever seen and that I really liked too -- it was part of what made Smirnova's  performance seem as genuine and fresh as it did...

(I don't know how much leeway Ratmansky is giving his performers and how much is his direction but I assume, from what he said in the interview, he gives at least some leeway.)

Edited to add: And the backdrop for Act II! Especially the dark twisty tree branches along the top--but I think maybe every few minutes I will think of something else I "especially" loved about this production and performance...so I'll stop.

Edited by Drew
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Piling on to say how much I also loved the extra detail, pantomime and story. So much mime took a bit of getting used to at first, but the story development made the ballet so much richer and fit the musical narrative so well, I am now going to miss it when I see other Giselles. Ratmansky paid a lot of attention to having the storylines make more sense and having movement match the music beautifully. I liked story details like having Loys (Albrecht) run to safety behind the cross after dancing with wili Giselle, and then being discovered there and brought to Myrtha by wilis later; in some productions it seems he wandered off for a while for no reason while Hans (Hilarion) appears and is danced to death. I also liked all the added special effects - especially Giselle rising and disappearing into her grave on a little elevator. A few were a little hokey, such as Myrta rumbling past on her arabesque scooter, and the hinged tree branch for lily-dropping, but the effects seemed so in keeping with the flavor of the period that I enjoyed them.

I found the super speedy but very musical choreography for the peasant and village dances dazzling. The entire first act was engaging and full of one delight after another. I found myself feeling more sympathy for Hans/Albrecht in this version: his love was sincere and convinced me that he didn't want to be an aristocrat and marry Bathilde; it wasn't within his power to change his birth and he was trapped by fate into marrying a woman he didn't love. Hans/Hilarion was rough, even violent, persisted in pursuing Giselle even after she had told him she loved another man, and seemed motivated by spite to reveal the prince's identity. Usually he seems to have gotten an entirely raw deal but in this version I was little less upset with his death by wili.

The dancing was superlative in every role, with a special compliment to the fine acting of the two leads. Artemy Belyakov was not only technically excellent, tall and princely and heartfelt, but catches the breeze with the finest male coiffure I've seen since Peter Martins.  Vlashinets was a superb Myrtha, imperious, coolly controlled with every movement and possessing a beautiful effortless high jump. 

I personally didn't think the addition of the fugue was a completely success; the dance and patterning was lovely but it sounded as if suddenly a baroque composer had been hired on spec to fill in extra music.

I agree that having Giselle sink into the earth was a lovely addition, but I would have preferred that happen nearer to her grave as that was her passageway to the underworld. It gave the impression that because the stage mechanics for the grave elevator and the sinking earth couldn't be combined into one spot, that Giselle had to sink on stage right, and thinking about the logistics of it took me out of the moment. Loved that she gave her blessing to the marriage before being covered by turf (a beautiful effect!). I also wasn't sure I liked Bathilde finding him at Giselle's grave at dawn. I wondered how she ended up there. Was this noblewoman out with search party for him all night, or was it that she couldn't sleep and wanted to visit Giselle's grave herself? 

I do hope there is a DVD and I would move mountains to see this production if it should be performed in the USA. Here's hoping.

 

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I missed this, because the credits went by so quickly, but sandik told me that Doug Fullington got a credit :flowers:

2 hours ago, FauxPas said:

he gestures to Albrecht to remain faithful to Bathilde and then she sinks into some enveloping greenery and disappears into the ground.  I think she needs to return to her own grave at that point. 

Ekaterina Novikova said in the commentary that in the original, she was supposed to be surrounded by flowers and herbs, and I thought that referred to the death scene.  However, I  didn't see flowers and herbs, just a grassy mound.  Was this supposed to mean that the Earth cleansed her, and that she no longer had to wake again as a Wili, which she would have had to if she returned to her grave?  

 

2 hours ago, FPF said:

One detail that I don't remember seeing in other productions is that Albrecht brings red roses to Giselle's grave--usually he brings lilies, which Giselle either picks or tosses here.

I loved that: he is the prince of denial.  It's Giselle who brings him lilies. (I loved the rocking mechanism in the tree from which she drops some.)

 

2 hours ago, California said:

Now we know why! It was like somebody accidentally changed the channel to another composer.

Yes, so much this.

 

2 hours ago, FauxPas said:

The bit where the Wilis form a cross comes after Giselle's wild circle dance when she comes to life - they all circle around her and it ends with them forming a crucifix formation kneeling.  This does not make sense since the Wilis are later shown to be repelled by the cross on Giselle's grave - why would they form a cross? 

And this:  made no sense to me.

 

1 hour ago, Drew said:

Forgot to say above that Smirnova was one of the least consumptive Giselles I have ever seen and that I really liked too -- it was part of what made Smirnova's  performance seem as genuine and fresh as it did...

(I don't know how much leeway Ratmansky is giving his performers and how much is his direction but I assume, from what he said in the interview, he gives at least some leeway.)

In the original, she's not supposed to be a meek, sickly character: she's supposed to be a bit feisty, always wanting the dance around.  I think from the mime, she's using being sick to get out of working on the vines, although it isn't clear she'd have to work for compensation anyway:  Berthe's house isn't your average village hut, but a place with beds, that royalty could use for their mid-day naps dressed in their finery.  (The hut is the Albrecht's rental unit.)   It's supposed to be a heart condition which makes her intermittently woozy, but where a great shock can (and does) do her in.  The rest of the time, she's appears to be a spirited girl.

 

I am so glad PNB is bringing back their version in April.  The one thing I wish they'd change is the Act II lift.  PNB opted for the big high lifts that interrupt the musical flow; Peter Boal said he made this choice because people would miss the lifts.  I interpreted something different from the description of the original lifts.  What Ratmansky used wasn't what I expected, but it was so much more musical than the high ones.

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13 minutes ago, Helene said:

In the original, she's not supposed to be a meek, sickly character: she's supposed to be a bit feisty, always wanting the dance around.  I think from the mime, she's using being sick to get out of working on the vines, although it isn't clear she'd have to work for compensation anyway:  Berthe's house isn't your average village hut, but a place with beds, that royalty could use for their mid-day naps dressed in their finery.  (The hut is the Albrecht's rental unit.)   It's supposed to be a heart condition which makes her intermittently woozy, but where a great shock can (and does) do her in.  The rest of the time, she's appears to be a spirited girl.

This rings very true to me. I've often seen/heard criticisms of certain Giselles as, in essence, not delicate or fragile enough for the role, but I've always thought that a dancer with the qualities you mention can fit it quite well.

I didn't see the performance, but I've been very interested to read all the reports on here. I hope it's released on DVD.

Edited by nanushka
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I was quite startled by the moment when Albrecht put his finger to his lips and looked past Giselle directly at Bathilde, imploring her to keep quiet and not blow his cover.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen that before.

 

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7 minutes ago, Needlepoints said:

I was quite startled by the moment when Albrecht put his finger to his lips and looked past Giselle directly at Bathilde, imploring her to keep quiet and not blow his cover.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen that before.

 

I noticed that, too, and it made no sense dramatically. Was he saying to Bathilde: you already know I'm a cad, but don't let them know or things could get ugly here?  Certainly removed the sense that he had truly fallen in love with Giselle. Bathilde stayed on stage through the entire mad scene instead of storming off, angry at Albrecht, as she does in ABT's and other versions.

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3 hours ago, FauxPas said:

The bit where the Wilis form a cross comes after Giselle's wild circle dance when she comes to life - they all circle around her and it ends with them forming a crucifix formation kneeling.  This does not make sense since the Wilis are later shown to be repelled by the cross on Giselle's grave - why would they form a cross?  [...]
 

There were minor technical problems with the transmission at Empire 25 Times Square.  Some regular audio dropouts in Act I, some pixelization in Act II and also red lights that randomly appeared that may have been on the Bolshoi technical crew's end.

I thought, perhaps, the Wilis making the form of a cross could be considered a kind of demonic parody -- the way a "black mass" is a parody of the real mass etc. (Another example would be the way Dante's demons sometimes seem to be parodic images of Catholic doctrines.)

We had the identical technical problems in the theater I attended in Georgia.

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2 hours ago, griffie said:

I also wasn't sure I liked Bathilde finding him at Giselle's grave at dawn. I wondered how she ended up there. Was this noblewoman out with search party for him all night, or was it that she couldn't sleep and wanted to visit Giselle's grave herself? 

 

The original music for "The lever du Soleil et arrivee de la cour" is longer, with fanfarres that interrupt the slow music of Giselle/Albrecht. I don't know why Ratmansky didn't used all of it. As for what I've read, originally Bathilde arrives with the court searching for Albrecht, and she kneels and weeps when she witness the ghost interaction with her fiancee, and that Giselle motions toward her for Albrecht to go and be happy . Some of it is seen here, but sort of rushed sans the whole of the music.

Edited by cubanmiamiboy
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3 hours ago, FPF said:

I saw it too. I really loved this production and I was much more touched by the ending than by the more typical one. Agree about the details/nuances. It's not radically different from other productions I've seen, but somehow these subtle changes really enhanced the drama.

I did think Myrtha on the scooter looked a bit silly (and you could hear the wheels rolling).

 

I thought it looked close to ridiculous. It got some startled laughs in the theater where I saw it. Hope it goes away.

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I agree with much of what has been written above. I arrived slightly late because I normally doze off during Act 1. I didn't miss much but I was sorry I missed any of it; this was the most engaging Act 1 I can remember. I hope to see this production again.

Didn't much care for the ending. Giselle should return whence she came, a ghost returning to her world of ghosts. The back-and-forth between them at the end was too much for me; these are no longer flesh-and-blood lovers. Regardless of what the libretto may have originally said, I still don't understand what Bathilde is doing in the woods at that time of night.

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Artemy Belyakov was not only technically excellent, tall and princely and heartfelt, but catches the breeze with the finest male coiffure I've seen since Peter Martins.  

I had the exact same thoughts, griffie. 

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I personally didn't think the addition of the fugue was a completely success; the dance and patterning was lovely but it sounded as if suddenly a baroque composer had been hired on spec to fill in extra music.

Agree here as well.

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4 hours ago, FPF said:

I saw it too. I really loved this production and I was much more touched by the ending than by the more typical one. Agree about the details/nuances. It's not radically different from other productions I've seen, but somehow these subtle changes really enhanced the drama.

I did think Myrtha on the scooter looked a bit silly (and you could hear the wheels rolling).

 

So glad to read the discussion here--I went with a close friend, but, while he's very interested in ballet, he doesn't know a lot about it and even less about Giselle, so I couldn't discuss it with him too much (he loved it BTW, although he liked Act II much more than Act I and I don't think appreciated how heavy the first act was with mime the way I did).  One thing he specifically said that he found terribly moving was the final scene with Giselle being absorbed into the flora.

I actually liked Myrtha on the scooter (was it actually a scooter? :P ) and was a bit disappointed that the host speaking during the intermission mentioned that the effect was a bit laughable (though she also said, I think, that it was touching).  You shouldn't warn your audience that something might look funny, because it means that they are ready to laugh at it, and it did get a (quiet) laugh from the audience I saw it with.

One question--doesn't the PNB production restore (from a pre Petipa version, I believe) a scene with drunks in Act II--or is that the equivalent of the scene with Hans we see in this production?  From the descriptions I've read (and not seen) of the PNB version, it is one of the drunk revelers who is attacked by the Wilis.

 

Edited by EricMontreal
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I also wanted to naively ask a technical detail.  In the past, the Bolshoi cinema showings I have seen have been encore ones, where I know they were previously filmed.  How "live" was this?  Because, obviously it wasn't truly live due to the time differences (here in Victoria, BC, Canada it began at 1 pm).  Of course the cast is mostly the same, but not quite, from what we saw about the premiere.

 

Edited by EricMontreal
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3 hours ago, FauxPas said:

There were minor technical problems with the transmission at Empire 25 Times Square.  Some regular audio dropouts in Act I, some pixelization in Act II and also red lights that randomly appeared that may have been on the Bolshoi technical crew's end.

We had an alarming number of drop outs where the screen would freeze for about five seconds--it happened maybe 12 times.  I was a bit concerned because I remembered when I saw Le Corsaire around 2017 in the same theatre, we had a similar freeze situation just before the final act and then the problem could not be resolved. 

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By the way, this program note from the Pacific Northwest Ballet website will clarify a lot of questions we are having:

https://www.pnb.org/repertory/giselle/

It seems there were two sets of human interlopers - gamekeepers sent packing by Hans/Hilarion and then later a group of peasants returning from a festival who were saved from the Wilis by an old man.  

Some interesting points in the article by Marian Smith:

"The French manuscripts give us a marvelous opportunity to discover ways in which this ballet was performed in the first two decades of its existence, that is, before Petipa created his now-famous version of Giselle in St. Petersburg in 1884—the version that today’s productions are based on. They reveal, quite surprisingly, that Petipa’s version of the choreography was not nearly as different from that of Coralli/Perrot as dance historians have long averred. Passages in the Justamant manuscript that are choreographically similar to those in the Stepanov manuscript include many elements in the Act One Scène d’amour, sequences of steps in the Peasant pas de deux, Giselle’s first entrance in Act Two, as well as the opening of that act’s adagio for Giselle and Albrecht, and the well-known diagonal formation of the Wilis It seems that Petipa liked much of what he saw in the original choreography and kept it."

"...Third, these sources show us characters whose personalities are not quite the same as the ones we are accustomed to—for instance, this Giselle is more high-spirited and feistier. Indeed, in Act One scene iv when Loys fails to appear on time she says (in the Justamant manuscript) “Loys should have come; but he isn’t here; he’s badly behaved and I’m leaving.” When he arrives shortly thereafter, she turns her back on him, saying to herself, “There he is. He will pay me back.” This is a far cry from the emotionally delicate girl we sometimes encounter today in this scene, a girl who seems dependent on Loys’ affection for her sense of well-being and even weeps a few minutes later when the daisy-petal prognostication comes out badly. (This weeping is not mentioned in either of the French manuscripts.) Giselle also openly defies her mother in Act One scene vi and even tries to dance away with Loys at the end of the scene, and in the finale of the same act (in the Justamant manuscript) actually curses Loys. The strength of Giselle’s spirit in the first act helps explain how she is able to defy in Act Two of the most formidable character of all:  Myrtha."

"Finally, it must be pointed out that both the Justamant and Stepanov manuscripts confirm, rather unsurprisingly, that the dance vocabulary of the time was primarily petit allegro—small, fast steps, primarily jumps and beats—for both men and women, soloists and corps de ballet. Moreover, in the Stepanov manuscript, all women in dancing roles wear pointe shoes."

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I actually really disliked the ending. I love the simplicity of the "new traditional" ending where Giselle returns to her grave. It's incredibly peaceful, and gives a sense of closure. She arose from the grave, and it makes sense that she returns to it.  I also like the way Giselles usually become more and more distant from Albrecht once dawn comes. Here the back and forth before she sunk into a grassy knoll just seemed fussy. 

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15 hours ago, EricMontreal said:

So glad to read the discussion here--I went with a close friend, but, while he's very interested in ballet, he doesn't know a lot about it and even less about Giselle, so I couldn't discuss it with him too much (he loved it BTW, although he liked Act II much more than Act I and I don't think appreciated how heavy the first act was with mime the way I did).  One thing he specifically said that he found terribly moving was the final scene with Giselle being absorbed into the flora.

I actually liked Myrtha on the scooter (was it actually a scooter? :P ) and was a bit disappointed that the host speaking during the intermission mentioned that the effect was a bit laughable (though she also said, I think, that it was touching).  You shouldn't warn your audience that something might look funny, because it means that they are ready to laugh at it, and it did get a (quiet) laugh from the audience I saw it with.

One question--doesn't the PNB production restore (from a pre Petipa version, I believe) a scene with drunks in Act II?

The synopsis for the PNB production says:

"The curtain opens in a dark and gloomy forest on the banks of a pond. Giselle’s tombstone can be seen at the left; the bluish gleam of the moon gives a cold and misty appearance to the scene.  Several gamekeepers arrive, hoping to set up an observation post, but Hilarion warns them away: this is the place where the Wilis gather at night, attacking any men who stray into their territory, drowning them or forcing them to dance themselves to their death. Distant chimes strike midnight—the hour when the Wilis appear—and the men flee in terror as will-o’-the-wisps flash threateningly around them."

15 hours ago, EricMontreal said:

I also wanted to naively ask a technical detail.  In the past, the Bolshoi cinema showings I have seen have been encore ones, where I know they were previously filmed.  How "live" was this?  Because, obviously it wasn't truly live due to the time differences (here in Victoria, BC, Canada it began at 1 pm), but the performances look very similar--and of course the cast is the same--as we saw in this video:

 

The website says that it's live, but since I saw it at 1 pm in Albany, NY and you saw it at 1 pm your time, we can't all be seeing it live. The Bolshoi website shows that there were two performances today, one at 12:00 at one at 19:00. 1 pm in NY is 9 pm in Moscow, so I suspect that it was live for Europe and the rest of us in North America saw today's performance delayed.

We had the same issues with audio dropping out and occasional pixilation.

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