Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Ah, Giselle

How about another video post, since I'm just slowly returning to life after being sick so long...

Last week was "Giselle" week at ABT, and through my muggy illness I managed to go twice because it's quite possibly my favorite ballet ever ever ever. When I was about 10 I was in Boston Ballet's version just as one of the little village kids on the sidelines, but I got to be onstage during most of Act I, all through the incredible mad scene. Something really inspired or moved me back then about this scene, and being so close to the action. The music, the way each step fits perfectly with it, the drama, the way each ballerina interpreted the role...it stuck with me all those years and has ever since been one of my favorite ballet scenes to watch (and someday do? Ha I wish...!).

Last week, both Maria Riccetto and the incredible Natalia Osipova were stunning Giselles. I think my favorite mad scene though was Julie Kent's last year when I saw it.

But I've found a few great ones on youtube...take a look at how some of these greats tackled the scene. it's fun to see how certain elements are the same with the music (when she remembers picking up the flower, when she finds the sword, etc...) and yet it still looks unchoreographed, to me anyway.

You might start with this WONDERFUL explanation of the mad scene from Alicia Alonso. She narrates what Giselle is thinking as we see video of her performing. It's amazing to hear what her interpretation is...to me, some parts read differently through her movement, but what she says she's thinking makes total sense.


And without the narration:


Makarova:


Carla Fracci:


Be sure to read Tonya's much more detailed, great reviews of last week's Giselles here, here, and here. And also Philip's, here. Times reviews are here and here.

3 comments:

Yauheniya (Julie) said...

I LOVE Ferri's interpretation of Giselle going mad:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S1nfK--HXhw

JC said...

I have seen –in person as well as in videos- several excellent mad scenes of this ballet., and I would venture to say that most ballerinas dream of having Giselle in their repertory, or dance it at least once in their careers; but no other than Miss Alicia Alonso has impressed me as much as to say that she doesn’t dance Giselle, She is Giselle. The level of perfection accomplished by Miss Alonso goes beyond all the hard work to excel in technique and interpretation. I saw Alonso many times in Giselle and I must say that the feeling that I receive as an audience, was overpowering. I was not seeing a ballerina dancing well, I was seeing life happening in front of my eyes, her entire interpretation of Giselle, both acts. Her second act is an act of magic; you can see through Miss Alonso, she is that ethereal and translucent as a Willi. If you ever saw Alicia Alonso in Giselle, then you should thank your lucky timing to be in this world at that time and at that place, I know that I am very fortunate for seeing her dancing since my memory can recall and what a rewarding memory that is.

JC said...

I have seen –in person as well as in videos- several excellent mad scenes of this ballet., and I would venture to say that most ballerinas dream of having Giselle in their repertory, or dance it at least once in their careers; but no other than Miss Alicia Alonso has impressed me as much as to say that she doesn’t dance Giselle, She is Giselle. The level of perfection accomplished by Miss Alonso goes beyond all the hard work to excel in technique and interpretation. I saw Alonso many times in Giselle and I must say that the feeling that I receive as an audience, was overpowering. I was not seeing a ballerina dancing well, I was seeing life happening in front of my eyes, her entire interpretation of Giselle, both acts. Her second act is an act of magic; you can see through Miss Alonso, she is that ethereal and translucent as a Willi. If you ever saw Alicia Alonso in Giselle, then you should thank your lucky timing to be in this world at that time and at that place, I know that I am very fortunate for seeing her dancing since my memory can recall and what a rewarding memory that is.