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 Post subject: Re: The Royal Ballet's "Giselle" 2002
PostPosted: Mon Apr 01, 2002 10:30 pm 
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Review in The Telegraph.<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>To play it as a tragedy for today, with modern motivations (a girl's naivety, a man's sexual urges), misses the point; the interpretations that touch me are not the most "modern" but the most in period, the ones that hauntingly spin the peculiar social atmospheres and supernatural beliefs of 1841, however implausible.<P>This is the strength of the Royal Ballet's production. Though it ratchets up the class-conflict angle with some vivid acting by the aristocratic party of which Albrecht, unbeknown to poor Giselle, is a member, it allows the modest beauty of this ballet to rest largely where it belongs - on its 19th-century choreography, and the skills of its leading performers.<P><HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P><A HREF="http://www.telegraph.co.uk/arts/main.jhtml?xml=/arts/2002/04/02/btgis02.xml&sSheet=/arts/2002/04/02/ixartleft.html" TARGET=_blank> <B> MORE </B> </A>


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 Post subject: Re: The Royal Ballet's "Giselle" 2002
PostPosted: Wed Apr 03, 2002 11:29 pm 
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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. <P>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. <P>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. <P>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. <P>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! <P>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.) <P>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. <P>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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 Post subject: Re: The Royal Ballet's "Giselle" 2002
PostPosted: Wed Apr 03, 2002 11:32 pm 
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BTW Stuart, did you see Alina and Johan in the end? I couldn't resist a 2nd time!


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 Post subject: Re: The Royal Ballet's "Giselle" 2002
PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2002 2:10 am 
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
Yes I did Sylvia and a magical experience it was too despite being in severely restricted view seats (a metal bar across the line of sight of the middle of the stage) that cost £48! The counter just inside the main doors is for just such circumstances and on a crowded night they did reseat us for the second Act.<P>Alina danced with all the ease and natural quality that we associate with her and for Giselle it is perfect. Kobborg dance beautifully and Bennett Gartside got more out of the role of Hilarion than anyone else I have seen.<P>I went with an ex-dancer friend and she was impressed with the overall performance of the Company.<P>I find your account of the Rojo/Corella partnership much more convincing than the ES one further up this topic.<p>[This message has been edited by Stuart Sweeney (edited April 04, 2002).]


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 Post subject: Re: The Royal Ballet's "Giselle" 2002
PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2002 4:58 am 
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I saw Giselle last night, I missed the raved about Alina, and couldn't get tickets to see RB's darling Darcey this evening. But I was treated to a delightful performance by Miyako Yoshida. Her mad scene fell short of dramatic resonance, but theatrical ability aside, Yoshida was a beautfil compact dancer, technically astounding and despite her diminutive stature, she projected right back to the cheap seats (that's where we were).<P>I was very impressed with Gillian Revie. As Queen of the Wilis she was EXCEPTIONAL, she had the phsyicality, focus, agility and grace for the role and at times she upstaged Giselle in ACT II.<P>The Wilis were everything a corps de ballet should be, their virtuosity really allowed the power of Petipa's choreography shine through, from where we were sitting, the design of Petipa's genius was clearly executed.<P>One criticism I had was in the Pas de six, one female dancer (I think it was Jaimie Tapper) who led the sextet was ahead by a FULL COUNT for the most part, which I think is really bad in ensemble work. She needed to be reminded that even though she was the star of the pas de six, she wasn't meant to be a soloist, not on last night anyway.


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 Post subject: Re: The Royal Ballet's "Giselle" 2002
PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2002 6:16 am 
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Christine thanks for your insights. I'd love to know what you thought of Ivan Putrov. I think he lacked sufficient rehearsal time last week to produce a really in depth performance but I've heard from others that he was very moving last night.<P>As for the pas de six that's something I've noticed in all the performances and casts so far. Not sure but it looks like the other dancers are following the central couple rather than the music! It sounds terrible ands it's not true but the feeling I keep getting is that one of the guys has just learned the pas de six and is looking over his shoulder at the other to make sure he's doing it right. I think they lack rehearsal time too with the triple bill coming up and R&J and the tour to prepare for as well.<p>[This message has been edited by sylvia (edited April 04, 2002).]


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 Post subject: Re: The Royal Ballet's "Giselle" 2002
PostPosted: Mon Apr 08, 2002 11:16 pm 
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The Royal Ballet has a beautiful new Giselle.<BR>On Saturday night I saw Jamie Tapper make her debut in the role partnered by Ivan Putrov. Her interpretation was very well acted and her dancing was utterly delightful making her eaqually convincing as both the naive, betrayed peasant girl and the etheral ghost protecting Albrecht from the Willis and finally forgiving his betrayal.<BR>I am sure she is going to make her way, maybe more quietly than Cojocaru and Nunez but nevertheless. I cannot wait to see her in Onegin and Coppelia this summer.<BR>Ivan Putrov's Albrecht although technically superbly done failed to convince. As somebody has mentioned before I just could not get as to why Giselle would fall for Albrecht. But he is still very young and I guess it is going to be a case of practise makes perfect.


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 Post subject: Re: The Royal Ballet's "Giselle" 2002
PostPosted: Tue Apr 09, 2002 12:04 am 
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Review in The Times specifiaccly of Jamie Tapper's performance.<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>SINCE joining the Royal Ballet in 1999 the Canadian dancer Jaimie Tapper has been quietly proving herself in the big roles. Earlier this season she was cast as Tatiana in Onegin, a gawky ugly duckling transformed by her romantic dreams into an elegant swan. Now we see Tapper’s most impressive Covent Garden debut to date, in the title role of Giselle, and it promises more great things to come. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P><A HREF="http://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/0,,685-261839,00.html" TARGET=_blank> <B> MORE </B> </A>


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 Post subject: Re: The Royal Ballet's "Giselle" 2002
PostPosted: Tue Apr 09, 2002 12:23 am 
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It's very good to see Jamie Tapper moving more into the spotlight. In a wide range of rep. she brings whatever the work demands, be it speed in Forsythe or lyrical classical technique in works like "Giselle".<P>I look forward to watching her develop still further over the coming years.


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 Post subject: Re: The Royal Ballet's "Giselle" 2002
PostPosted: Tue Apr 09, 2002 12:33 am 
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That IS a good review. I have my ticket for her Giselle already so I'm really looking forward to that one now. A good to hear positive things about Ivan Putrov as well - wasn't very impressed last time and I echo the comment about his lifts but I've been told that his subsequent performances were very good.


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 Post subject: Re: The Royal Ballet's "Giselle" 2002
PostPosted: Tue Apr 09, 2002 3:37 am 
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I'm glad that Debra Craine enjoyed Tapper's Giselle - judging from her article on "Onegin" for the latest "Dance Now" she was not too impressed with Tapper's Tatiana.


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 Post subject: Re: The Royal Ballet's "Giselle" 2002
PostPosted: Sun Apr 21, 2002 9:06 am 
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Finally got round to Jamie Tapper's Giselle yesterday afternoon, and yes 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 condfident 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. They were both so moving and I think the general consensus was that this was a really special performance. And Galeazzi was her wonderful self as Myrtha.<P>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 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.<P>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.<P>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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