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 Post subject: Royal Ballet "Giselle"
PostPosted: Wed Jan 14, 2004 2:24 am 
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Giselle, Royal Opera House, London
Heroine lost in a stodgy staging
By Zoe Anderson for The Independent

When I missed Alina Cojocaru's first Giselle, in 2001, I missed an event. The ballet, choreographed by Petipa after Coralli and Perrot, is one of the great ballerina roles. A peasant girl is betrayed by her aristocratic lover, goes mad and dies. Returning as a ghost, she protects him from the wilis - the vengeful spirits of jilted girls who catch men and dance with them until they die. Giselle obviously suits Cojocaru's waif-like physique, dramatic focus and light jump, and she was promoted to principal at the end of that first performance.

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 Post subject: Re: Royal Ballet "Giselle"
PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2004 2:03 am 
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Giselle
By Judith Mackrell for The Guardian


Théophile Gautier, who wrote the original scenario for Giselle, was the most avid ballerina-fancier of his day. He was famously torn between Marie Taglioni's airy jump and Fanny Elssler's supple charms. If he could see the Royal Ballet's current run of Giselles, he would feel similarly spoilt for choice.

Alina Cojocaru's element is the air, and not simply because her jump is so huge and her body so delicately constructed. In act one, her Giselle lives in a state of fever, emotions bubbling intemperately through her dutiful modesty.

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Giselle Royal Opera House London
By Clement Crisp for The Financial Times


Giselle returned to the Royal Opera House on Monday night, looking and sounding somewhat tentative. "Handle with care" it says on the packaging of this masterpiece of romanticism, but the Royal Ballet fudges some important elements. John Macfarlane's designs are excessively bosky, and the First Act is lit throughout as if from the glow of a blast furnace - dawn has come up like thunder and stayed on. The Second Act is not much more subtle, nocturnal mystery equated with murk and sudden searchlight shafts of illumination.

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Giselle
Outstanding performances launch the Royal Ballet's latest revival. By Debra Craine for The Times


THIS is one of those solid Royal Ballet productions that can be counted upon to bring in an audience and bring out the best in the company. Peter Wright’s superior, naturalistic staging does all the right things. It tells the story of Giselle with intelligent, lucid mime and real dramatic flair. It looks terrific, thanks to John Macfarlane’s autumnal forest designs which give vibrant atmosphere to Giselle’s Rhineland home. And it has the power to make you believe in angry ghosts.

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Double-take on deceit
Ismene Brown for The Daily Telegraph reviews Giselle at the Royal Ballet, Covent Garden


Covent Garden can be a thrilling place to attend ballet these days. To have two ballerinas of the calibre of Alina Cojocaru and Tamara Rojo, and two male stars the like of Johan Kobborg and Carlos Acosta, is a luxury any company would envy. With these people, you know the dancing will be superlative. It is their thoughts that you go to experience, to ask questions of life with them through their consummate art, and maybe find some answers.

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 Post subject: Re: Royal Ballet "Giselle"
PostPosted: Sun Jan 18, 2004 1:32 am 
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Torn between two lovers
Two quite different pairings of principals reveal the complexities of Giselle's tale of betrayed love. By Jann Parry for The Observer

Back in the mid-1980s, when Peter Wright's production of Giselle was first staged, the Royal Ballet had no Giselles. A ballerina crisis (Alessandra Ferri had just left for America) meant that there was no convincing inheritor of the great Romantic ballet role. Now we have five contenders this season, with the first two, Alina Cojocaru and Tamara Rojo, in world class.

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Triumph of the Wilis
The Royal Ballet’s multiple casts deliver a transcendent Giselle says David Dougill for The Sunday Times.


For the latest revival of Giselle at Covent Garden, the Royal Ballet is fielding six different couples in the roles of Giselle and Albrecht, and the first-night cast on Monday was the most popular partnership of the moment, Alina Cojocaru and Johan Kobborg. They dance together with an exceptional rapport, ideally attuned technically and emotionally, and this performance was well-nigh faultless.

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 Post subject: Re: Royal Ballet "Giselle"
PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2004 1:39 am 
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Giselle - Royal Opera House
By Clement Crisp for The Financial Times


To the woods once more! The amount of timber on view as the curtain rises on the Royal Ballet's Giselle verges on the unlikely - as unlikely as the lethargic tempi that afflict certain dances in act two. What should have rhythmic pulse and momentum to buoy up the choreography collapses into inertia as the wili Giselle and the repentant Albrecht strike what they hope are romantic poses and wait for the score to free them into movement.

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 Post subject: Re: Royal Ballet "Giselle"
PostPosted: Sat Jan 31, 2004 9:39 am 
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Giselle
By Gavin Roebuck for The Stage

Love that transcends death is the heart of this Roman-tic ballet, staged with clarity by Peter Wright. Designs by John F Macfarlane, with Jennifer Tipton's lighting, capture the atmosphere of the contrasting human and supernatural worlds.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2006 8:09 am 
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Giselle
by JUDITH MACKRELL for the Guardian

Acosta dances Albrecht like a prince, but with an edge of the street that brings a very sexy, very exuberant charm to his courtship of Giselle. Rojo, sweetly and gravely centred, is able to articulate each nuance of the choreography with transparent clarity, yet with a fizz of mischief that makes it her own.

published: January 13, 2006
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2006 4:53 am 
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Giselle
By Gavin Roebuck for The Stage

As Giselle, Tamara Roja failed to convince as an innocent peasant girl. Though childish at times, her Act I portrayal was a little too knowing and teasing and in Act II she unrestrainedly displayed her high extensions rather than keep the lower line consistent with ballets from the Romantic era. Audiences love to see Carlos Acosta dance but he is not really suited to the role of Albrecht. Both Rojo and Acosta are fine dancers but the subtlety and expression of the Romanic era genre does not really suit them.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2006 11:40 am 
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Much of the pleasure of reading Critical Dance comes for me when reading several reviews of the same work. I can't think of a time I've seen two sides of the same coin so clearly. Judith Mackrell's "a fizz of mischief that makes it her own," became Gavin Roebuck's "a little too knowing and teasing."

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2006 1:55 am 
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Giselle, Royal Opera House, London
The Sleeping Beauty, Coliseum, London

by JENNY GILBERT for the Independent

I loved the trance-like rallentando of Acosta's repeated grabs at Rojo's vanishing form, as if trying to embrace a patch of fog. She, for her part, really does appear physically transmuted, as well as sadder and wiser all round. The package is wrapped in ensemble dancing of outstanding discipline by the corps, united in their lust for vengeance yet chillingly serene - a superb company effort.

published: January 22, 2006
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 29, 2006 7:27 am 
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Steps in the right direction
by LUKE JENNINGS for the Observer

Cojocaru's interpretation, everyone seems to agree, is one of the greatest of all time, and she continues to refine it with every performance. Her mad scene is now almost minimal - a whisper rather than a cry. She doesn't do the manic runs any more, and the reprises of her earlier leitmotif steps are so vague and dreamlike as to be barely there. Before dying, and with a last shrugging smile, she apologises to her mother (Sandra Conley), a moment which seems to vibrate in the auditorium's absolute silence. One of the things which makes Cojocaru so poignant in this role is a quality that one senses in the dancer herself.

published: January 29, 2006
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 18, 2006 11:06 pm 
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Giselle, Royal Opera House, London
by ZOE ANDERSON for the Independent

The tall, athletic Bussell isn't obviously frail or ethereal, nor has she much reputation as an actress.

So much for typecasting. Bussell's village girl is immediately real, with a freshness that lifts the ponderous naturalism of Peter Wright's production. ... Her Giselle, like her Cinderella, has an unexpected pragmatic streak. When Albrecht approaches her, she looks him over seriously.

published: April 18, 2006
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 18, 2006 11:39 pm 
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Giselle
by DEBRA CRAINE for the Times

Act II brings Benjamin and Watson their finest moments. A dreamy Benjamin, with the quietest pointe shoes and the slowest adage I’ve seen in Giselle, captures the “here-not here” allure that so confounds Watson’s passionately grieving Albrecht. Most important, there’s a real dramatic connection between the two of them that makes their story come alive so vividly, and there’s never a moment when their emotional intentions aren’t absolutely clear.

published: April 19, 2006
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 26, 2006 4:08 pm 
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Giselle
By John Percival for The Stage

It is tough on Edward Watson that, as the Royal Ballet’s only English leading man, he is suddenly at nearly 30 given the classic roles denied him earlier. And, judging by his first Albrecht in Giselle, they suit him less well than the more modern parts in which he made his name. In the big solos we have come to expect far stronger jumps than he can provide, and his acting has flamboyant gestures rather than convincing character.

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PostPosted: Mon May 01, 2006 3:32 am 
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I went to watch the last night of Giselle at the Opera House moments ago, and thought of sharing my experience with fellow members.

"Tonight's performance was the best ever, especially Act 2.
Dancing the role for the countless time, Leanne Benjamin never fail to show a fresh new side of Giselle. One is never tired of watching her portraying the frail and gentle beauty. For the 2 shows that I have seen, Leanne is like a budding flower, constantly unfolding each petal of feminity and innocence. It is poetry in motion. Her dancing in Act 1 was delivered with enormous vitality and life. In her mad scene, she just got better and better, and more convincing then ever. It was heart breaking to see her soul and love crumple into pieces.
Edward Watson is emerging with brilliance with his dancing and acting. In Act 1, he was much better than his opening performance on the 15th March. He left most of his boyishness behind, and brought out a more manly, authoritative character as Court Albercht. During his courtship to Giselle, he maintained and enhanced his cheekiness and affectionate side of the character and also his humiliated side when he was exposed, which showed some humanity. His continual affections towards Giselle was written all over his face. He embraces her with his soft look towards her direction, when she was across the stage from him. His dance technique improved since 15th March too. Perhaps it must be the opening and first performance vibes that caused him to be nervous and reserved... Nevertheless, tonight's performance was extremely outstanding.
Personally, it was Act 2 that swept me off my feet, and brought the entire house down. Firstly, I have to say, the corp de ballet was truly remarkable tonight. Their arabesques were extremely strong and their lines and body lines were well-defined. Very very impressive.
Both Leanne Benjamin and Edward Watson danced with conviction and such strong emotions. Each of their solos, were executed with excellent performance and technique. It was PERFECT. They delivered a new level, a new class of Giselle and Albrecht.
Leanne danced her solos and her pas de deux effortlessly, her landings were as light as feather, and her adagio was performed with etherality. On her entrance, when she had to do her spins, she was quick, agile and precise, and coming out of it, she changed the dynamic of the movement, creating a new climatic moment.
Edward's solos in Act 2 was breathtaking. His bravura leaps, beats and pirouettes were clean and sustained. He made it looked very very well-rehearsed and well-thought, and of course, without a doubt, effortless too. His acting in Act 2 is better than what he did on the 15th March. He wasn't just dancing the character, he had made the audience believed that he IS Albrecht. One could feel his remorse, and pain and his broken heart when he kneeled at Giselle's grave. His 'heart' may be broken, but through him and his dancing, it has touched the many hearts of the audience.

I don't think I need to say much about their pas de deux. Both principles supports each other both physically and emotionally. It felt like time was at a standstill when the two of them did their pas de deux. The connection between them was beyond the ethereal world. It was the most heartbreaking when Giselle exits... and Albrecht left sorrowfully alone on stage.

Their performance was extremely convincing, it did not just touched the hearts of the audience, but left tears in our eyes, (well, I know the lady beside me and I were touched to tears)."

However, John Percival mentioned, "
Quote:
In the big solos we have come to expect far stronger jumps than he can provide, and his acting has flamboyant gestures rather than convincing character.
Personally, I felt in this final performance, Edward Watson solo has made his mark as a classical male principal. His jumps were well sustained, light and high, his pirouettes were neat, controlled and executed with excitement. One can see that his presentation were very much the fruit of English Classical Ballet training.
Looking forward to him as Siegfield and Rudolf.


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PostPosted: Mon May 01, 2006 3:53 am 
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Pixie, bless you for taking the trouble to record your thoughts for our pleasure. "Giselle" really is special and it's great that you saw such an emotionally charged and beautiful performance.

Hope you'll make a habit of reports like these.


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