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 Post subject: San Francisco Ballet's Giselle
PostPosted: Tue Feb 01, 2005 6:44 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 30, 2002 12:01 am
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Location: Santa Barbara, CA USA
I'm going to attend SFB's Giselle performances in a couple of weeks. Any suggestions on good seats in the theater?

I'll be attending the performances on the 19th and 20th, so if anyone wants to say "hi", let me know.

Also, does anyone know if this Giselle has the peasant pas de deux?

--Andre


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 Post subject: Re: San Francisco Ballet's Giselle
PostPosted: Tue Feb 01, 2005 10:49 pm 
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Location: San Francisco
This "Giselle" has a peasant pas de cinq.


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 Post subject: Re: San Francisco Ballet's Giselle
PostPosted: Tue Feb 01, 2005 11:52 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 22, 1999 11:01 pm
Posts: 17498
Location: SF Bay Area
There's also some extra music in there for the pas de cinc, isn't there? I have no idea where that came from.

BTW, if you do a search in this forum, you'll find lots of past topics about this production. :)

<small>[ 02 February 2005, 12:57 AM: Message edited by: Azlan ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: San Francisco Ballet's Giselle
PostPosted: Wed Feb 02, 2005 10:53 am 
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Location: Santa Barbara, CA USA
Doh! The search function! Thanks.

If anyone's wondering about good seats, I've been told that the boxes in the Grand Tier are good. After that, Dress Circle and Front Orchestra, depending on whether you like to sit closer or farther away to get a view of the whole stage.

--Andre


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 Post subject: Re: San Francisco Ballet's Giselle
PostPosted: Wed Feb 02, 2005 11:18 am 
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Location: San Francisco
Grand Tier is always a good place to watch from, as you can see the choreographic patterns and you're not too far away. I haven't had a seat in the Grand Tier since I reached my full adult height (6'). I don't know whether the seating in that section is any roomier than it is in the Dress Circle, but I always feel cramped in the Dress Circle. My favorite place to see the ballet from (when I'm not standing) is orchestra front. Other orchestra seats at the Opera House can be a problem unless you're tall enough to see over heads. And if that's the case, then you become a problem for the people behind you!


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 Post subject: Re: San Francisco Ballet's Giselle
PostPosted: Wed Feb 02, 2005 11:19 am 
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Location: San Francisco
Oh, I just saw that you were referring to boxes. Those, of course, would be roomy.


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 Post subject: Re: San Francisco Ballet's Giselle
PostPosted: Wed Feb 02, 2005 7:35 pm 
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Location: SF Bay Area
Andre, the boxes and Grand Tier are at two different levels. The boxes on the second floor are definitely the best if you want to pay the dollar$ and have company to share the boxes with. Grand Tier is on the third floor and is the next best thing. It's just in front of Dress Circle.


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 Post subject: Re: San Francisco Ballet's Giselle
PostPosted: Wed Feb 02, 2005 7:36 pm 
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And, oh, this program will be the first with Randall Chiarelli (formerly from PNB) as Technical Director.


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 Post subject: Re: San Francisco Ballet's Giselle
PostPosted: Tue Feb 15, 2005 8:07 pm 
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Location: San Francisco, CA
Casting for Giselle is out now!

Saturday, February 19, 2005
Giselle: Yuan Yuan Tan
Albrecht: Pierre-François Vilanoba

Sunday, February 20, 2005
Giselle: Tina LeBlanc
Albrecht: Gonzalo Garcia*

Tuesday, February 22, 2005
Giselle: Lorena Feijoo
Albrecht: Vadim Solomakha

Wednesday, February 23, 2005
Giselle: Kristin Long
Albrecht: Guennadi Nedviguine*

Thursday, February 24, 2005
Giselle: Yuan Yuan Tan
Albrecht: Pierre-François Vilanoba


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 Post subject: Re: San Francisco Ballet's Giselle
PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2005 10:40 am 
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Location: California
So........who went last night?


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 Post subject: Re: San Francisco Ballet's Giselle
PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2005 12:44 pm 
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Location: Santa Barbara, CA USA
I did! I'll be there again this afternoon.

Last night was pretty uneven. The leads didn't seem to have a lot of chemistry, though individually they were wonderful dancers. I appreciated but don't love Tan because her sharp lines don't match Giselle. Hansuke Yamamoto (?) was wonderful in the peasant pas, but the rest of them were spotty (eg. mismatched epaulement). I also dislike the pas de cinq as it reminded me of those social dance classes where there aren't enough men.

Will write more later since I'm tapping this out on my phone.

--Andre


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 Post subject: Re: San Francisco Ballet's Giselle
PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2005 3:21 pm 
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It's intermission, and already today's performance is so much better than yesterday's. LeBlanc and Garcia have good chemistry, and she seems so much more suited to the role. Hansuke was very goo


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 Post subject: Re: San Francisco Ballet's Giselle
PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2005 5:02 pm 
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Hmm, it looks like my last message got truncated. Hansuke was excellent again today: clean and precise. I also wanted to mention that Sarah Van Patten did a good job both nights as the whirlpool Wili (the 2nd one with the renverse).

The 2nd act finished as strongly as the first act promised. LeBlanc and Garcia are definitely a must for this series. I wish I could catch Feijoo and Nevidguine on their respective nights.

--Andre


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 Post subject: Re: San Francisco Ballet's Giselle
PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2005 5:32 pm 
Giselle, Sunday 2/20 2:00

The pairing of Tina LeBlanc and Gonzalo Garcia (his debut as Albrecht) started slow, but by the second act seemed to really click. LeBlanc, who is dancing better now than she was 5 years ago, isn't a natural at dancing in the pure classical style. But she still gave it her all, and sometimes, that was sensational. Her series of lightening fast jetes off stage in the second act left jaws dropping open. She didn't always have the "float in the air like a flower in the wind" look that my favorite Giselles have had (e.g. Carla Fracci) but LeBlanc can toss off the technical demands of the role, and her acting in the mad scene was moving.

Garcia seemed a trifle bland in the first act. He looked like a naive kid, which is one way to play Albrecht... just not the most interesting way. I didn't always find his extensions fully stretched either. But in the second act he really seemed to find his stride with a superb solo in the pas and, especially, in the series of entrechats six done in place. Boy, was I happy to see that. Nureyev used to do them and it's so much more magical and powerful than the standard way. Garcia still needs to grow in the role, but it was a promising beginning.

Katita Waldo was a commanding Myrtha (really, the best dance role in the ballet). Again, sometimes I wish she had a bit more ballon, but she did a lovely job of it and really kept the mood of intensity so important to the second act.

In the world's most thankless part, Peter Brandenhoff did an effective Hilarion and was especially good in the "unmasking" scene where he confronts Albrecht.

Standouts in the peasant "pas de cinq" (three more dancers than the usual) were Hansuke Yamamoto and and Sarah Van Patten. Van Patten isn't always my favorite dancer, but she is really good at the classical style and has a great eulegiac vibe about her. I'm going out on a limb by saying they should try her as Giselle some matinee.

As I've said in this forum before, SFB was very, very lucky to get Andrew Mogrelia as Music Director. Damn, the orchestra sounded great. Much better than they did a few years ago playing this score. He hits the perfect blend of tempi for dancers that still sounds good to the ear and never lets it drag.

The visual sore point in mostly attractive production are a few of the less than appealing costumes. I personally thought LeBlanc didn't look good in her Act I peasant dress... and that powder blue just ain't her color. Likewise Albrecht's Act II doublet. Let's also lose the baby blue tights, okay. I would also like to see more dramatic lighting in Act II. There should really be a series of subtle lighting changes to reflect the mood of the Wilis and that the night is passing. I didn't see it.

I do think that of all of Helgi's versions of classics, his Giselle is his best (unlike his R&J coming up soon). Maybe it's just his own personal history with the ballet and that Albrecht is really much closer to the core of his style of dancing than certain other roles. Don't miss it or you might have to wait a few more years until it returns.


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 Post subject: Re: San Francisco Ballet's Giselle
PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2005 7:00 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 22, 1999 11:01 pm
Posts: 17498
Location: SF Bay Area
Thanks, Andre and Raplh, for your observations. I feel I'm missing an important event in SF while in NYC... I'm not sure if NYCB's "Making Whoopee" is comparable to "Giselle"...


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