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 Post subject: San Francisco Ballet Program 3: Giselle
PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2008 9:16 pm 
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Anyone been to see it yet? No comments posted to date.

The SF Chronicle did not seem too impressed with Yuan Yuan Tan. This is the cast I am going to see next Saturday so I'd be interested if others agreed, and also what anyone thought of other casts.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2008 11:13 am 
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Location: San Francisco
S.F. Ballet's 'Giselle' out of step
Rachel Howard, Chronicle Dance Correspondent
Monday, February 18, 2008

Quote:
Yuan Yuan Tan has dominated the start of San Francisco Ballet's 75th anniversary season, which should be no surprise. With her liquid limbs and cool glamour, she is a wonder of the ballet world. Yet Saturday, at the opening of the company's "Giselle," Tan's first-cast prominence began to smell a little fishy.

In physicality and temperament, Tan is hardly a dancer you'd typecast as the title role's rustic peasant girl - her arms are so long, they practically can't help unfurling in aristocratic flourishes, her natural demeanor so elegant, it seemed she'd be right at home in the courts of Albrecht, the deceptive prince who breaks Giselle's heart.

But the bigger problem was that Giselle must be a flesh-and-blood character, and Tan didn't seem to have thought out who, beyond a pretty flirt, her Giselle was. And so Saturday, with the corps women in top form as the ghost maiden Wilis of Act 2, this revival of Artistic Director Helgi Tomasson's 1999 production - the best of his many story ballet stagings - remained a finely danced vessel awaiting a worthy heroine to reveal its full pathos.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2008 11:16 am 
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Location: San Francisco
A 'Giselle' to remember
Janos Gereben, The Examiner
Feb 18, 2008

Quote:
SAN FRANCISCO (Map, News) - Balletomanes in the ornate lobby of the San Francisco War Memorial seemed busy Saturday evening, discussing what will happen in a few days.

Instead of focusing on the business at hand, the opening of the "Giselle" revival with the "A cast," talk was all about the coming role debut Tuesday of Bolshoi's/Royal Ballet's Maria Kochetkova, to be partnered by Joan Boada.

A promising show, indeed, but in the meanwhile, Yuan Yuan Tan and Tiit Helimets danced Giselle and Albrecht for the ages, surrounded by fine soloists and a spectacular corps de ballet.

All in all, it was a wonderful performance of a classic, which is beginning to look like once again what Jean Coralli, Jules Perrot and - above all - Marius Petipa had wrought.

It wasn't always so.

When San Francisco Ballet Artistic Director Helgi Tomasson first put his stamp on "Giselle" in 1999 - responsible for both production and the choreography "after Petipa," etc. - I found "a static, slow, impersonal, Icelandic stirring of white tutus, the lovers never connecting, time running out on the impassive, uncaring willies, Giselle leaving, Alberich surviving... If you can't get romantic with `Giselle,' what does it take to do the trick?"

Apparently, it takes time. In eight years, much has happened, all for the good.

From the first act story ballet (sliced and diced just right) through the second act's white ballet, all went swimmingly, and this time the finale had not only Tan's and Helimets’ athletic strength and superb artistry, but also a romantic, heartbreaking connection with each other and the audience.

This grown-up, re-revised "Giselle" speaks to the heart.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2008 2:27 pm 
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Location: El Granada, CA, USA
I saw Yuan Yuan do Giselle about 5 years ago and thought she was lovely. She isn't a great actress, but her first act was perfectly fine and her second act was sublime. It made up for the first act. Of course that was a while ago, so her interpretation could have changed dramatically since then.

I can't even remember who danced Albrecht which is not a good sign.


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 Post subject: Re: San Francisco Ballet Program 3: Giselle
PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2008 4:21 pm 
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Location: San Francisco
crandc wrote:
Anyone been to see it yet? No comments posted to date.

The SF Chronicle did not seem too impressed with Yuan Yuan Tan. This is the cast I am going to see next Saturday so I'd be interested if others agreed, and also what anyone thought of other casts.

I was there Saturday night. I don't know what the Chronicle reviewer saw, but I will go with the Mercury News and Examiner reviews. Yuan Yuan and Tiit were magnificent. I do agree with the Chronicle's assessment of Sofiane Sylve as Myrtha - you could sense the regret and longing underneath the iciness. And I think the audience appluase would go with the latter reviews.

This is my third time seeing SFBs Giselle and I think it gets better each time. Much applause to the Corps in the second act - they really did act as one.
I am hoping to catch Maria Kotchetkova either tonight or Saturday.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2008 6:48 pm 
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Location: San Francisco
I normally agree to a point with Rachel's reviews, but this time I'm not so sure. Like LMCtech, I saw YYT when she danced Giselle 5 years ago (partnered with Vadim), and I remember that she was light, girlish, and so much more than I ever expected. It's plausible that YYT has modified her interpretation, but then again, it's also possible that some people's opinions of certain dancers may never change, no matter what happens!

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2008 10:56 am 
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Ann Murphy, in the San Jose Mercury News, calls Yuan Yuan Tan's interpretation of Giselle, "sublime."

Mercury News


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2008 12:40 am 
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From Rachel Howard's blog today:

"Maria Kochetkova did not disappoint in San Francisco Ballet's "Giselle" last night. Yes, she is tiny, porcelain-skinned, and feather light, but the key to her interpretation was this: You could see how much trust she was putting in her Albrecht, and just how dangerous and exhilarating that trust was. . . ."

more: http://www.rachelhoward.com/

It was an extraordinary performance by such a young dancer, and the comparison Rachel draws between Maria and Yuan Yuan seems accurate to me. But who cares what someone else thinks if a dancer touches you?


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2008 12:35 pm 
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Any words on Kristin Long as Giselle? Vanessa Zahorian?

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2008 10:14 pm 
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daisyjo wrote:
Any words on Kristin Long as Giselle? Vanessa Zahorian?


Vanessa Zahorian's debut as Giselle on February 17 was beautifully danced and full of feeling. I thought it was a breakthrough performance for her. I'm looking forward to seeing her again tomorrow night. I hope to catch Kristin on Sunday. I still remember an interview Vanessa gave before she was promoted to principal in which she said every SFB dancer has unique gifts, and she has learned to enjoy the differences.


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