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 Post subject: Re: Pacific Northwest Ballet: "Giselle" (June 2011)
PostPosted: Mon Jun 13, 2011 9:32 pm 

Joined: Tue Jan 04, 2000 12:01 am
Posts: 14418
Location: Seattle, WA, USA
Laura Bleiberg reviews "Giselle" casts on Friday and Saturday evenings, June 10-11, 2011 in the Los Angeles Times.

LA Times

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 Post subject: Re: Pacific Northwest Ballet: "Giselle" (June 2011)
PostPosted: Sat Jun 18, 2011 6:54 am 

Joined: Mon Apr 19, 2004 11:01 pm
Posts: 167
PNB is becoming one of my favorite companies for its spirited dancers, enthusiastic audiences, and Peter Boal’s way of making ballet accessible and engaging to the community. I was impressed with the way Doug Fullington, Marian Smith and Peter Boal recreated Giselle from historical sources in a way that also spoke to a contemporary audience and engaged contemporary dancers. Carla Körbes as Giselle (on June 11) and Carrie Imler’s Myrtha (June 12) were a revelation in terms of making the subtleties of 19th-century dance (quick, intricate, low-flying steps and lots of mime) fresh and meaningful. It could have been a disaster, and it wouldn’t have been the first historical reconstruction that was (the Mariinsky’s 1890 version of Sleeping Beauty was considered DOA by Arlene Croce when it was performed in New York in 1999. Some of the Mariinsky’s most famous dancers refused to dance in it and the Russian audiences themselves were deeply divided. Historical reconstruction is a treacherous undertaking.) In the case of PNB both dancers and audiences were enthusiastic, for good reason, and for me it was well worth a trip from San Francisco. I was also impressed by Rachel Foster’s very engaging Giselle and Seth Ozra’s Albrecht on June 12, the final performance of the season. I’m sorry I couldn’t see all four casts. And where else does the artistic director make a charming pitch for money before the performance in mime, to the delight of the audience. I’ll be back.

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 Post subject: Re: Pacific Northwest Ballet: "Giselle" (June 2011)
PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 2011 10:13 am 

Joined: Wed Apr 12, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 680
Location: Seattle, WA. USA
“Giselle” REDUX
A Review of An Alternate Cast of Pacific Northwest Ballet’s “Giselle”
Thursday, 9 June 2011

by Dean Speer

Attending the Dance Critics Association’s Annual Conference in Seattle had the added bonus of many of us attending a showing of Pacific Northwest Ballet’s reconstructed and reconstituted “Giselle.” Fun for me as not only did I get to meet and greet new and old colleagues but also to see another cast from the one I had seen when I first attended during my regular subscription night the week before.

This round, in addition to enjoying Jeffrey Stanton’s Hilarion, we were treated to Lesley Rausch as the title heroine, Batkhurel Bold as Albrecht, former PNB soloist Melanie Skinner as Giselle’s mother, Lindsi Dec as Myrtha, Chalnessa Eames and Sarah Ricard Orza as Myrtha's attendants, Moyna and Zulmé, and two dancers in their youthful prime for the Peasant Pas de deux, Amanda Clark and Andrew Bartee.

Until she eased into the mad scene, Rausch radiated joy and soubrette attributes associated with this perky and bright villager throughout. Her arabesques en fondu at the conclusion of the famous motifs were deep, extended up, and held. I loved her hops en pointe – she did them more as ballonées, alternating with bring the leg across en attitude, whereas last week, Kaori Nakamura did them entirely as a series of ballonées only and with the accent out, rather than in. Bold tends to play Loys, aka Albrecht in disguise as a fellow peasant, more on the darker side than Lucien Postlewaite, who was more of a bon vivant.

Many reported to me being greatly moved by Act II, as was I, with its poignant pas de deux as Giselle is compelled by Myrtha to dance away from her grave and thus no longer able to protect Albrecht.

It’s clear to me that Rausch is being groomed for great things and as some murmured throughout the house, “She should be a principal after tonight!”

It’s a paean of praise to PNB that they have the depth of dancers– as they long have now – to have multiple casts of ballets and each one brings something special, as did this one.

My only fuss would be that the conductor never quite meshed with any of the casts I saw for the Peasant Pas de deux. Conducting for the ballet can be a tricky thing, with the old anecdote about the conductor asking the choreographer, “And how do you want the music? Too fast or too slow?” de Cou had a bit of trouble with the internal tempo changes, Clark’s petit allegro in particular, and my advice might be to get up and move himself to see how it feels, rather than relying on how something clocked by a metronome or by what he thinks is going to happen. She adjusted well but I could tell the tempo was a bit heated. A small change for a musician can be a huge one for a dancer.

While I don’t know what the dancers’ feelings were about having a veritable stable of dance writers observing them in one block, I do know that we all support and love the art of dance and hope this warmth carried up across the footlights to the stage.

Dean Speer

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