Paris Opera Ballet - Giselle

DottieD'Luscia
Broadway Legend
joined:7/23/03
Paris Opera Ballet - Giselle
Posted: 7/8/12 at 05:42pm
I just came back from my 2nd performance of Paris Opera Ballet's Giselle (my favorite ballet) at the Kennedy Center in DC. I enjoyed it so much last night, that I went back today and stood in the cancellation line for a ticket.

I'm writing this as they will continue onto NYC this week, and I highly recommend that those able to catch them should.

If it makes a difference I saw Isabelle Ciaravola/Karl Paquette and Dorothee Gilbert/Stephane Bullion as Giselle/Albrecht (preferring the latter pairing immensely).

I usually prefer sitting in the 1st or 2nd tier which I did last night, but today I had a seat in the 7th row center orchestra and for some reason liked being that close. I felt much more engaged in the story.

Giselle originated with this particular company back in 1841 and this production is slightly different than the one ABT does. I noticed that there seemed to be a lot more dancers on stage and the male corps is used a lot in the first act. There also seemed to be more wilis in the 2nd act (or that might have been my imagination as I can't find my most recent program from ABT to compare).

The orchestrations were slightly different with the omission of several measures of music, so it was a little jarring to my ears to hear those differences in comparison to what I'm used to.

That being said, I absolutely loved this production. I have seen Giselle over the course of 20 years and Dorothee Gilbert might be one of the finest portrayals I have ever seen. Her foot work was breathtaking and the contrast of her characterization between Acts 1 and 2 was quite evident. The adage in Act 2 brought tears to my eyes.

I especially liked the way the wilis exited in two groups when dawn arrives. When Giselle has no choice but to say goodbye to Albrecht at the end, it literally appeared as if someone/something was pulling her back to her grave. Her body position was stunning.

If I had known how beautiful this production was going to be, I probably would have gone a couple more times during the week.

Just thought I'd share.
Hey Dottie! Did your colleagues enjoy the cake even though your cat decided to sit on it? ~GuyfromGermany
PalJoey
Broadway Legend
joined:3/11/04
Paris Opera Ballet - Giselle
Posted: 7/8/12 at 10:13pm
Which of the remaining Paris Opera Ballet evenings would you suggest? I've never seen them.
yr pal,
joey




Blocked so far: suestorm, Master Bates
DottieD'Luscia
Broadway Legend
joined:7/23/03
Paris Opera Ballet - Giselle
Posted: 7/8/12 at 10:19pm
PalJoey, they only did Giselle in DC. This was the first time I had seen them perform. I'm not familiar with the other programs they're doing in NYC.

Towards the end of the attached clip is an example of Giselle being "pulled" back to the grave.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=endscreen&v=Yp9zZ_Py2bc&NR=1
Hey Dottie! Did your colleagues enjoy the cake even though your cat decided to sit on it? ~GuyfromGermany
Updated On: 7/8/12 at 10:19 PM
EricMontreal22
Broadway Legend
joined:10/31/11
Paris Opera Ballet - Giselle
Posted: 7/9/12 at 06:11pm
POB's Giselle now incorporates elements of Petipa's Russian production--as most ones do--but, and this is based only on watching the filmed versions sadly, I think it's the best. The increased male dancing in Act I is one example (France had largely dropped showing off male dancing even by the 1840s--not to the extent they would later when Coppelia, for example had the male lead played by a woman). Great review, Dottie!
DottieD'Luscia
Broadway Legend
joined:7/23/03
Paris Opera Ballet - Giselle
Posted: 7/10/12 at 12:53pm
Thanks, Eric. I also noticed that the wilis in Act 2 were all wigged the same.

After watching some clips of various companies on YouTube, it's interesting to see an alternate ending with the score which has Albrecht dancing (more uplifting) as opposed to slowly walking downstage (reflective). I prefer the latter ending.
Hey Dottie! Did your colleagues enjoy the cake even though your cat decided to sit on it? ~GuyfromGermany
EricMontreal22
Broadway Legend
joined:10/31/11
Paris Opera Ballet - Giselle
Posted: 7/10/12 at 09:46pm
The wigs is a European company thing with old school ballets that never really caught on in the US it seems (or England) as much.

I've seen the ending of Giselle done both ways as well, and I *much* prefer the more reflective ending, like you do.
DottieD'Luscia
Broadway Legend
joined:7/23/03
Paris Opera Ballet - Giselle
Posted: 7/10/12 at 10:00pm
Ironically, the women were not wigged in the first act, but I get wanting a cohesive group by wigging them in the 2nd act.
Hey Dottie! Did your colleagues enjoy the cake even though your cat decided to sit on it? ~GuyfromGermany
EricMontreal22
Broadway Legend
joined:10/31/11
Paris Opera Ballet - Giselle
Posted: 7/10/12 at 10:16pm
Yeah, I think it's more common when costuming for the "white" acts those ballets invariably have (ie the dryads, or whatever, in Sleeping Beauty, the fairies in Raymonda, the swans in Swan lake, etc). Some of the Russian wigs in particular are kinda horrible...