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Subject: "Giselle at chatelet by Guillem" Archived thread - Read only
 
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Conferences What's Happening Topic #1246
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Catherine

19-01-01, 02:58 PM (GMT)
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"Giselle at chatelet by Guillem"
 
   I'm trying to write an english report about the Guillem's Giselle.
At first for the story, she kept the drama with Albrecht, Hilarion, Wine fest, Peasants, Bathilde, Mad scene and so on at the first act and Willis at second.
Against she locate story in a small town which could be in south italia, sunny city. Peasants are dressed as contemporary against, Lord and Ladies are in Middle age dress. Albrecht swore pen and sword ! It's strange like feeling. Guillem has good ideas for the stage also the wine fest in a big room with little orchestra who played.
In the first act sets are always moving, to see Albrecht castle, giselle House, small town place, Albrecht's home and for the final mad scene the wine fest room. Even too many "posters" here found the changement bad, I love it.
At the second act, we are in a bamboo wood, no tomb, but Giselle appears, issuing from the floor. Good idea for the lighting especially for the Wilis apparition when they're not again here at the beginning of second act and when hilarion lose in the wood.
Concerning Choreography, it's very difficult to appreciate really what we could think. Guillem doesn't dare break all and she kept traditional pas for too many passage of her ballet. By the way, first meeting between Albrecht and Giselle is the same, against she change peasants dance. Choréography for albrecht is the traditional one; For the pdd, she kept some intention, a few of a diagonale but change the rest. She doesn't make against the traditional act 1 variation, she choregraphied a new using the same vocabulary as the traditionnal one. Diagonale on toes but in the contrary sense, Usually Giselle makes it from (point of view of spectator) right to left and from end on stage to top of. Here it's the contrary, she makes it from right to left and from top to end of stage. the variation is hard and the evening i saw her she missed one of the passé on toes, and fall of their toes, It's surprising by Guillem.
For the mad scene, she is very kind, not crazy at all, she is in a other world, as a nervous breakdown, she kept the tradition of the sword.
Guillem has a more natural play her than in june in the POB traditionnal version where she seems to be more kind silly girl. Here, she's a shy girl not silly, loving Albrecht and dying by love for him. Against she dance very few contrary at the traditional version.

At the second act, Myrtha is not really a spirit or a ghost, but it's also a matter of choregraphy. She is against really the Wilis queen. Guillem kept also the two soloist wilis. Here too she's changing without changing choreography, in the Myrtha variation instead of a diagonale of arabesque on foot "plat" not on toes (if you understand I want to say), it's a diagonal of arabesque on toes and It's not really a dream vision. Wilis apparition is more traditionnal even they're not dressed in long white tutus but in wedding dress all different, Guillem kept traditionnal issue of floor but change a few the choréography, she use unknown version of Giselle with alternative or interpolation music. Against her choreography for the wilis is good, she made then dance more than in traditionnal version as Nureyev made for his own version of classical ballet. One of her idea i found very good is the surprise and the dissapointment of all the wilis when Giselle comes to save Albrecht and Myrtha's power is lost. they are all around Myrtha on the middle of the stage and seem to ask questions "now what we could do to separate them" "what's happen ?" i love really this idea. Guillem change against choreography of the two pdd, at first, she doesn't enter with her long developpé attitude, but on toes and after makes more traditionnal one. Hilarion's dance is more important and when he dead, he stays on stage till the arrival of Albrecht who can see him behind him. Albrecht makes traditionnal version of his variation and entrechats at the end.
One strange thing it's the exit of the wilis when they killed Hilarion. In the traditionnal version they left stage with jetés to the end on stage here it's in the other sense. Against when they find albrecht, they make the famous diagonale.

Guillem was good but is not too many dancing here again.
the more important feeling I have, it's that she seems to have make more thing for corps de ballet, and other solist but not for her, how she has no time to make her own choreography.
I think it's would be better if she all change. Here she seems to keep only what she love as pas, as variation, changing the rest. But what she changes completely as the act 1 is good.
I think a rewriting as Mats Ek is more intersting than this one who seems to not really know where to go stay in the complete classical version or in a middle classical version. I hope someone who speaks better than me english could make his cummentaries. But My big dissapointment was the fact she danced very well but not enough, just 5' in first act and a little more in second act.


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  Subject     Author     Message Date     ID  
  RE: Giselle at chatelet by Guillem Kevin Ng 21-01-01 1
     RE: Giselle at chatelet by Guillem Tomoko.A 21-01-01 2
         RE: Giselle at chatelet by Guillem Kevin Ng 21-01-01 3
         RE: Giselle at chatelet by Guillem Catherine 21-01-01 4
  RE: Giselle at chatelet by Guillem Jim 21-01-01 5
     RE: Giselle at chatelet by Guillem Bruce Madmin 22-01-01 6
  RE: Giselle at chatelet by Guillem Bruce Madmin 22-01-01 7
  RE: Giselle at chatelet by Guillem Bruce Madmin 23-01-01 8
  RE: Giselle at chatelet by Guillem Caz 26-01-01 9
  RE: Giselle at chatelet by Guillem Caz 26-01-01 10

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Kevin Ng

21-01-01, 00:06 AM (GMT)
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1. "RE: Giselle at chatelet by Guillem"
In response to message #0
 
   LAST EDITED ON 21-01-01 AT 00:24 AM (GMT)


Sylvie Guillem's production of "Giselle", which received its Paris premiere on 13 January at the Theatre du Chatelet, had first been created for the Finnish National Ballet in October 1998. I refer you to Bruce Marriott's detailed review of this production from Helsinki in the April 1999 issue of the Ballet.co Magazine.

I attended the Paris premiere, and found that Guillem's conception of this 19th century Romantic masterpiece is nowhere as radical as Mats Ek's productions of the classics, or John Neumeier's version of "Nutcracker" which I saw once danced by the Paris Opera Ballet. Guillem's conception is fortunately nearer that of her mentor Rudolf Nureyev whose productions of the Petipa classics more or less adhered to the original framework of Petipa.

Guillem has introduced a number of novelties in Act 1 which are mostly naturalistic details. When the overture is played by the orchestra, Albrecht is seen getting dressed in his cottage to disguise his identity as a nobleman. This act is set in an imaginary era with contemporary costumes designed by Ramon B. Ivars. Guillem tried to evoke a bustling village life, with occasional shouting heard from the villagers. The sets, also designed by Ivars, are constantly shifted and reassembled into different formations to depict various scenes in the village. There is however a rustic charm in this setting, for instance in the cracked concrete walls, and in the creation of a loony character who gets drunk.

Guillem's innovations in Act 1, which are not always for the better, include the excising of the mime done by Giselle's mother Bertha, and instead the legend of the wilis is mockingly enacted by several villagers. Gislle's mime with the daisy has also been changed slightly. The peasant pas de deux is surprisingly danced to the accompaniment of a band. Giselle's solo in Act 1 has been entirely re-choreographed by Guillem to a passage of music from the peasant pas de deux. Giselle danced it scintillatingly, revealing her formidable technique. Albrecht has a solo too in this act.

In Act 2, Ivars' sets are far better. The action is set in a forest glade framed by tall bare tree trunks. Myrtha's fantom-like entrance turns out to be far more theatrical than Giselle's later entrance. Curiously there isn't an actual tombstone on the front left side of the stage which is the focus of most other productions. So instead Giselle emerges from amongst the wilis in the middle of the stage. In place of a tombstone is a small garland left from Act 1 which was used by the villagers to crown Giselle in the harvest celebrations.

There are more glaring changes introduced by Guillem. Hilarion actually dies on stage, instead of being dragged away by the corps of wilis, and his death is witnessed by Albrecht. The solos of Moyna and Zulma, the two leading wilis, are danced with the corps de ballet present on stage. Gislle's entrance solo - with the difficult series of pirouettes sautees - has been lengthened.

The pas de deux mostly follows the traditional choreography; however Guillem has shortened the series of echappes in Giselle's variation. Praiseworthy is the restoration of Nureyev's choreography in the coda which sees Albrecht doing the dazzling series of entrechats six immortalised by Nureyev.

As Albrecht, the tall and blond Finnish principal dancer Kare Lansivuori has a striking presence and a natural charm, and he partnered Guillem splendidly. Lansivuroi was technically brilliant on opening night, and excelled in the series of double assembles en tournant in his Act 2 variation, as well as the series of entrechats six in the coda. As his love rival Hilarion, Sampo Kivela acted convincingly his jealousy and the baseness of his character.

But of course everyone came to see this production because of Sylvie Guillem in the title role. Guillem impressed me technically even more this time than when I last saw her in this role with the Royal Ballet in the summer of 1999. Her portrayal was full of emotional resonances; her mad scene was moving. The ending when she bids farewell to Albrecht, an arm spread out to the audience as if to instruct and protect Albrecht for the very last time, before disappearing to the back of the stage, was particularly heart-stirring.

The Orchestre Colonne was conducted by David Garforth who has restored parts of Adolphe Adam's original score for this production.


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Tomoko.A

21-01-01, 00:41 AM (GMT)
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2. "RE: Giselle at chatelet by Guillem"
In response to message #1
 
   Thank you both for the interesting reports. Kevin, you were not sure if you would go to Paris to see this Giselle when I last spoke to you. But I'm sure you are now pleased to have seen it !
I'm really looking forward to seeing this production with La Scala in the summer. I believe the version for La Scala is slightly different. Is the design different ?
According to the review by C.Crisp, J.Cope danced with the second cast Giselle (Sorry, I can't recall her name.). I'm surprised that he didn't partner Sylvie. Did Crisp refer to that Cope we know ?


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Kevin Ng

21-01-01, 03:14 AM (GMT)
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3. "RE: Giselle at chatelet by Guillem"
In response to message #2
 
   Tomoko, yes, I am pleased in the end to have got a ticket to attend the premiere. I didn't however stay for the Sunday matinee which was danced by Barbora Kohoutkova and Jonathan Cope.

I heard that the designs for La Scala's production are new and by another designer. Roberto Bolle danced Albrecht with the Finnish National Ballet in Helsinki last autumn, and no doubt he will dance it with Guillem again in the La Scala production.


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Catherine

21-01-01, 09:28 AM (GMT)
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4. "RE: Giselle at chatelet by Guillem"
In response to message #2
 
   Guillem doesn't dance with Cope in this production perhaps because it's finnish national ballet and she must perhaps dance with a finnish dancer than with an other guest. And by friendship, she invits Cope to dance with Kohoutkova.


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Jim

21-01-01, 11:13 PM (GMT)
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5. "RE: Giselle at chatelet by Guillem"
In response to message #0
 
   LAST EDITED ON 21-01-01 AT 11:18 PM (GMT)

>the more important feeling I have, it's that she seems to
>have make more thing for corps de ballet, and other
>solist but not for her, how she has no time
>to make her own choreography.

Did this production give you the impression that Guillem has the potential to perhaps become a "great" choreographer or impressario when her active dancing career is over?


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Bruce Madmin

22-01-01, 01:11 AM (GMT)
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6. "RE: Giselle at chatelet by Guillem"
In response to message #5
 
   >Did this production give you the
>impression that Guillem has the
>potential to perhaps become a
>"great" choreographer or impressario when
>her active dancing career is
>over?

I think she knows how to bring a classic to life and I really rate her Giselle. But we need to see some more from her yet - she is certainly worth backing in this by a major company. One wonders if POB might ask? I belive RB ought to - Swan Lake comes to mind as the most likely (Giselle is too good, Sleeping B and DonQ too new, Coppelia and Nutcracker refurbished)

I'm not sure what you mean by impressario - certainly not in the Gubbey or Hochhauser mould. If you mean as an AD than I think its possible but there is clear risk.

+ve would be glamor she would bring, plus respect for classical rep, plus interest in new work.

-ve management skill?, ability to work to a budget when times are tough?


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Bruce Madmin

22-01-01, 06:38 AM (GMT)
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7. "RE: Giselle at chatelet by Guillem"
In response to message #0
 
   Whoops - nearly forgot to say great thanks for the reviews. Very appreciated!


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Bruce Madmin

23-01-01, 09:04 AM (GMT)
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8. "RE: Giselle at chatelet by Guillem"
In response to message #0
 
   Thought I would link this back to the original (French) thread:
http://www.danze.co.uk/dcforum/happening/1230.html


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Caz

26-01-01, 04:45 PM (GMT)
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9. "RE: Giselle at chatelet by Guillem"
In response to message #0
 
   Catherine,

Thanks very much for putting in all that effort to write a review in English. Much appreciated

Caz


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Caz

26-01-01, 04:52 PM (GMT)
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10. "RE: Giselle at chatelet by Guillem"
In response to message #0
 
   Hmmmm... that's weird my last posting on this thread seems to've gone AWOL. Oh well, try again...

Catherine, thanks for taking the trouble to write a review of this Giselle in English. It's much appreciated!


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