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Subject: "RB Giselle Sydney" Archived thread - Read only
 
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janek

17-06-02, 02:54 AM (GMT)
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"RB Giselle Sydney"
 
   I certainly got my money's worth when I saw Cojocaru/Kobborg in Giselle on the weekend. It was the best ballet performance I have ever seen by anyone in any ballet. Everything about them was a dream. I have to say that I pretty much agree with all of the reviews about their Giselle that I've read about here. What I loved most was that they danced together, they weren't just two big stars doing their own thing. Like in Swan Lake it was all the little nuances in their dancing and acting that made it more than just a technical feat. And their technique is amazing. They have the power to move the audience and at the same time seem to be absorbed and dancing only for each other. By the end of Act I i could already feel the tears coming to my eyes. Cojocaru was transfixing from her first entrance onto the stage. Her footwork is so precise and clear and her hops on pointe in Act I were incredibly light and delicate. The youth, joy, and innocence that she projected made the horror of her mad scene all the more poignant. I won't go into details because that would take pages! But I'm sure that everyone who's seen her dance will know that she is a dancer who often defies description. For me though, Kobborg was the great standout of the ballet. His Albrecht swept me away, especially in Act II. A lot of Albrecht's I've seen are very good at looking like they are on the brink of death an exhaustion but then as soon they start dancing the illusion is destroyed. Kobborg managed to make even his dancing look like the dance of someone about to collapse without compromising any of his technique or elevation. His characterisation flowed right through his solo where he seemed to be dancing for Giselle, looking for her offstage and then pleading with Myrtha and the other willis. And the supported hops in arabesque that Giselle performs across the stage are amazing, it truly looks like she is floating across and not being supported at all. My only gripe is that I was sitting too far away from the stage to clearly see their faces. If I was so moved by what I could see than I can only imagine what it would have been like closer up. Another disappointment was that the theatre was by no means full. There were at least 5 full rows not filled behind me and I'm sure there were more upstairs not filled which was a real shame. I can't remember coming out of a performance and feeling so moved as I was by Cojocaru and Kobborg.

The Bussell and Cope performance later that night was a full house and the were admirably rewarded. I never thought that Bussell would be a particularly convincing Giselle but I was very agreeably surprised. She was a delight to watch, her youthfulness and of course her wonderful technique was a real revelation. And she really did look mad in her mad scene. I have the feeling she injured herself before her solo in Act I. She disappered off the stage during the pas de six and her dancing was a bit off during her solo but she seemed to have recovered for Act II. I was very moved by her performance in Act II. Again she surprised me with her dramatic skills. This time I was seated very close to the stage and the expressions on her face were very clear and heartfelt. Cope gave a technically accomplished performance but for me he didn't project much emotion to the audience. It's interesting to see the different interpretations of Albrecht, in many ways I think that Albrecht is more of a key figure in the ballet than Giselle and the way that he is interpreted can have a major impact on the ballet dramatically. Cope's Albrecht was more of a cad than Kobborg's, he wasn't as youthful and he appeared to be playing with Giselle and not genuinely in love with her.

This production of Giselle was much more satisfying than Swan Lake. I have never seen it danced with such heart and real emotion. The role of Hilarion was unusually well characterised, he became an important player in the scene and not just a little bit role. The willis were wonderfully synchronised, something they lacked in Swan Lake, and the sight of them condemning Hilarion to death brought shivers to my spine. Marianela Nunez shone in the role of Myrtha. She posesses a very strong, assured techinque with wonderful balances and her coldness could have frozen the sun! Zenaida Yanowsky in the second cast was also a very detached, cool Myrtha, although I found her hands and feet to be a bit messy at times. Just a small note, I have never seen any dancer perform the penchee in arabesque fully, without wobbling or coming out of it off balance. Both Myrtha and Giselle perform one in Act II and neither Bussell, Cojocaru, Nunez or Yanowsky could do it. But that would be my only disappointment with their dancing.

Overall a fantastic production of Giselle. If only all ballets were this moving and real. Now we only have the Triple Bill to go before they leave Sydney.


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  Subject     Author     Message Date     ID  
  RE: RB Giselle Sydney Gattie 17-06-02 1
     RE: RB Giselle Sydney Viviane 17-06-02 2
         RE: RB Giselle Sydney Brendan McCarthymoderator 17-06-02 3
  RE: RB Giselle Sydney Sim 17-06-02 4
     RE: RB Giselle Sydney katharine kanter 17-06-02 5
     RE: RB Giselle Sydney roddy 17-06-02 6
         RE: RB Giselle Sydney janek 18-06-02 7
             RE: RB Giselle Sydney Gattie 19-06-02 8
                 RE: RB Giselle Sydney roddy 19-06-02 9
                 RE: RB Giselle Sydney roddy 19-06-02 10

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Gattie

17-06-02, 08:45 AM (GMT)
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1. "RE: RB Giselle Sydney"
In response to message #0
 
   I saw the matinee performance as well. I was very surprised that there were so many empty seats. While I prefer the Australian production, Cojocaru really made the ticket worthwhile. I have read so many praises about her dancing, and I have to agree with all of them.
I also found the lighting too dark which made Act I look very gloomy.


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Viviane

17-06-02, 09:29 AM (GMT)
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2. "RE: RB Giselle Sydney"
In response to message #1
 
   Janek, thank you so much for your review !
It made it so easy to recall Alina and Johan's superb 'Giselle'
performances
Gattie, 'empty seats for Alina'? That's something rarely seen in London !


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Brendan McCarthymoderator

17-06-02, 09:39 AM (GMT)
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3. "RE: RB Giselle Sydney"
In response to message #2
 
   For newspaper reviews of Giselle (Sydney Morning Herald and The Australian) see today's links


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Sim

17-06-02, 10:11 AM (GMT)
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4. "RE: RB Giselle Sydney"
In response to message #0
 
   Janek, I am so pleased that your impressions were favourable....I told you last week you'd be very moved and very impressed with the Cojocaru/Kobborg Giselle, so I'm delighted you were! As the others have mentioned, I cannot believe there were five rows of empty seats when they were dancing.....here, people feel incredibly lucky if they get tickets to see them because there is always so much demand. Personally, I'd sell my soul to see that performance again, and to see their Swan Lake next season!


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katharine kanter

17-06-02, 12:43 PM (GMT)
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5. "RE: RB Giselle Sydney"
In response to message #4
 
   Janek,

Thank you for your enlightening comments, which are very moving. Every time I read an article about Kobborg and Cojocaru, I have the impression that a page in the history of dance is being written. I believe too, that you are right in saying that Albrecht is the centre of the play, which is why his counter-foil, Hilarion, must always be a truly outstanding dancer. Jules Perrot himself, the ballet's author, danced the role of Albrecht, and he was known as the "male Taglioni", so I s'pose he knew what he was doing!

So many dancers have said to me: "When we stop dancing, we will be forgotten the following day. Help us, by writing, so that people will remember what we did." Keep writing !


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roddy

17-06-02, 01:42 PM (GMT)
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6. "RE: RB Giselle Sydney"
In response to message #4
 
   Cojocaru and Kobborg are not nearly as well known in Australia as Bussell and Cope, nor have they really been promoted here - perhaps this explains some of the empty seats.

I have been privileged to have seen three RB and one Australian Ballet Giselle. The RB version is far and away the better, although the lighting in Act I is too sombre. Of Cojocaru, Bussell and Wildor, I found Sarah the most moving, at least in the first Act. Alina is a wonderful, almost faultless dancer and it may be nitpicking of me to feel that she will have more to offer in the role as she matures. Darcey is rather too athletic, thoroughbred-like to be truly suited to the role of a sensitve girl with a dicky heart - a far superior Swan Queen, justly deserving of the ovation she received on opening night in Sydney. I was hoping to see what Sylvie would make of the role but she cancelled both in London and in Sydney.

Has there been a better Queen of the Wilis than Zenaida Yanowsky? I was mesmerised by her faultless arms and hands, neck and head, not to mention her jump and uncompromising hauteur.

An unsung heroine in all of this is Miyako Yoshida. Unheralded, she danced a great Odette/Odile, as good in her own way as Darcey and in some places with more feeling. There was scanty applause after a perfect Act II variation although the matinee audience had warmed to her by the end.

I prefer the Australian Ballet (Woolliams/?Cranko) version of Swan Lake. There are many faults in the RB production and Ross Stretton could do worse than to totally revise it.


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janek

18-06-02, 05:09 AM (GMT)
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7. "RE: RB Giselle Sydney"
In response to message #6
 
   I agree that the RB version of Swan Lake could do with a total rehaul. It was a great disappointment. I also agree that the lighting and scenery in general in Act I of Giselle is a bit gloomy although the production is far better than the Australian Ballet's.


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Gattie

19-06-02, 08:08 AM (GMT)
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8. "RE: RB Giselle Sydney"
In response to message #7
 
   There were so many empty seats partly because the casting was not announced till this year, when most of the tickets had already been sold months earlier.

I think the reason I enjoyed the Australian production more is because it was staged at the Opera House. The layout of the Opera House theatre is superior to the Capital Theatre where the RB performed. I always feel like I'm being drawn into the ballet and the dancing has more impact (I sit in the middle of the stalls). Whereas, at the RB performances, it felt like I was watching a performance up on the stage.


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roddy

19-06-02, 01:37 PM (GMT)
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9. "RE: RB Giselle Sydney"
In response to message #8
 
   Gattie

I agree that the layout of the Opera House theatre is more intimate - if only the stage were bigger. I have often thought that the Concert Hall should be converted into an Opera/Ballet theatre and the concerts moved elsewhere. Apparently this was Utzon's original plan. I do not think that a company the size of the RB could be accommodated on the current Opera House stage.

Having said that, I was left unmoved by AB's Giselle viewed from the stalls and knocked out by Sarah Wildor and the RB a few weeks later, viewed from high in the amphitheatre at Covent Garden. So position isn't everything! None the less, hang onto those stalls seats!


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roddy

19-06-02, 01:39 PM (GMT)
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10. "RE: RB Giselle Sydney"
In response to message #8
 
   Gattie

I agree that the layout of the Opera House theatre is more intimate - if only the stage were bigger. I have often thought that the Concert Hall should be converted into an Opera/Ballet theatre and the concerts moved elsewhere. Apparently this was Utzon's original plan. I do not think that a company the size of the RB could be accommodated on the current Opera House stage.

Having said that, I was left unmoved by AB's Giselle viewed from the stalls and knocked out by Sarah Wildor and the RB a few weeks later, viewed from high in the amphitheatre at Covent Garden. So position isn't everything!


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