Act I Giselle Excerpt

31 Aug

The local TV broadcast station, 32.5, continues to supply the viewer with some intriguing short ballets, many of which are not performed and therefore quite unknown here in the U.S. Over the weekend I saw a dancer by the name of Kiyoko Kimura in a pas de deux by Uwe Scholz to Mozart music. Didn’t really register the name of her partner because the work was a remarkable study of a woman’s reaction to being bereft of the man she loves. While not totally clear her solitude was the result of a breakup, the responses, timed exquisitely to the music, were so on target; Kimura’s interpretation was exceptional.

Jiri Kylian’s Petit Mort has been seen several times, and more recently, his pas de quatre for two couples to Le Cathedral Engloutie, the women in long dresses fashioned like the robes made notable by Martha Graham.

But back to the subject of this posting, Giselle. The station has been showing an excerpt from the first act of Giselle, as danced by Alicia Alonso with the Ballet Nacional de Cuba on the occasion of the 35th anniversary of her debut in the role. If my calculations are correct, that would make Alonso 57. The men were Antonio Gades as Albrecht and Jorge Esquivel as Hilarion.

It is this version which Jose Manuel Carreno is bringing to Ballet San Jose in October, and it will be fascinating to see whether the production retains the mime detail as well as how at home the dancer in the title role will be.  Oops, it’s now Ballet Silicon Valley!

At 57, Alonso possessed a matronly body and displayed port de bras correct but minus the nuance of young muscles. Her jetes were still high but with an older body, one saw, visibly, the effort.

It was the mime, however, that captivated; Hilarion kissing her hands in the initial confrontation, and Giselle pulling them away from his grasp. Earlier Albrecht had picked a second daisy which he calculated as coming out a resounding “yes.” But the clincher in the detail was to find Giselle on the bench at the conclusion of the Hilarion-Albrecht confrontation, leaning to one side, right hand on her heart, clearly upset over the situation, underscoring the fragility of her heart, providing the viewer with the essence of the role.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: