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The Kirov/Mariinsky's "Giselle"


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#1 Solor

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Posted 17 October 2005 - 12:47 AM

I just watched the Mezentseva/Terekhova/Zaklinksy film of "Giselle". I marvel everytime Ive watched how PERFECT (I dont use that word lightly when speaking of ballet) the corps is in the "Dance of the Wilis" -(for those who dont know - the pas that comes right before Giselle makes here entrance as a Wili). Also, the incredible precision and Icey-ness of Terekhova as Myrha. Mezentseva is great, as well as Zaklinksy. Of all the "Giselle's" Ive seen live or otherwise this has to be, BY FAR, the best staging of the dances as well as the overall production. The quality of this film is great, the cinematography, etc., and the orchestra is well recorded.

I just read RG's and Nina Alovert's articles in response to Gabriella Komleva's "Why Petipa is loosing at competitions" article from Dance Mag. 1994. In Alovert's part of the article, when discussing the changes that the ballets of Petipa have gone through at the Kirov/Mariinksy, she says -

"The only ballet (Petipa choreographed) (in the current Mariinksy Repertory) that has experienced almost no changes is Petipa's 1884 version of Giselle, after Coralli and Perrot."

Is this true? Why are the stagings of ABT so different from that of the Kirov? For example, I remember seeing "Giselle" in NY and in the waltz section of the "Wilis Pas" Myrtha stands in the middle, where as in the Mariinksy staging shes not even on stage - the Wilis are grouped around Myrtha in the ABT staging (as well as other western stagings) but since shes nowhere to be found in this part, the dancers are in rows. The choreagraphy for this pas is the same I guess as far as the foundation goes, but the details differ greatly to that of the Mariinksy staging. It is the same with the 'Entrance of Myrtha' - completely different movements. These differences showed up everywhere when I saw "Giselle" performed by ABT.

How accurate to the 1884 Petipa staging is the current "Giselle" at the Mariinksy? Was the 1884 staging of Petipa the last time he revised "Giselle"? Is this where the Minkus additions to the score come from?

Lots of Questions.......................

#2 silvy

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Posted 07 November 2005 - 09:16 AM

I must say that there are differences in Giselle's 1st act variation between Russian versions and Western (like ABT, and Alicia Alonso's). In the Russian versions, Giselle does piroette en attitude en dedans, ended in croise, then does an enveloppe with the right leg, rising on pointe in passe, and going back to plie in arabesque. In ABT and Alonso's versions, Giselle does the same pirouette followed by a ballonne with left leg, then piques en arabesque to plie - pas de bourre.

Also there are changes in the hops on pointe: in Russian versions Giselle does all ballones on pointes, while in ABT she does 6 rond de jambes en l'air followed by 6 hops en attitude devant.

Also the ending is different: Russians do manege, while the ABT (and Alonso, do pirouette en dedans, lowering the passe without plieing, then do 2 piques en dehors,and so on).

I think only the beginning is the same.

Maybe I am mistaken,

silvy

#3 Solor

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Posted 25 November 2005 - 06:45 AM

I must say that there are differences in Giselle's 1st act variation between Russian versions and Western (like ABT, and Alicia Alonso's).  In the Russian versions, Giselle does piroette en attitude en dedans, ended in croise, then does an enveloppe with the right leg, rising on pointe in passe, and going back to plie in arabesque.  In ABT and Alonso's versions, Giselle does the same pirouette followed by a ballonne with left leg, then piques en arabesque to plie - pas de bourre.

Also there are changes in the hops on pointe: in Russian versions Giselle does all ballones on pointes, while in ABT she does 6 rond de jambes en l'air followed by 6 hops en attitude devant.

Also the ending is different: Russians do manege, while the ABT (and Alonso, do pirouette en dedans, lowering the passe without plieing, then do 2 piques en dehors,and so on).

I think only the beginning is the same.

Maybe I am mistaken,

silvy

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


I saw a film of Spessivtseva dancing this same variation, and she did the pique turns (or maybe outside pique turns aka lame ducks) on the diagnale at the end of the variation. I think she was the first to dance this variation, at least that is what she says as well as Anton Dolin in the film "A Portrait of Giselle", though Ive read here and there that Petipa added the variation to the ballet for the ballerina Emma Bessone for his 1887 revival to the music of Minkus. Perhaps the variation was only performed when Bessone danced the ballet, and was put back in via Spessivtseva.

I like the Kirov's version the best out of any in the world. Ive seenquite a few Giselles live - all only the USA though, all of the European versions Ive seen have only been on film on film. All of the versions I have seen danced by American companies have had pretty much the same choreography. If you watch the film of Baryshnikov and Makarova, ABT dances a staging like all the rest of the US companies as far as choreography goes. These versions are different from the Kirov's staging, which I have read apparently has not changed much since Petipa's last staging in 1903 for Pavlova (as well, I have also read that "Giselle" is the only ballet in the classical repertoire of the Kirov that has not been changed over and over through time as with the other ballets). The choreography of ABT's and the kirov's versions have the same 'foundation' but different details if you get what I mean. ABT's version is choreographicaly simaler to the Royal Ballet's version.

The Kirov's version is divine.....SO VERY DIVINE. In ABT's version the Dances of teh Wilis are very different, the biggest difference between thiers and ABT's is that Myrtha is in the middle during the 'Entree', and all of the ballerinas are grouped arounf her, where as the Kirov's doesnt have Myrtha on stage untill her section of the pas, and the ballerinas are in close rows. As well ABT's verions has Giselle's Act I variation danced for Albrecht's fiancee (I thin her name is Bathilde), where as the Kirov's has the variation after the 'Grape Pickers' come in.

ABT uses, at least in the Baryishnikov/Makarova film, a version of the music re-orchestrated by Lanchbery. I dont know if they still do (do they?). Why ABT chose to have the score re-orchestrated is beyond me, as Adam's acore is a masterpiece in its original form. I do feel however that Lanchbery's work on the score is very very good, but not nesessary at all. Anyone know why this was done? Anyone know if ABT still uses this version of the music?


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