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Albrecht's charadeHow long would it last, and have ended?


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#1 Rosa

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Posted 05 March 2009 - 02:04 PM

If Albrecht's identify hadn't been discovered/revealed how long would he have continued to be Loys? Would he someday mysteriously vanish without a word once he grew tired of Giselle, never to return? Would he have eventually told her who he was, hopeful of having some sort of future together? How would Giselle react? Could the revelation that the man she loved not really exist still result in her death?

#2 whetherwax

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Posted 05 March 2009 - 04:11 PM

When the wedding day was continually put off, it may have been hard to continue. Then again perhaps they could have run away together and emigrated to Australia thereby starting the Australian wine industry earlier.

#3 Alexandra

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Posted 05 March 2009 - 05:23 PM

I think this is a very interesting question -- not possible for the Romantics to consider, though. Everything is so condensed in Romantic drama ( novels, plays, ballets). Baryshnikov added something to "Giselle" that I liked (and I was not a fan of his Albrecht generally). Right before the hunting party came, he went to her door (she was inside resting) and put up his hand as if to knock. You could tell by his expression that he had made up his mind to tell her the truth. Whether he would leave her, or hope that she would say, "Of course, I understand. Let's go off together and live in the woods," one couldn't tell.

The cad Albrecht (Nureyev, Bruhn) planned to move on, I think. For the True Lover Albrecht (Dowell and Baryshhikov, of those I've seen) things would be more complex. He might have set her up in a house and the relationship would continue.

On the fourth hand :thumbsup:, there's the key to the Romantic personality: like James, if they touch their dream, it dies. If they reach the mountain, there's another, better mountain across the river.

#4 bart

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Posted 05 March 2009 - 05:27 PM

Interesting questions, Rosa. There's an answer to one of them in something Marga posted on the ABT/Giselle/Ottawa thread. This takes the form of the way things look to Albrecht as played by David Hallberg:

Count David : But I’m just a boy! This wasn’t supposed to happen! One minute, we were having such a great time, the next…..!


Maybe this is a "fifth hand" to add to Alexandra's list of alternative interpretations? :thumbsup:

I think one would have to be a Romanticist beyond the call of duty to imagine the relationship working out, at least as it is first presented in Act I. It's a lark, a sowing of wild oats, an example of risk-taking, and a "great time" -- so long as things are going well.

He doesn't have to be a cad; he's more of a kid. This is consistent with Baryshnikov's interpretation, since even kids can recognize that they may be in over their heads. And kids can have attacks of conscience now and then.

What about Albrecht's Act II transformation? I tend to think that his love for Giselle is something created by the suddenness, shock and finality of her death. Albrecht comes to appreciate the value of what he might have had with Giselle only after he has lost it -- or thrown it away as the result of his duplicity.

#5 EricMontreal22

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Posted 05 March 2009 - 05:31 PM

I agree witrh Alexandra--Gautier probably wouldn't even have asked this question. For him it was irrelevant. And I agree that Albrecht would have soon moved on, tiring of his charade. It's interesting that because Giselle DID become a Wili she absolves him and in many ways makes him a deeper person. I'm not sure he would have understood the severity of what he had done without that ghostly encounter--which is why it becomes thematically the true core and heart of the ballet. Otherwise he could have easily cleared his conscious with thoughts like "well she had a weak heart--it was inevitable".

#6 carbro

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Posted 05 March 2009 - 10:18 PM

It's also possible to imagine an Albrecht so callous and entitled (I guess that's a double entredre) that he visits Giselle's grave out of guilt and only as she saves him from death does he appreciate the depth of her love for him and begin to truly love her.

A modern scenario might have Albrecht dutifully marrying Bathilde and keeping Giselle on the side, but she could never be a Romantic heroine :ermm: under such circumstance.

#7 fandango

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Posted 06 March 2009 - 07:09 AM

A modern scenario might have Albrecht dutifully marrying Bathilde and keeping Giselle on the side, but she could never be a Romantic heroine :ermm: under such circumstance.


Mozart operas (late 1700s) often included someone "on the side", especially if there were a Lord of the Manor. Then again, the Romantic Age was a bit later.

One of the beautiful facts about stories true to human nature is that there are often a number of possible interpretations, so we can learn more about ourselves by discussing and re-viewing them.

#8 Helene

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Posted 06 March 2009 - 02:45 PM

Although I'm not exactly sure why a hero is required for a modern dance piece based on an Elizabethan play with a score by Prokofiev, who wasn't a Romantic composer, in his review of Morris' take on "Romeo and Juliet" in Ballet Review, Winter 2008/9 issue, Robert Johnson makes two comments that I think are pertinent to this thread:

Re: the happy ending in Prokofiev's score, which Morris followed:

The title characters then return for a final dance, which takes place in a starry open space outside the city, in a field perhaps, or wherever the Verona-to-Padua bus has dropped them off. They have become ordinary newlyweds setting out on the road. Lucky to be just like everyone else, they won't bequath their tale of woe to history; so it doesn't matter if the birth of their first child reconciles them to their disapproving in-laws or if eventually they divorce. Their lives no longer concern us.


and later,

At the opening, Morris' Romeo is a romantic failure: a wanker but nothing more.


I wonder if we'd conclude the same if Albrecht had never been discovered.


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