June 1, 1990 |
The Pennsylvania Ballet's production of "Giselle," which opened last night at the Academy of Music, is curiously low-key for such a flamboyant old ballet warhorse. After all, this is the story of a village maiden done wrong by a visiting prince, who fails to tell her that he's already pledged to someone else back at the castle. The story, corny as it is, remains important to the ballet, because it is truly pivotal to the dancing. Giselle, the maiden in question, goes mad and dies when she discovers her betrayal.
April 8, 1988 |
Love betrayed, loved redeemed in the eerie mist of a graveyard: The story of Giselle is among the most moving in ballet, and again it worked its charms when the Pennsylvania and Milwaukee Ballet opened a two-week run of the classic Wednesday at the Shubert Theater. Among its charms is its urgency. One always hopes that this time, Count Albrecht will explain his true identity to the peasant Giselle before Hilarion unmasks him, thus preventing her descent into madness and transformation into a ghostly Wili.
September 11, 1998 |
The Pennsylvania Ballet will open its 35th season with a bit of the old and a bit of the new - the enduring romance of Giselle and a program combining three world premieres. The lights come up at the Merriam Theater on Oct. 14 for a two-week run of Giselle, which has been called the Hamlet of classical dance, both for its age-to-age appeal and its depiction of eerie, spectral madness. The old French story, put to music by Adolphe Adam, tells of young girls who die before their wedding day - then rise from their graves each evening to cavort in the moonlight.
June 2, 1990 |
Giselle is the most perfect story ballet in existence, because dance and drama are perfectly fused. Hardly is there a moment of choreography that doesn't also further the narrative line. The story itself is also wonderful. About a count's betrayal of an innocent maiden, it touches the heart in a more direct way than the allegorical Tchaikovsky ballets, Swan Lake and Sleeping Beauty. Even the Girl Scouts' ballet battalion could make a go of Giselle, so irresistible is the ballet.
February 6, 2007 |
Giselle is one of the most popular ballets of all time. Yet until Friday night, the Pennsylvania Ballet hadn't danced it for nine years. It was worth the wait. The company looked better than it had in a long time. Choreographed by Marius Petipa after Jean Coralli and Jules Perrot, Giselle is one of the great Romantic ballets and a notoriously difficult one to dance. But the Pennsylvania Ballet rose to the occasion. It is the story of a peasant girl who loves to dance, despite a weak heart.
January 31, 2007 |
'GISELLE," THE first great Romantic ballet and still a staple of the repertory, returns here for the first time in 13 years, thanks to the Pennsylvania Ballet. Though this sumptuous work debuted in 1841 Paris, the standard choreography is the production staged by Marius Petipa in Russia nearly 50 years later. It demands enormous skill, thus it can only be attempted by a superior company. If "Giselle" isn't as well-known as Tchaikovsky's "Swan Lake" or Stravinsky's "Firebird," that's only because Adolphe Adam's score isn't familiar symphony-orchestra repertoire.
October 21, 2012 |
Pennsylvania Ballet opened its 49th season with Giselle Thursday night at the Academy of Music and made it clear why the work has such staying power. One of the world's most frequently performed ballets (with Nutcracker and Swan Lake ), Giselle was choreographed in 1841 by Jean Coralli and Jules Perrot, and reworked several times by Marius Petipa. It is breathtakingly beautiful, from the courtyard scene to the romantic pas de deux to the lush corps de ballet in long puffs of white tulle to the memorable Adolphe Adam score.
February 10, 1995 |
The dance has usually come before the dancer in the Pennsylvania Ballet's aesthetic, but in the company's current performances of Giselle, the rules turn upside down. These performances at the Merriam Theater feature Tamara Hadley in the title role, and her imminent retirement has thrust her into the center of attention. Far from being the whole point, the ballet has become the frame around a quaint romantic scene, the setting for her final performances. The company has mounted this work only three times in its history, and in her 20 years here, Hadley has danced the title role each time.
April 7, 1988 |
When she's not writing about ballet, an acid-tongued Brit named Kay Ambrose paints ballerinas on the noses of jet bombers. I find that attractive. So naturally I consulted her "Ballet-Lover's Companion" before attending last night's opening of the Pennsylvania and Milwaukee Ballet's rendition of the romantic 19th-century classic, "Giselle. " Ambrose writes that although you can wow 'em in "Swan Lake" on technical merit alone, you gotta have heart to sell "Giselle. " "A Giselle who has only technique and no emotional capability," she advises, "is a theatrical and artistic atrocity.
December 6, 1987 |
Joanne Marino, 17, stood on tiptoe with her arms extended above her head, waiting for the music to change, a signal for her to leap across the stage. "OK - right here. Go to the andante. Skip this section," conductor Richard Wilhelm shouted to the orchestra. Some of Wilhelm's musicians followed his lead, while others continued without skipping. A few, looking bewildered, stopped altogether. Wilhelm dropped his arms in frustration and Marino was caught in midleap as the music died down.