SFB Giselle

I’m still baffled by the decision of SFB to have an extra performance of Giselle this past Sunday evening, but I’m not going to complain when orchestra center seats are half off and available. Thanks to FM for getting the tickets. Second row center is a pretty nice experience, and it’ll probably be a while before I can do that again at the WMOH. It was definitely the youngest I’ve seen the center orchestra section of the audience, probably because an extra performance means there’s no seat grandfathering by all the older season subscribers. It was also funny to see other WB adults around; two were also in the same row. I guess the practitioners are also patrons of the arts.

Notwithstanding the fact that Elana Altman was not in the performance, the show was spectacular. I doubt Maria Kochetkova needs more superlatives thrown her way, but her Giselle was amazing. Mad scene was good, hops on pointe were good, penchees were good. What really impressed me, though, was her jumping sequences in Act 2. The stillness of her upper body was intense, and she gots some hops. Although I wonder why she doesn’t have a more pronounced battu. Maybe it’s intentionally subdued? I have no idea, but this season I’ve noticed that her entrechats seem a little less cross-y than some others.

What’s up with Joan Boada, who was supposed to be Albrecht? I’ve been impressed all two times I’ve seen him perform, but does he keep getting injured?

Also, as Myrtha, I think this was the first time I’ve seen Frances Chung not smile. It threw me for quite the loop. I’m not sure she has quite the gravitas (or is it just height? they’re correlated at the least) of, say, Sofiane Sylve or Elana Altman, but her performance was convincing enough, and I’m happy to see her in a role that’s not her usual bubbly ones. (Side note: Really wish I could’ve seen Muriel Maffre as Myrtha. I bet she killed (pun!) in that role.)

Also, since it’s been brought up a few times, the amorality of the story is kind of strange. Albrecht is kind of a douche, and Hilarion was really a better person. Perhaps the moral of the story is that life isn’t fair and people die, and some people turn into ghosts.

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