This post has been updated to include Amy Walton's review of the show. Amy attended as media.
It was such an incredible and rare opportunity to see ballet superstar, Misty Copeland, star in the title role of the classical romantic ballet, GISELLE, opposite the incredible Roberto Bolle at Segerstrom Center for the Arts this weekend. The classic simplicity in a traditional ballet such as this appears effortless and the technique of the dancers was executed flawlessly. The Segerstrom Center welcomed the Teatro alla Scala Ballet Company in an exclusive West Coast engagement, performing GISELLE for one weekend only July 28 – 30, 2017. A tour of the Teatro alla Scala Ballet Company in the United States is an exciting and rare event. This is the first time that La Scala, based in Milan, Italy, has visited since July 2001. One of the most performed classical ballets, GISELLE, with its world premiere dating back to 1841, is the tale of love, betrayal and redemption between a peasant girl, Giselle, and Prince Albrecht.
Before the ballet even began, the excitement of the live orchestra set the tone for an amazing performance. The music by Adolphe Adam, was performed by the renowned Mikhailovsky Orchestra. Misty Copeland was as close to perfection as you can get. With her elegant lines and graceful strength, fully supported by her effortlessly technical partner, Roberto Bolle, the duo was a powerhouse match. Their performance was full of big, bold moves seamlessly blended with tender, sweet moments, that moved melodically and in perfect harmony with the live music. Using only their expressions and movements, all the dancers emoted such deep feelings their characters were wrestling with, and really succeeded in conveying the emotional and dramatic story. The love between Giselle (Copeland) and Albrecht (Bolle) was palpable throughout the entire performance. The ballerinas cast as the Willis, the ghostly spirits of maidens betrayed by their lovers, were as beautiful and ethereal as they were haunting. Their perfectly synchronized movements were mesmerizing to watch. They entranced the audience and brought us along for their mysterious ride. I'm a huge fan!
~Amy Walton, Contributing Writer for LetsPlayOC.com
GISELLE is one of the most popular and most performed classical story ballets. The La Scala production, enriched by Aleksandr Benois’ sets and costumes that are part of the Scala’s repertoire features the original Coralli-Perrot choreography in the revival by Yvette Chauviré. Her own moving interpretations of roles such as Giselle, celebrated the classical ballet tradition in all its purity. One of the most popular works in recent La Scala seasons and international tours, GISELLE is now staged by the La Scala Ballet Company as a homage to Yvette Chauviré, the extraordinary artist who recently died. In her version of GISELLE, performed at La Scala for the first time in 1950, Chauviré herself starred as the ill-fated peasant girl who dreamt of love and loved to dance. “The virtuosity of Giselle consists in making the technique invisible,” said Yvette Chauviré. “I studied all choreographic elements, entrances and stage exits and the ‘downtimes’ - if they can be called that - between the enchaînements: the floating of the arabesques and the breathing pose of the arms. When I was dancing, my obsession was to make people forget the physicality of the feet and give the feeling of ‘the appearance of a breath.’”
Teatro alla Scala Ballet - GISELLE
July 28 – 30, 2017
Segerstrom Center for the Arts
600 Town Center Dr, Costa Mesa, CA
Costa Mesa, CA
PERFORMANCES: Friday at 7:30 p.m., Saturday at 2 and 7:30 p.m., Sunday at 1 p.m.
TICKETS: Start at $29
Ticket holders are invited to attend Free Preview Talks one hour prior to each performance. The Friday, July 28, 2017 Preview Talk will be sign-language interpreted. The Center's International Dance Series is made possible by the Audrey Steele Burnand Endowed Fund for International Dance and The Segerstrom Foundation Endowment for Great Performances.
The opening night cast for this Center engagement includes ballet superstar Misty Copeland in the title role, with Roberto Bolle making his Center debut as Prince Albrecht. The music by Adolphe Adam, will be performed by the renowned Mikhailovsky Orchestra. The La Scala star Roberto Bolle will also perform with the Royal Ballet’s acclaimed Marianela Nuñez for the Saturday, July 29 evening performance and the Sunday, July 30 matinee. La Scala’s principals, Nicoletta Manni and Claudio Coviello, recently starred in GISELLE for the La Scala tour in China, will dance the lead roles for the Saturday, July 29 matinee.