Dance Review: Israel Ballet 'GISELLE'

Giselle is a young village girl, both naïve frail, who falls for a flirtatious prince Albrecht, who swears his eternal love to her while being already engaged.

By ORA BRAFMAN
September 24, 2019 20:46
2 minute read.
Dance Review: Israel Ballet 'GISELLE'

Natalia Osipova. (photo credit: ALICE PENNEFATHER)

ISRAEL BALLET - GISELLE
Leading role: Natalia Osipova
(Royal Ballet)
Tel Aviv Performing Arts Center
September 22


World renowned ballerina Natalia Osipova is now in a position that she can dance anywhere she desires – including Tel Aviv.

Osipova danced as Giselle, accompanied by the Israel Ballet, last weekend. For the local company, Osipova’s name on the billboard is a bonanza. For the audience that filled the Tel Aviv Performing Arts Center hall to the brim, it was a rare delight.

Osipova is a strong dancer and Giselle brought out complex talents as she balanced her hidden internal character’ strengths while she personifies the essence of the Romantic ballet era – the perception of the ideal woman as a sublime, ethereal entity.

Giselle is a young village girl, both naïve frail, who falls for a flirtatious prince Albrecht, who swears his eternal love to her while being already engaged to a blue-blooded member of the royal entourage. When Giselle realizes that, she dies brokenhearted.

The second act takes part at night in the forest. Albrecht, who realizes that he was truly in love with Giselle, but was too hesitant to admit it at the time, visits her grave at night. The woods, ruled by the willies – souls of women that were betrayed and are looking for revenge – force straying men such as Albrecht to dance to death. Frail Giselle, the purest of souls, protects him, saves his life and goes back to her grave at dawn.

The Israel Ballet followed this fantasy ballet’s rendition by Marius Petipa, originally choreographed by Jean Coralli and Jules Perrot (p. 1841). Almost every company has created its own variation to adapt or update as needed.

There is no credit to the current contributors, but whoever they are, they did fine work choreographing the large scenes of the willies, the peasants’ group dance and the elegant rendition of the duet dance by Lior Horev and Yossi Tzarfati. Overall, the company excelled, but as is often the case, most group scenes needed more precision and unity.

Giselle became one of the ultimate display pieces for the greatest ballerinas of all generations, and Osipova is certainly among them.
When she is on stage, it’s hard to see anyone else: her entire body is involved in every move from the quicksilver petite steps on point that makes her seem to flow, to her whirling turns, up to her incredible and gentle use of her arms which mirror her changing expressions.

Osipova’s variation of Giselle will surely be remembered for the right reasons.


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