Defying gravity 

Ballet review | What you missed

Ballet review | What you missed
Ballet Internationale"s production of Giselle proves why it"s a masterpiece. Splendidly appointed with lush sets designed by Simon Pastukh, gorgeous costumes by Galina Solovieva and powerful lighting by Anthony T. Nye, the story glows and grows. In their staging, Eldar Aliev and Irina Kolpakova build on the original choreography by Jean Coralli and Jules Perrot and the now-famous restaging by Marius Petipa, and render this Romantic period ballet timely in its timelessness. The entire company is masterful in its miming, as essential and integral to a successful production as is the fastidious and virtuoso footwork. While Giselle is the central focus, and Karen Scalzitti-Kennedy"s luminous characterization breaks your heart, it"s Alexei Tyukov"s wresting transformation of Albrecht/Loy from playboy-prince into a responsible human being that wrenches you from fantasy into reality. In a story pitting innocence against worldliness, the BI production puts human relationships at center stage through the impact that seemingly silly superstitions have on our psyche. Giselle"s mother, Berthe, commandingly portrayed by Svetlana Cravtova, tries to keep her vivacious yet delicate daughter from overextending herself by dancing beyond her physical endurance. Berthe relates the story of the Wilis, the spirits of maidens who die before their wedding dates. As if propelled to this fate, Adolphe Adam"s clearly focused score layers emotion upon emotion in a love quadrangle destined toward destruction. Giselle"s heart breaks when her spurned lover Hilaron, convincingly portrayed by Ivan Kozlov, reveals Albrecht/Loys" duplicity. Act 2"s darkly-treed burial place is in direct contrast to Act 1"s bright exposure of the wine harvest, yet the choreography, earth bound, almost heavy during Act 1, is transformed in Act 2 into an ethereal lightness with the mythical appearance of Myrtha, the queen of the Wilis. Chieko Oiwa is simply splendid, as is the corps de ballet.

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Rita Kohn

Rita Kohn

Rita Kohn has been covering craft beer and the arts for NUVO for two decades. She’s the author of True Brew: A Guide to Craft Beer in Indiana.

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