While Saturday evening’s Giselle presented two new faces as leads on the ABT stage (Stella Abrerra and Mariinsky’s Vladimir Shklyarov) the Tuesday performance featured two familiar and experienced stars: Diana Vishneva and Marcelo Gomes. The two have been paired together many times and their experience showed with a brilliant performance. The two were magical together with beautiful technique and dramatic timing in a very moving performance.
Marcelo’s Albrecht was a multifaceted cad, a playboy pursuing a young village girl, ultimately falling in love with Giselle. His dramatic talents were abundant as each action had meaning, each gesture had a purpose as he ran through a gamut of actions: patronizingly dismissing his squire who renders wise advice to avoid the village; making first eye contact with the shy Giselle; gesturing as if to say “May I sit down” on a bench occupied by Giselle; deep concern for her health as she falters during a dance; the look on his face as if to say “I really don’t want be here” when his fiancé approaches with Giselle nearby; to mad grief as Giselle dies in his arms.
Diana was his dramatic match as she portrayed a shy girl who falls in love with the Count in Act I to a defiant afterlife being determined to protect Albrecht from the man-killer Myrta. In her mad scene, she was possessed, with spastic, jerking movements as she faltered.
Their dancing was beautiful without allowing technique and athleticism to overpower the dramatic elements. Their dancing was in synch with perfect timing in Act II. Diana with beautiful, flowing arms, plush arabesques and panches, and Marcelo with strong partnering and lifts throughout.
Marcelo’s solo featured nice double cabrioles to the front with an exaggerated extension after the second beat, similar to Vladimir’s on Saturday evening. After his second solo, he completed a series of 24 nice entrechat six beats. Diana’s technical highlight was a breathtaking series of hops on pointe with nicely flowing arms in Act I as she sneaked a peek at Albrecht.
Devon Teuscher was a last-minute replacement for Stella Abrera as Myrta. She debuted in the role last year and was quite effective, although not as imposing as Veronica Part, ABT’s best in this role; with more experience, Devon will grow into Mytra. She seemed to be flying on her assemble six diagonal with nicely articulated beats. Christine Shevchenko was also effective as Moyna with nice entrechat six beats.
Misty Copeland and Craig Salstein performed the Peasant Pas de Deux Tuesday and Saturday evenings. I was underwhelmed by their performance, as it lacked pizazz. Misty’s jetes were forced and her panache’s were not the strongest I have seen. Patrick Ogle’s Act I portrayal of Hilarion was muted. His energy picked up in Act II as he fought to survive in the forest against the Wilis