So did anyone here participate in yesterday’s live chat? I thought it was a tremendous success, especially since it was the first time the Guggenheim had done it. At one point, there were 364 participants, which the Works & Process people noted was a larger audience than could fit inside the Guggenheim’s actual auditorium. It was fun to see some familiar names from the past – several Winger bloggers, old Winger message board members, and some new dance Twitterers. One commenter (chatterer?) said, it was nice to be able to “talk” throughout the performance, as well as snack! I agree!
If you missed it, the program is archived here in its 90 minute entirety – so have a look. Peter Boal, Doug Fullington, and Marian Smith from Pacific Northwest Ballet talked about where they found the original sources for Giselle – the choreography and the music, and how they reconstructed it. Boal noted this is the first time an American company has attempted to mount a production of the work as it was originally done in 1841. I found the music section most interesting – the music sounds exactly like the action or the words the characters would speak – as well as of course the dancing. One thing I found fascinating was how the original choreography called for dancing that was much faster, though much closer to the ground. So lots of small jumps instead of high leaps. But some of this crazy fast choreography (that one dancer even had a hard time doing) illustrates that there was once another kind of virtuosity than we’re familiar with today. The longer, higher leaps we see so much of today are, Boal said, the Bolshoi’s influence.
All four dancers were excellent. I’d seen Carla Korbes, James Moore, and of course Seth Orza before, but never Carrie Imler, and she really amazed me. She was one of the few who could actually pull off all those insanely fast steps. I must see more of her.
The full production will take place in Seattle in June. How nice would it be if PNB could live-stream that too?