Giselle Rouge Revisited - May 5th 2017
Wiener Staatsballet: May 5th, 2017, “Giselle Rouge” - revisited
This time I am not going to write about the piece itself and the ensemble, as I have done this twice before; the last time just on April 6th past (see my last review). I am going to write just about two dancers.
Yes, this “Giselle Rouge”, the last one of the season by the way, was for me “the icing on the cake” on a long run of different interpretations during the past two years.
Alexis Forabosco, one of the most expressive dancers in the Wiener Staatsballet, gave life to “The Comissioner”. I use the wording “gave life” on purpose because that is really what happened on stage last May 5th. Very far away from an interpretation that would only leave place to brutality, violence and meanness, Mr. Forabosco really gave life to a character that was far more calculating in a sort of Machiavellian way. And perhaps because of this psychological contemplation, much more frightening – and therefore human. Mr. Forabosco and his personality and great presence on stage – better put it this way: he “fills” the stage – supported by a great dynamic, great jumps, technical precision and very masculine identity – are simply what this role asks for. A dancer is his very best years. Definitely.
Ioanna Avraam was for me the perfect “Ballerina” (Olga Spessivtesva), tormented by her passions, destiny… not being quite able to cope with it.
Miss Avraam gave a very strong reading of this role and of the tragedy included in it. Not afraid of not “looking at her best”. Her Olga when compared in scenes in which she is thrown on the floor like a parcel to scenes in which she exceeds in elegance are simply amazing. A very fine and gifted dancer, Miss Avraam is an incredible asset to the ensemble of the Wiener Staatsballet. Surely one of Manuel Legris’ best decisions ever was to turn her into a principal.
Possessing an exquisite technique: beautiful extensions – but never “over extended” in a vulgar way- that turn into amazing Développés, magical pas-de-bourrés (YES!) and those wonderful, sensitive, fragile looking arms and hands (for me still THE factor in recognizing a great dancer) she made me once more aware of her talent. And how I enjoy witnessing real talent on stage. A dancer that really uses her technique as a TOOL on stage and not as the main “drive” to perform a part. All this added to her Mediterranean way of “feeling a tragedy” and portraying it in a very smooth, human, nearly touchable way made her interpretation an unique one. As Jane Fonda once said about Meryl Streep during a gala performance: She was right there. Yes, Miss Avraam was right there. Her emotions, her presence, her intelligence as a dancer.
The chemistry between Mr. Forabosco and Miss Avraam was perfect. In a stage relation that might lead to overdoing the roles, they gave the audience just the right portion of feelings and emotions. And everything was there: the sexuality of the Comissioner and the sex dominance he exercised over Olga and her submission to him… and the mad Olga. So sad...
Great interpretations in this last “Giselle Rouge” of the season. I am glad I watched THIS show.