By Serene Serhan
Among the ruins of the North Theater, forty ballet dancers of the Classical Ukrainian Ballet pounced, plied and pivoted, transporting their audience to the world of magic, myth and music of Giselle.
Giselle, also known as the Hamlet of Ballet, was presented with picture perfect poise on Friday earning this work of art vigorous applause from a 500 some audience.
Upon its inception, the century old piece of work, by composer Adolphe Charles Adam, broke the rules of conservative dancing; it glorified woman and inserted romance into ballet.
The dancers of the Ukaranian Ballet, reminded the audience of such romanticism by presenting the masterpiece in its classical form, away from modern interpretation.
“The group does not believe in enhancing the script in order to impress the new generations, they believe in presenting it the way it was supposed to be presented,” said the group’s director Maria Mesherekova.
A fragile and delicate Giselle, Marina Loenkina, won the hearts of the audience with her genuine expressions and innocently graceful feather like footsteps.
Loenkina’s immaculate performance is no surprise to Mesherekova. “Loenkina was described as the best Gisselle of Russia in the New York Times on several occasions,” she said.
Bit by bit, and step-by-step the 32-year-old Marina portrayed the essence of Giselle, a helpless yet unattainable woman and a lover scorned.
With an aura of romantic fantasy, the ballet radiated love, death then finally spiritual solace.
Keeping true to the essence of Giselle, the group made sure to portray the dancing as both subject and content, whereby besides its obvious aesthetic value, the dancing is a symbol for its themes.
Dancing is what kills the young Giselle and it is also what saves the life of her duke.
Meanwhile, the music, which was written specifically for the ballet, added a touch of perfection.
A musical score woven intricately with poetic movement and romantic essence dominated the stage sending an aura of enchantment throughout the North Theater.
The seven musical themes crept their way into the ballet by first emerging, then being established, echoing and finally dying away.
The group had much to work with; Giselle, the original ballet, is rich with uniqueness and innovation.
On its debuted, the ballet was the first to transform toe-dancing from gimmickry to artistry.
It was also the first play to introduce great literary quality into ballet.
One theme discussed in the ballet is the unbridgeable gap between belief in the simple happiness of long ago places, and the dark brooding disasters of unattainable love.
The piece of art also discusses the results of inevitable doomed loss, woman as perfect and unattainable and man as base.
It was this theme that started the era of the ‘tyranny of the ballerina’ in the nineteenth century.
Absolute love devoid of sexual fulfillment or the “passion of enforced chastity,” is yet another theme to the ballet.
With the help of writer Theophile Gautier, the script of the ballet intricately explored themes that the age had ignored; dualism, duplicity and destiny.
All in all, the romantic ballet, in its first day of two performances, was a perfect rendition of the classical masterpiece -- Albawaba.com
© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com )