A double climax occurred on Friday and Saturday evenings at the Metropolitan Opera House when the two most idolized interpreters of the title role today, Diana Vishneva (Russian, from the Mariinsky ballet of St. Petersburg) and Alina Cojocaru (Romanian, from the Royal Ballet of London) danced for Ballet Theater.
Here was the most luxurious exercise in Giselle compare and contrast by any Western company since Natalia Makarova and Gelsey Kirkland danced the role at Ballet Theater on consecutive nights in 1977.”
… brings to the role great personal beauty, has a fullness to her dance tone and a luscious sheen that set her apart from almost every other ballerina today. The floating buoyancy with which she delivers the famous hops on point in Giselle’s Act I solo causes one sensation.
… a less full-toned dancer, seems nonetheless one of nature’s Giselles. Not since Ms. Kirkland has the role had so spiritually right an incumbent.
On their partners:
Marcelo Gomes for Ms. Vishneva and David Hallberg for Ms. Cojocaru, superb artists who do more than anyone else to bring glory to each Ballet Theater season.
Mr. Hallberg’s Albrecht is the more youthfully impetuous, the more carried away by the emotion of the moment; he and Ms. Cojocaru are alike in their humility and at curtain calls seemed to share the same amazed gratitude. No dancer today matches the noble perfection with which Mr. Hallberg executes steps; the refinement of his line, the arch of his feet, the clarity of his delivery are all miraculous.
Graham Spicer is a writer, director and photographer in Milan, blogging (under the name ‘Gramilano’) about dance, opera, music and photography for people “who are a bit like me and like some of the things I like”. He was a regular columnist for Opera Now magazine and wrote for the BBC until transferring to Italy.
His scribblings have appeared in various publications from Woman’s Weekly to Gay Times, and he wrote the ‘Danza in Italia’ column for Dancing Times magazine.