Today's Houston Chronicle includes an informative write-up about Houston Ballet's new Giselle which premieres next week with Yuriko Kajiya in the title role opposite Connor Walsh. This quote should be of interest:
Welch has thought about doing a major reboot of "Giselle" for years.
He committed to it two years ago after he hired the delicate ballerina Yuriko Kajiya away from American Ballet Theatre in New York. When he saw her perform "Giselle" there, he was especially smitten by the quality of "stillness" she brought to the dances of Act 2, along with her amazing sense of balance and her ability to move seamlessly from position to position.
Stanton Welch was so impressed after seeing Yuriko dance Giselle at ABT that she was his inspiration for staging a whole new production?! Of course, he had to have seen her dance the role on tour which she did a number of times as McKenzie would never allow Yuriko to dance it on her home stage because she would show up the guest artists and the dumpy riffraff that he was trying to push down everyone's throats at the time. Haglund and the other Yurikonauts had to fly to Chicago in order to see the best Giselle that ABT could field. When is someone on ABT's board going to start questioning the common sense and artistic values of McKenzie?
Here is a heart-stopping picture from the Houston Chronicle's collection:
In about three weeks New York City Ballet lands on the stage of the Paris Théâtre du Châtelet for 21 performances of a half dozen huge programs of choreography. Parisians are in for big treat. Top ticket price is 109 euros, which is somewhat under the $149 top ticket price being offered to subscribers for next year. Paris is getting a big treat for a bargain.
Then at the start of September, ABT drops into the Opera Bastille in Paris for 10 performances of Sleeping Beauty. Brave or foolish? Top ticket price is 154 euros which is quite a bit more than the top orchestra price at the Met this season ($135) but less than the parterre center ($205). Hopefully, ABT will push its true classical dancers to the forefront. If they don't, let's hope the French balletomanes and critics do not spare their rods. It would be nice if Hallberg were back in action by then. That would certainly help the reception.
Attention LAers: Just saw this on Dance Magazine - Robert Fairchild will be "Mike" (I can do that!) in A Chorus Line at the Hollywood Bowl from July 29-31. Who's going and will send us a report?