Bob was sold by the idea that the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra was playing for the first season as accompaniment to the Orlando Ballet. We were also long time season ticket holders for the Seattle Symphony--I got sold on the Seattle Symphony by Conductor Gerard Schwarz's inexpensive Musically Speaking Series since they played Sunday at 2 pm and I'd get a good walk around Seattle Center fountain, sample the Seattle fudge, listen to whoever was jamming and watch the children chase the balloons around. I loved it as a feed the muse act for my poetry--this one below a double haiku.
AT FOUNTAINS EDGE
dusky branch reaches
arches among you, lone I
on lavender eve
Giselle is not the easiest of dances to perform, chiefly because the piece is an so slow, adagio. The holds and poses and movements take great strength and balance. Quicker dances require sharpness, lightness and training, but adagio is excruciating on the muscles. The company performed really well. There were only a couple slight mishaps, one missed jump, and some slow footwork overall and a shaky start for the village couple.
I was very impressed. I remember Pacific Northwest Ballet snowflakes in the Nutcracker that couldn't keep up with the music because they were chubby but that was years ago when they were just starting out. These dancers in the Orlando ballet look very well trained. Tonight's leading roles were danced by guest artists for season Adiairys Almeida and Joseph Gatti and they were a delight as Giselle and Albrecht. The kids were fun as flag bearers. Also Andras Ronai as Hilarion did some strong dancing. Kate-Lynn Robichaux and Arcadian Broad did a good pas de deux as the village couple when they finally got caught up with the music. All the corps dancing went well. Myrtha, Queen of the Wilis, (a suitable bunch of spirit sorts near Halloween), danced by Chiaki Yasukawa was a little stiff, but strong and dramatic and very cold to young lovers.
I also was very impressed by the Orlando Philharmonic which sounded magical and captured the heartbreak of the tragic love story very well. Music director Eric Jacobsen led some awesome musicians, I enjoyed it very much. I was also delighted to see the story in the playbill, something that Broadway Across America could use, even though I looked up the story of Giselle in Wikipedia before I went.
I liked the little German village in fall and the suitably eerie graveyard setting for each of the two acts.
Here's a sample of Eric Jacobsen on cello, not the best sound quality in this video but amazing playing: