Friday, March 13, 2009

Roundtable with 3 Giselles

Cast of characters

Xiomara Reyes
Paloma Herrera
Maria Riccetto

Act I

Giselle Herrera (her mother: Maria Bystrova; her "Loys": Marcelo Gomes): If I'd known he was going to leave Bathilde for me, I would have been fine. We were so in love. Why couldn't he tell me about her? Why did he keep it a secret? I trusted him completely. It's her I don't trust!

Giselle Reyes (her mother: Susan Jones; her "Loys": Jose Manuel Carreno): I had eyes only for him and thought he had eyes only for me. The shock of it all is hard to get my head around. How could he do this to me?

Giselle Riccetto (her mother: Nancy Raffa; her "Loys": David Hallberg): He was so innocent! I felt like I knew everything about him, he was so open and endearing. I wouldn't have believed he could do anything like this. It seems impossible, even now. Mama was right. She's always right. Why, oh why, didn't I listen to her?

Giselle Herrera: Mama was smart. But this time she was wrong. He really loved me. I really loved him. He could not pretend a love so true. We were as one from the beginning. Even our hearts beat as one.

Giselle Riccetto: I don't know if he loved ME the way I loved him. We were having such fun! Mama warned me about boys, especially boys she didn't know. But none of the other village boys made me feel the way he did. I couldn't help falling for him. He made me tingle!

Giselle Reyes: Mama told me to watch out for all boys, even the ones we knew. They'll do anything to get you to like them, because they have only one thing on their minds, that's what mama said. But Loys wasn't like that, I told her. She still didn't believe me. At least, she didn't think that I knew how to be careful. I had to pretend that everything was okay, but I was a little worried, too, especially when he ran off without telling me and I had to look all through the crowd for him while the Countess was waiting.

Giselle Herrera: I wasn't worried at all. So he disappeared for awhile! Maybe he went to feed his horse. I knew he'd be back. We couldn't stay apart for more than a few minutes.

Giselle Riccetto: I though perhaps some other girl had gone for a stroll with him. I saw a few of the village girls flirting with him. I can't say I blame them, he's so cute! But he told me that I was the one and that we would be married. I was more worried about how I would tell mama about THAT.

Giselle Reyes: I know. She would have tried to talk me out of marrying, especially since she was so protective of me. Yes, I had a weak heart, but I always slowed down when I felt it start to race. I felt fine otherwise.

Giselle Riccetto: Me too. I knew how to handle my heart. But mama was so anxious every time I danced and always brought up the Wilis. It was embarrassing when she told the whole village the story. I hate to be the center of attention. Except when I'm dancing, of course!

Giselle Herrera: Oh, how I loved to dance! It brought me more joy than anything else... that is, until he came along and made me know greater joy than I thought possible. Oh, how he made my heart jump -- in a good way! I even thought that it would help my heart heal, being in love with him. Those troublesome palpitations would ease because I felt so calm and secure with him. I thought he could protect me from everything, even my weak heart.

Giselle Reyes: But instead, my heart was hit with a pain sharper than any pain I had felt before . When the Countess claimed him as her fiancée, he took her hand and looked away from me. It felt like a dagger had pierced my heart. I ran to mama and collapsed. When I rose again, I felt as if the earth had swallowed me up and I was but a ghost which drifted out of my physical body. Everything went blurry. I saw Loys and me through a haze as we had been, dancing and in love. Then I was pulled into a dark void. I remember nothing after that.

Giselle Riccetto: I saw the look on Loys' face. It was shell-shock. I saw that HE needed protection and would not be able to do anything to help me. Did he even care about me anymore? Did he not remember how he showed me what the daisy said? How we danced and were so carefree? Why didn't he look at me? I lost it. Every fiber of my being was screaming. I couldn't stop the sensations, the pain. I needed only escape. Stumbling on his sword, I knew the only thing I wanted to do was drive it into me. Nobody could help me now. But it was seized from my hands, and then I had nothing with which to stop the pain. I couldn't see a way out. Where was Loys? Where was mama? Where was I? I just ran. Then I blacked out.

Paloma Herrera in "mad" scene (unknown year)

Giselle Herrera: He started toward me -- he never stopped looking at me. But she pulled him back. I thought she would make him leave with her! NO! NO! We love each other! Don't leave me, don't leave me, don't leave me! Remember -- we love each other! Mama, help me. Mama, where are you? I can't see you. No -- it's her! She's still here! Run, run, I've got to run .... away from her. She's the enemy. Loys, I can't see you! Loys, LOYS! I need you! Mama, where is Loys? Oh, mama-a-a.....
Act II

Giselle Herrera (her Myrta: Simone Messmer: her Albrecht: Marcelo Gomes): I heard my name being called. I was still Giselle! But I wasn't moving of my own volition.....I was being pulled from my grave by a force I couldn't resist...

Giselle Riccetto (her Myrta: Michele Wiles; her Albrecht: David Hallberg): I didn't know where I was but I seemed to know what to do.

Giselle Reyes (her Myrta: 1st: Gillian Murphy; 2nd: Veronika Part; her Albrecht: Jose Carreno): It was like a dream, only real, but not earthly. I had to go, but I had no freedom.

Giselle Herrera: I felt frozen....I couldn't move my legs. But yet they moved, and made me step toward her.

Giselle Reyes: I didn't know what I would be doing next.

Carlotta Grisi; Paris 1841
Giselle Riccetto: I was afraid.

Giselle Herrera: All of a sudden, I was spinning uncontrollably!

Giselle Riccetto: I felt as if I would soon be flying!

Giselle Reyes: It released me! I started to dance and this made me feel like myself.

Giselle Herrera: I couldn't stop and I didn't want to stop!

Giselle Riccetto: I was no longer frightened.

Giselle Herrera: Then, she sent the Wilis away and I was left alone in the forest. Soon I saw why. It was my beloved! He was coming my way. I ran out to be with him -- but he didn't see me! I had to make him see me!

Giselle Reyes: So I ran right toward him so he could feel me in the air -- and he did!

Giselle Riccetto: He lifted me up for just a moment. He touched me!

Giselle Herrera: He knew I was there. When I circled him, I surrounded him with my essence. He felt my touch on his shoulder!

Giselle Riccetto: I tossed two of his lilies into the air so he could be sure it was me.

Giselle Reyes: Then he knew. When he picked them up, he knew it was really me.

Giselle Herrera: Right after that, she had Hilarion danced to death! She was going to mete out the same fate for my Albrecht. I would not let her!

Giselle Riccetto: He had to be saved. I had to find a way.

Giselle Reyes: I would not let him die. I loved him!

Giselle Herrera: I begged for his life to be spared. She grew colder the more I pleaded, but made me even more determined.

Giselle Reyes: I had to do everything I could to overpower her. Now was the time to be strong and unrelentless. She wasn't the only one who could stand firm.

Xiomara Reyes; photo Gene Schiavone for ABT

Giselle Riccetto: New energy coursed through me. I would not fail him!

Giselle Herrera: He must stay by the cross. The cross on my grave would protect him.

Giselle Reyes: But he did not stay! I tried to keep him there by coming between him and her and making the sign of the cross with the fortitude of my love, but it only held him for a moment!

Giselle Riccetto: She made me entice him away. Now I had to go to Plan B.

Giselle Herrera: I had to help him dance.

Giselle Reyes: And I couldn't let her see I was helping him!

Giselle Herrera: She was so angry that I had defied her that I lost some psychic capacity!

Giselle Riccetto: But my resolve returned and, with it, my will.

Giselle Herrera: Together, we appealed to each Wili to have mercy.

Giselle Reyes: But they are ruled by her and stand as one. We had only ourselves to outwit and outlast the authority of the Queen.

Maria Riccetto; Matias Montini photo for Gaynor Minden

Giselle Riccetto: And my Albrecht was beginning to fade!

Giselle Reyes: But we were confident in our love, and love assures that when one is weak, the other becomes stronger.

Giselle Herrera: That is how we were able to confound the evil.

Giselle Riccetto: When he could no longer hold himself up, I bore his weight.

Giselle Herrera: I carried him through his dance! I sustained his every movement. I know he knew it!

Giselle Reyes: I danced alone as long as I could. Then, when he had to dance, I watched him closely and ran in again when he started to flag.

Giselle Riccetto: We were in a new world of our own making! I knew we could do it -- our love would withstand our opposition.

Giselle: Herrera: And it did. The bells announced the arrival of day. The Wilis and their Queen became impotent once again.

Giselle Reyes: I felt a peace embrace me and yearned to return to my grave.

Giselle Riccetto: I knew something wonderful would happen when I did.

Giselle Herrera: My sweet love was alive. I had redeemed him and he had saved me! I could now go to my rest in peace and wait for him-- as a rightful spirit -- to join me in the afterlife when it was his time.

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