Thank you so much for all the comments about Jean-Guillaume Bart’s decoding of Giselle’s entrance. It was very enlightening to see how much this was helpful to all of you and that you wanted to know more about the ballet Giselle.
My name is Ondine D., I’m a career coach and movement specialist and the founder of Core de ballet. In the past few years, I asked many dancers how they prepare for a role or a variation. I have observed their process to make their interpretation realistic. It is very similar to an actor’s work: you research the story, the intent of the choreographer, the libretto gives you indications about the character’s social background and nature.
And yet, the dancer has one piece of information that an actor does not have: the music. In a movie, the music is usually added post-production to create an atmosphere that is not otherwise evident on screen. The storyboard may have mention of the type or mood of the music but it is rare that the music is created before the shooting.
In a ballet, the music is part of the overall creation: the music is created before or as the choreographer creates, the dancer learns the piece with the music.
The music tells you a lot about the action in the foreground and in the background, the emotions at play, and sometimes it gives you hints about what is going to happen next.
Yet, rare are the dancers who start their research by listening to the music first, sometimes just because they do not know what they can learn from the music.
So we asked Gaëlle Sadaune, pianist at Paris Opera Ballet School, to guide us through what the music was telling us about Albrecht and what we should pay attention to.
Before you watch the video let’s do an exercise together: listen to these two sections of the ballet: Albrecht’s entrance and the daisy scene. Pay attention to the accents, feel the emotions that arise in you, allow yourself to do free movements, pay attention to the “little notes”. Make your own analysis of the music – without technical terms, just how you understand it.
How does it feel to be supported and uplifted by the music instead of being subjected by it?
Now watch the video and compare your views with Gaelle’s and Jean-Guillaume’s and combine it to start creating your very own personal interpretation.
In our next email, Jean-Guillaume and Gaëlle will help you reveal the most realistic Hilarion. His name, the libretto and the music enlightens us a lot about the range of possibilities for the dancer.
Also, because we think information is great but a method is essential, we will share with you a very useful guide to preparing a new role or variation that will become your new best friend as it is a very simple and efficient method to save you time and keep you focused during your preparation.
Before I send it out, I’m interested, what are the difficulties you face when preparing a role or variation?