Q+A WITH ARTISTIC DIRECTOR TAMARA ROJO ON GISELLE
WHY IS THE STORY FROM 1841 RELEVANT TODAY, NEARLY TWO CENTURIES LATER?
The classics, whether they are in literature or dance, talk about universal themes that are relatable whenever these stories are retold. The style can change–the costumes, the make-up–but if we understand and respect the true purpose and intentions of the original creatives we can bring those themes to the artists and audiences of today and they can find them moving and relevant and impactful forevermore.
WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE SCENES?
As a dancer, the most challenging is the end of Act I, the mad scene—you must suddenly go from being an innocent young woman to being a broken young woman who is also dying. That swift change is very demanding as an artist, but very rewarding. The whole Act 2 is a work of art like no other—the spirituality of it. Very rarely, as a human body made of flesh, is a performer asked to inhabit the uninhabitable—to be a spirit and to convey the inner essence of our spiritual life, and to portray it through dance.
WHAT ABOUT DANCING IS CHALLENGING YET REWARDING FOR THE LEAD ROLES?
For Albrecht, the most physically demanding is Act 2. Like Giselle, the performer has to shift and become the complete opposite of their former character. There is lots of partnering and relentless dancing; the stamina required for the men in Act 2 is profound. For the women in Act 2, the challenge is how to become evanescent—how to keep it floating and ethereal, while performing technically demanding steps, which is both rewarding and challenging.