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22 May 2014, Thursday

The Washington Post: Bolshoi Ballet's uncommonly intimate �Giselle,' at the Kennedy Center
By Sarah Kaufman
Photo Elena Fetisova - The Bolshoi Theatre presents guest performances of "Giselle" in the USA. Svetlana Zakharova (Giselle) and David Hallberg (Duke Albrecht)

"Giselle" is a ballet about secrets and lies. The two lovers at its core know nothing about each other. Count Albrecht is full of deceptions, including the fact that he's engaged to someone else. The peasant girl of the title suffers from a weak heart and knows that dancing could kill her. Neither confesses these truths to the other.
Yet we are supposed to believe in their bond. I rarely do, but Tuesday night, in an uncommonly intimate performance, Svetlana Zakharova and David Hallberg of the Bolshoi Ballet made one of the better arguments for it. They did this through a perfectly matched style, a way of dancing in complete sympathy with each other.
Both tall, willowy dancers, they moved as one body. The lines of their legs were in agreement; their arms moved at the same angles - even their wrists rotated at the same speed. They responded to the music identically. Watching their uncanny physical harmony, you could believe that destiny had a hand in this ballet.

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