Matinée at the Met: @ABTBallet Performance of “Giselle” starring @IsabellaABT


A Matinée is an afternoon performance. They’ve always been a favorite of mine as an actor.  Performing on two-show days can be exhausting, but well worth it in the end. Today, I went to a 2:00 p.m. performance of Giselle. That performance just so happened to mark the NY debut of ABT soloist, Isabella Boylston in the title role. The last time I was at The Met, I saw Diana Vishneva in Manon and sat in the Family Circle–the affordable seats. Although the view is high up, I was able to view everything with perfect clarity. For a ballet, it is actually beneficial to sit high up because it makes it easier to see every variation and formation. I actually saw details that those in the orchestra or balcony seats might miss.

Giselle is interesting. It’s the story of unrequited love, and a young peasant girl who dies from a broken heart. There is a specific part in Act 2 which was amazing to see from above. Act 2 deals with Albrecht’s mourning of Giselle and his encounter with the Willis, the ghosts of women  who died before their wedding day. They are lead by Myrtha, the Queen of the Willis, and Giselle becomes one of them. It was hauntingly beautiful to watch, and something I will never forget. Here is part of the Willis’ dance. It’s about 15 minutes long in its entirety, so here is just an exerpt from the Dutch National Ballet production:

The amount of grace and lightness that it takes to portray all of the characters in this show is quite difficult, but I thought that for a matinee,  with the cast that was performing, ABT did a fantastic job. Before I forget, there’s also the famous “Giselle Variation.” Pay attention to the footwork… it will amaze you. Here it is performed by ABT principal dancer, Gillian Murphy, with the Royal New Zealand Ballet:

Overall, I enjoyed my afternoon at the ballet. It was well worth the time. I am glad I finally got to see one of my favorite ballets live and in person. I’ll keep a lookout for Isabella Boylston. I wouldn’t be surprised if she is promoted to principal dancer soon.

The Original Child Star: Shirley Temple

Before Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen made us laugh on Full House and became the youngest producers in history at the age of 6, and long before girls idolized Miley Cyrus for being Hannah Montana, there was the ultimate child star who started it all: Shirley Temple. And guess what? She grew up to be a stable, well-rounded adult who found success in the public sector as a politician. Not bad for a former child star. It goes to show you that not all child stars are washed-up, drug-addicted, and crazy. During the Great Depression, Shirley Temple was the go-to gal to raise the spirits of the American people. She was cute as a button, could sing, dance, and act all before she could read. She was so famous, that Gary Cooper, a screen legend in his own right, asked for her autograph when he met her on the first day of filming their movie Now and Forever (1934.) On April 23rd, she celebrated her 85th birthday. While she no longer acts, her influence over Hollywood today, and American culture is undeniable. She got to act with the biggest stars in the world, she even acted with Drew Barrymore’s grandfather, Lionel, in The Little Colonel. That movie has one of her most iconic scenes: the famous staircase tap dance with Bill Robinson:

So go on YouTube, and smile your heart out to the film classics that everyone should see at least once. Shirley Temple, thanks for all the great movies. And Happy Belated 85th Birthday! You are one of a kind!  Take a bow: