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Semenyaka Floats as Bolshoi’s Giselle

July 16, 1987

NEW YORK (AP) _ Ludmila Semenyaka seemed to float through air, without having to consider ordinary problems like gravity and balance, in the first of five performances of ″Giselle″ completing the Bolshoi Ballet’s three-week season here.

Act 2 provided the dance excitement on Wednesday evening. Nina Speranskaya was an unusually serene and understanding queen of the Wilis. The corps de ballet dancing as the Wilis, in white dresses, was breathtakingly beautiful, moving with precision softened by grace.

Miss Semenyaka looked even more weightless and airborne than she had in light-hearted, in-love moments in Act 1. She danced a variation in which every line and move was perfection in motion. She made it look effortless and inevitable but frequent ″Giselle″ attenders know that such dancing is rare.

Yuri Vasyuchenko as Prince Albrecht also shone in Act 2. His repeated beats in air were astonishing and his dancing has a smooth, liquid quality which contributes to his elegance. Yuri Vetrov as the woodsman Hilarion wore boots in Act 2 and ran more than he danced but he was so effective that the audience burst into applause for him.

Marina Nudga and Andrei Buravtsev danced a long Act 1 pas de deux without much finesse.

Yuri Grigorovich revised this ″Giselle,″ which has choreography by Jean Coralli, Jules Perrot and Marius Petipa.

Natalya Bessmertnova was to have danced ″Giselle″ Wednesday night but she tore muscle tissue dancing ″The Golden Age″ July 7. Miss Semenyaka was to have appeared in Thursday’s performance opposite Irek Mukhamedov, who has proved New York’s favorite among the Bolshoi dancers. She is now scheduled to appear with Mukhamedov on Saturday.

The Bolshoi American tour continues, to Washington D.C., San Francisco and Los Angeles.

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