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This 'Giselle' Will Have Live Accompaniment

September 05, 1986|CHRIS PASLES

Ballet Pacifica will stage its first "really complete" "Giselle" Saturday night at the Irvine Bowl in Laguna Beach, according to company founder and artistic director Lila Zali.

"We've done 'Giselle' at least three times before," Zali said in a phone interview, "but we always used recordings, and it's almost ridiculous how the recordings make tiny cuts--two bars here, two bars there.

Conductor Richard Henn and she "went over the score and found 79 cuts in the first act alone."

"There was nothing I could do about it," she sighed. "All the choreography is traditional and so parts had to be eliminated."

This time, however, the company will dance to live accompaniment provided by a 33-member orchestra conducted by Henn.

The score, therefore, can be danced complete. "That means adding parts we had to eliminate before," Zali said.

One of the restorations is the "Peasant Pas de Deux" in Act I, which will be danced by Heidi Edren and James Pollara.

In the principal roles will be Kristi Moorhead as Giselle, Lee Wigand as Count Albrecht and Deborah Schreiber as Myrtha, Queen of the Wilis.

Altogether, the production has 34 dancers.

Zali has followed the choreography she learned as a soloist in 1934 with the De Basil Ballet Russe company: "That is the original, traditional choreography followed by the Ballet Russe and the Kirov Ballet."

Zali described "Giselle" as a "very romantic old-style classical ballet."

"The whole first scene is character-flavored," she said. "This makes great demands on the leading ballerina because it requires a tremendous acting ability.

"Actually, everybody has to act because it is a very dramatic, touching story. They can't just stand around looking pretty."

The second act is extraordinarily hard, but "the technique doesn't look anywhere near as difficult as it actually is. You won't see any fancy pirouettes because the ballet is built more on quick, light work and on a lot of balances.

"Emphasis is partly on purity of line and partly on real basic technique, which sometimes gets lost in the shuffle when people do flashy things.

"But it's ballet that everyone can enjoy."

"Giselle" will be the company's 20th annual Ballet Alfresco program in Laguna Beach.

John Larry Granger, conductor of the South Coast Symphony, is issuing a call for new compositions by Orange County composers and guest artists to be performed by the symphony over two seasons beginning in 1987.

The project has been created in cooperation with Orange County Centennial Inc. to help celebrate the county's centennial in August, 1989.

"We want to extend an open invitation to composers who want to have their works heard and performed," Granger said.

"We're making a commitment to program one composition on each of our concerts--or as many as possible--over the next two years.

"Perhaps there may be enough works to make up a separate performance afterward. That would be good because so often a work is premiered and then never heard again."

According to Granger, there are no age restrictions for composers, nor are works limited to any length. "Compositions should be somewhat related to Orange County and should be by a native composer or one living here now or an Orange County artist," he said. Further, "the works do not have to be exclusively by contemporary composers."

The qualifications are deliberately vague, Granger said, "because we just want to find out what's out there. It's pretty much open."

For further information, call (714) 662-7220.

Poet Michael Palmer will read from his work at 8 tonight at Newport Harbor Art Museum.

Palmer's appearance is part of the "Interpretive Link" exhibit now at the museum through Sept. 14.

Palmer was born in New York City in 1943; graduated from Harvard with a degree in comparative literature, and moved to San Francisco, where he has been a member of the faculty at the New College of California since 1981.

He has published numerous books of poetry and radio plays and edited a collection of articles on poetics. He recently translated writings on painting by six surrealist poets, to be published by Lapis Press.

Admission to the reading is $3. For further information, call (714) 759-1122.

California artist Laddie John Dill will open the fall "Contemporary Art Issues" lecture series at Rancho Santiago College at noon Monday at the Humanities Lecture Hall (Building C-104) on the Santa Ana campus.

Dill will speak about and show slides of his work.

Dill has been called "a seminal figure in West Coast contemporary art" by Gene Isaacson, faculty member and director of the art gallery at the college. He has had 48 one-man exhibits at the Long Beach Art Museum and has been represented in more than 40 museum books and catalogues.

Admission to the lecture and parking (next to the hall) are free.

Also featured in the lecture series:

- Sept. 15: painter Mim Spertus.

- Sept. 22: photo-realist painter Joseph Corso.

- Sept. 29: ceramic sculptors Angela Verdun and Susan Cash.

- Oct. 6: abstract painter Jan Berke Taylor.

- Oct. 12: sculptor James Morphesis.

- Oct. 20: sculptor Dena Capparelli.

- Oct. 27: photographer Tom Dowling.

- Nov. 3: painter Duncan Simcoe.

- Nov. 17: abstract minimalist David Trowbridge.

- Nov. 24: painter Bob Alderette.

- Dec. 1: neon, glass and steel artist Steven Schauer.

- Dec. 8: architect E. Fay Jones.

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