Ballet Stars

The Standouts of 2018: BalletMet's Grace-Anne Powers in "Giselle"

Powers with William Newton in Edwaard Liang's Giselle. Photo by Jennifer Zmuda, Courtesy BalletMet.

While its minimalist costuming and sets gave Edwaard Liang's new Giselle for BalletMet a nontraditional look last February, there was nothing spartan about Grace-Anne Powers' performance in the title role. Powers' radiant smile, warmth and happy disposition made Giselle's betrayal by Albrecht (danced by William Newton), and her subsequent death of a broken heart, a real tearjerker. She had you believing that an entire village could, indeed, love her.


Powers and Newton in "Giselle." Photo by Jennifer Zmuda, Courtesy BalletMet.

When coupled with her passionate characterization, Powers' sharp technique, attack and graceful lines throughout the ballet were equally astonishing. This was best revealed in the ballet's second act where, under a blood-red moon, Powers and Newton performed a delicate dance of love and forgiveness, in which Powers was raised into one floating lift after another, as if riding along moonbeams toward her eternity.

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Are you more of a Giselle or a Juliet?

I've always said that my favorite role is Juliet, because of her vulnerability and maturity throughout the ballet. But now that I've performed Giselle, I find her so incredibly enjoyable, from being a village girl who falls in love for the first time to the most tender, almost weightless dancing in Act II.

Are you more at home in the studio or onstage?

I love the time in the studio. The process of starting from zero to getting better each day is so rewarding. My favorite phrase in rehearsals is "Let's do it again, so I can sleep in peace tonight." I need to feel so comfortable in the studio so that when I am onstage there are no bad surprises.

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