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balletandsynchro

Giselle

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My DD was asked to perform a variation from Giselle as a solo at her summer intensive. As I am a parent, not a dancer, I don't know which variation it is, although I do know it is from the first act. DD has asked me to purchase a video/DVD of this ballet for her collection of ballet videos.

I looked at the kultur video website, but there are several for sale, and I don't know which would be best. Any suggestions are very welcome! B)

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My DD was asked to perform a variation from Giselle as a solo at her summer intensive.  As I am a parent, not a dancer, I don't know which variation it is, although I do know it is from the first act.  DD has asked me to purchase a video/DVD of this ballet for her collection of ballet videos. 

I looked at the kultur video website, but there are several for sale, and I don't know which would be best.  Any suggestions are very welcome! B)

I have Kultur's "A Portrait of Giselle." If its available go for this one. This is a

collector's item. It features Sir Anton Dolin coaching Patty McBride for her first Giselle with Helgi Tomasson. Dolin also has in-depth interviews with Makarova, Karsavina, Fracci, Ulanova, Spessivtseva (!), Markova, Alonso and Chauvire on their interpretations and memories. There are snippets of performances and old photographs of each ballerina. Covers every detail you could wish for. Each ballerina is showcased from their first entrance, the Act 1 variation, the Mad Scene, to Act 2's end. The strength of this video is that its a time capsule and you can compare each one of these legends. Hidden gems: There's an old clip of Spessivtseva in the Act 1 variation and her mad scene! Makarova is shown in studio rehearsal with the late Alexander Godunov in the Act 2 ppd. Dolin and John Gilpin visited Spessivtseva in her rest home. When she spoke she was the link between the 19th & 20th centuries. She explained that she taught Dolin the ballet, and that they were partners in it as well. Dolin tells her that after Ulanova danced her first Giselle in London, that she asked him, " 'how did she compare to Olga Spessivtseva?' " Olga explained that, " . . . Ulanova's mother brought her (to) sic look at me," - now that's continuity. When told that Karsavina asked him to inquire as to how she was, Olga replied: "Mara, (sic) beautiful lady - best dancer, best woman." IMO the only flaw is that

Maximova and Bessmertnova are omitted, but it's still more than anyone could

hope for. Great ballet documentary!

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"Portrait . . . " is indeed a wonderful video, Cygnet. It's possible, though, that the variation Balletandsynchro's dd is assigned is from the Peasant pas, and therefore (not being Giselle's choreography) would not be on that video.

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Thank you both! I'm going to give the Alessandra Ferri with La Scala ballet video a try, as I'm thinking if DD is dancing the peasant pas variation it will be on the video. B)

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balletandsynchro

The La Scala version is excellent in my opinion. However, please note that the version is that of Patrice Bart's, so maybe you could check with your daughter's teacher whose version she is teaching her, as there are some choreographic differences between Part's, ABT's and Kirov's version, especially if the variation is that of the Peasant pas de deux. If is is Giselle's, then differences are not that great.

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I'm also looking for a good Giselle video. The one described by Cygnet sounds like a good one, but I also want a full-length production. Would anyone suggest the video featuring Alicia Alonso with the National Ballet of Cuba?

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Old Fashioned,

The live ABT performance from 1977 featuring Makarova and Baryshnikov is the best one I've seen. Sublime dancing by both stars. It's not available on dvd yet, but I think you can find it on VHS. Good luck!

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Thanks for the suggestion, but I opted for the Bessmertnova/Lavrovsky video (on VHS :wink: ) because Marc Haegman had some good comments about it. I searched for Makarova/Baryshnikov on Amazon and half.com, but could only come up with one that was selling for 70 bucks. :) I'll be sure to try to get ahold of one when I can find one that isn't completely out of my price range.

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The live ABT performance from 1977 featuring Makarova and Baryshnikov is the best one I've seen.  Sublime dancing by both stars.

And don't forget Martine van Hamel's gorgeous, commanding Myrtha in that performance! :ermm:

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the MAKAROVA/BARYSHNIKOV "GISELLE" has been on ebay now and again.i don't think it's gone for as high as the one priced above here on half.com etc. but timing is everything with these things. if i espy it anytime soon, i'll post a link to the auction(s).

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