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Videos of Giselle


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73 replies to this topic

#61 Pamela Moberg

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Posted 18 June 2008 - 03:17 PM

Sorry Angelica, cant help you here. I got mine from the Swedish television network (in the days when they actually did broadcast some worthwhile stuff - now you mainly get silly game shows). I had it originally on video, but now I have scrapped that system and I successfully made a DVD of it.
Maybe some other members can be of assistance, maybe it is even commercially available.
But it is worth looking for!

#62 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 21 July 2008 - 09:25 PM

I can't get enough of the Vasiliev/Alonso production. Here both of them emulate to see which portrays a better "mad scene". After hers, and her death, his proceeds...a total, fully display of violent madness after witnessing Giselle's death, running around in despair, trying to attack Hilarion...desperately sobbing at Giselle's foot...Definitely, this scene requires masculinity...that's why Nureyev doesn't quite looks convincing to me in this sequence...

#63 Andrew73

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Posted 13 August 2008 - 03:56 AM

So, what do you think is the best production of Giselle captured on video? The worst? The most unique?


Until I joined here, I'd seen a fair number of live Giselles, but few on video; now, having read about the many superb performances on video, I've seen quite a number of them.

I don't think there is a 'best', as, so far, I've not seen one that excels in ALL areas.

Makarova/Baryshnikov has often been described as the 'definitive' Giselle, and it's marvellous, but amazing though Baryshnikov was in that performance, Seymour/Nureyev gives us a superior Albrecht in the dramatic scenes - while Baryshnikov flys through the air, Nureyev stamps on your heart.

But Makarova/Baryshnikov probably gave us the best Myrtha, in Martine Van Hamel. I cannot begin to define charisma in a ballerina, but she had it!

As for Giselle herself, I cannot nominate one 'best', though Pujol/Le Riche comes close. I look forward to the Cojocaru/Kobborg (Royal Ballet - September release), as I've seen some beautiful Giselles in London, especially when they emphasise the dramatic side of the ballet, and Cojocaru (I hear) excels.

For 'mad scene' afficionados, there's few as good as Alonso (1965), which is an extraordinary production, unique in many ways.

I cannot begin to decide on a best 'white act', Makarova/Baryshnikov offered fine leads - but at time the corps were, er, a little ragged. Creole Giselle offered a unique and beautiful Act II, and several others are fine performances, but, for me, none quite compare to live versions I've seen - that may be the nature of the Act; slight imperfections glare from repeated small screen viewing, but are gone in a subliminal trice at the theatre.

It's worth adding that comparisons are unfair, as we cannot help being influenced by production issues; Makarova/Baryshnikov is a little fuzzy and washed out in places, Seymour/Nureyev is almost sepia, while Alonso (1965) was always monochrome and Alonso (1980) had to be lovingly pieced together from fragments (including rehearsal extracts, and not even dress rehearsal!). Many of the earlier performances suffer from poor or unimaginative camera work and lighting, and sound quality varies.

There's also the issue of studio / empty theatre / live performance; most of the early recordings were truly 'live', while many later releases have the advantage of mixing and matching from two or three performances. Which adds the issue of audiences. Some hate studio performances for lack of audience reaction; as a Brit, I could cheerfully strangle ABT's audience in places (not really!).

Long may the search for perfection continue - I've still got three more to watch, plus a pre-order next month!

#64 bart

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Posted 13 August 2008 - 05:10 AM

Wow! Thanks, Andrew 73, for your comments. A couple struck me especially:

But Makarova/Baryshnikov probably gave us the best Myrtha, in Martine Van Hamel. I cannot begin to define charisma in a ballerina, but she had it!

It's great to hear this kind of response to Van Hamel's dancing. She was inforgettable in so many roles.

[F]or me, none quite compare to live versions I've seen - that may be the nature of the Act; slight imperfections glare from repeated small screen viewing, but are gone in a subliminal trice at the theatre.

I appreciate this insight. There do seem to be ballets -- or parts of ballets -- which lose effectiveness on video. Perhaps this is because you focus on the details and lose (as you say) the "subliminal" feeling of unity which live performance projects.

We are currently discussing Bayadere on another thread. I've never seen a video of the Kingdom of the Shades scene, the part with the entrance of the corps, that had the hallucinatory power of even a less-than-perfect stage performance. On video, I do tend to focus on individual dancers (even body parts) and to seek out flaws, whether I want to or not. Thanks for bringing this up.

#65 rg

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Posted 13 August 2008 - 06:15 AM

don't know if this adds anything to the discussion of Shades on video, but so far as i can tell the only video of The Kingdom of the Shades as a stand-alone ballet is a one-time videocassette, which may or may not have been released subsequently on on dvd, but it shows Shades on a black-backed stage as it was offered on a mixed bill and not filmed as part of the full ballet. (There is the Leningrad perf. outdoors on another video (w/ Bejart), only the entrance of the Shades and not the complete "Kingdom" scene, but with the performances on a platform over water against an evening/white-nights sky, the result is hardly ordinary.)

The Kirov Ballet in London [videorecording] c1988. (124 min.) : sd., col.
Recorded in performance in London in summer 1988. A BBC production in association with the Entertainment Corporation. Producer: Julia Matheson. Director: John Michael Phillips.
Compilation of ballet excerpts performed by members of the Kirov Ballet (artistic director: Oleg Vinogradov), accompanied by the Wren Orchestra of London, conducted by Viktor Fedotov.
La bayadère: Kingdom of the shades. Choreography: Petipa. Music: Minkus. Perf. by Olga Chenchikova, Konstantin Zaklinsky, Margarita Kullik, Irina Sitnikova, Olga Likhovskaya, and ensemble. -- La Esmeralda: pas de six. Choreography: Petipa after Perrot. Music: Pugni. Perf. by Yelena Yevteyeva, Eldar Aliyev, and others. -- La vivandière: pas de six. Choreography: Saint-Léon. Music: Pugni. Perf. by Yelena Pankova, Sergei Vikharyev, and others. -- Le papillon: pas de deux. Choreography: Pierre Lacotte after Marie Taglioni. Music: Offenbach. Perf. by Irina Kolpakova and Sergei Berezhnoi. -- Swan lake: Act II pas de deux. Choreography: Konstantin Sergeyev after Ivanov. Music: Tchaikovsky. Perf. by Natalia Makarova and Zaklinsky. -- Don Quixote pas de deux. Choreography: Petipa. Music: Drigo. Perf. by Tatyana Terekhova and Makar Vaziev. -- Le corsaire: Le jardin animé. Choreography: Petipa after Perrot. Music: Drigo. Perf. by Yulia Makhalina; Lyubov Kunakova; Altynai Asylmuratova and Farukh Ruzimatov (pas de deux); Veronica Ivanova, Irina Chistyakova, and Zhanna Ayupova (pas de trois); and others.

Nuit blanche de la danse à Leningrad [videorecording] / produced by ALAP Video, Paris, and Gosteleradio, Moscow ; director, Youri Serov. Paris, France : Telmondis, 1987.
(84 min.) : sd., col.This recording is also distributed by Kultur, W. Long Branch, New Jersey, under the title White night of dance in Leningrad.
Danced by the Kirov Ballet.
Danced by the Ballet du XXe Siècle.
Chopiniana: Waltz, Op. 18, No. 1 (ca. 6 min.) / choreography, Michel Fokine ; music, Frédéric Chopin ; danced by Elena Evteeva, Olga Likhovskaia, Elena Pankova, Kirill Melnikov, and ensemble of the Kirov Ballet.
Sacre du printemps (ca. 5 min.) / choreography, Maurice Béjart ; music, Igor Stravinsky ; danced by Eric Vu An (guest artist from the Paris Opéra Ballet), Grazia Galante, and ensemble of the Ballet du XXe Siècle.
Notre Faust: pas de deux (ca. 5 min.) / choreography, Maurice Béjart ; music, Bach ; danced by Olga Chenchikova and Yevgeni Neff of the Kirov Ballet.
La fille mal gardée: clog dance (ca. 6 min.) / choreography, Oleg Vinogradov ; music, Ferdinand Hérold ; danced by Xavier Ferla, Ramon Flowers, Michel Gascard, Giorgio Madia, and ensemble of the Ballet du XXe Siècle.
1830 (ca. 6 min.) / choreography, Maurice Béjart ; music, Giacomo Meyerbeer, Giuseppe Verdi ; danced by Farukh Ruzimatov, Makhar Vaziev, and men's ensemble of the Kirov Ballet.
Conte russe (ca. 3 min.) / choreography, Maurice Béjart ; music, Hugues Le Bars ; costumes, Gianni Versace ; danced by members of the Ballet du XXe Siècle.
Le lac des cygnes: Act II pas de deux (ca. 7 min.) / choreography, Lev Ivanov ; music, Peter Ilich Tchaikovsky ; danced by Galina Mezentseva, Konstantin Zaklinski, and ensemble of the Kirov Ballet.
Potemkine (ca. 5 min.) / choreography, Oleg Vinogradov ; music, Alexandre Tchaikovsky ; danced by Elena Kamalova, Gennadi Babanin, and ensemble of the Kirov Ballet.
Suite grecque (ca. 10 min.) / choreography, Maurice Béjart ; music, Manos Hadjidakis, Mikis Theodorakis ; danced by Philippe Lizon, Michel Gascard, and ensemble of the Ballet du XXe Siècle.
Arépo: pas de deux (ca. 9 min.) / choreography, Maurice Béjart ; music, Hugues Le Bars, Charles Gounod ; danced by Lynne Charles (Ballet du XXe Siècle) and Eric Vu An (Paris Opéra Ballet).
Le corsaire: Act III adagio [Le jardin animé] (ca. 3 min.) / choreography, Marius Petipa ; music, Léo Delibes ; danced by Altynai Asylmuratova and female ensemble of the Kirov Ballet.
Héliogabale: pas de deux (ca. 4 min.) / choreography, Maurice Béjart ; music, African rhythms ; performed by Altynai Asylmuratova and Farukh Ruzimatov of the Kirov Ballet.
La bayadère: Les ombres [entrance of the shades] (ca. 5 min.) / choreography, Marius Petipa ; music, L. Minkus ; danced by the female ensemble of the Kirov Ballet.
Le soldat amoureux: Finale (ca. 4 min.) / choreography, Maurice Béjart ; danced by Michel Gascard, Vadim Gulyayev, Farukh Ruzimatov, Jorge Donn, and the ensembles of the Ballet du XXe Siècle and Kirov Ballet.
Excerpts from a special "Nuit de la danse" jointly organized by Maurice Béjart of the Ballet du XXe Siècle and Oleg Vinogradov of the Kirov Ballet, and presented by the two companies in Leningrad on June 27, 1987. The performances are given at various locations, both in the open air and indoors.
In French. [Kultur also released this cassette as White Night of Ballet (or some such) but i don't think it was subsequently released on dvd.]

#66 toeprints

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Posted 16 August 2008 - 06:08 PM

The Rudolf Nureyev/Carla Fracci DVD, from 1980, was wonderful. Rudolf's Albrecht was brilliant, and his entrechat six always left me breathless. Carla was a beautiful Giselle, ethereal and fragile. Their partnership was lovely.

I love the Italian audiences. They applaud and holler until the object of their affections acknowledges their ovation.

This DVD continues through the curtain calls. Rudi's curtain calls were legendary. He was the master of the art, and no one gave them better. I saw him dance Giselle the following year, and he was even more compelling. Albrecht was one of his greatest roles. His interpretation was so powerful and incomparable.

#67 Sacto1654

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Posted 18 August 2008 - 03:46 PM

I've seen a number of versions of the famous "mad scene" that ends Act I and frankly, in my opinion I still haven't found a ballerina that could do Giselle in that scene better than the legendary Galina Ulanova, well-known for her legendary acting skills on-stage. I've seen the video of Alina Cojocaru in this role and I thought she was just a bit TOO melodramatic in that scene. :off topic:

#68 Marcmomus

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Posted 12 December 2009 - 02:58 PM

Alina Cojocaru with the Royal Ballet is a first-rate Giselle.

#69 iczerman

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Posted 14 December 2009 - 11:00 AM

I second the Royal Ballet version with Cojocaru and Kobborg...but not nessesarily for the primary couple....

Marianela Nunez is a FABULOS Myrtha..beautiful yet deadly.When Alberect faces the Willis, Marianela's " EXCELLENT! TWO IN ONE NIGHT!" grin is priceless!

Much goes to the artictic director who staged the BEST "Death of Hilarion" segment I've seen. When Marianela pronounces the death sentence on Martin Harvey's Hilarion..talk about " No mercy buddy."

Go to Subscriber "BalletForYou" At youtube.....you can see the entire thing..and it does'nt look that bad in HQ over the internet!

#70 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 14 December 2009 - 11:22 AM

Among my extensive-( Posted Image )-Giselle DVD collection, I find myself playing mostly Bessmertnova's, second only to Alonso's. I love the highly theatrical atmosphere of the Bolshoi and the old fashioned/vintage feeling of it, along with Miss Bessmertnova's fragile demeanor-(here she was a very young ballerina).

#71 Kerry1968

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Posted 06 February 2012 - 10:47 PM

I thought up this topic after reading and responding to the one on specific productions. I have only seen one live production, but I have seen many more on video. So, what do you think is the best production of Giselle captured on video? The worst? The most unique?


Old thread, but I'm a new member, and will take the opportunity to add my 2 cents. The handsomest videos IMHO:

Best Production: Dutch National Ballet (Blu-Ray Disc Kultur 2009)
Runner up: Ballet de l'Opera National de Paris (Blu-Ray Disc TDK 2009)
2nd Runner up: The Bolshoi Ballet (Blu-Ray Disc Bel Air 2012)

#72 anin

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Posted 16 October 2012 - 08:12 AM

Bessmertnova is the greatest Giselle I've ever seen (video just doesn't do justice) when she was a guest at the then Kirov Theatre in 1974 with the God of Dance himself Baryshnikov(about whom someone here foolishly said that Albrecht is not a good role for him) who is the greatest Albrect I've seen and believe me I've seen plenty.
What a pair and what a crime that this performance was not recorded and released and especially now in retrospect it was Baryshnikov's very last performance at the Kirov (next month he danced Giselle with Kolpakova with the Bolshoi before both went to Canada and where Misha defected).
As many Giselles as I've seen and BTW with Misha in US, this one with the divine Bessmertnova - THE GISELLE of the 20th century - was the only one that I openly cried and believe me I wasn't the only one.
The theatre was packed and you could hardly get through the crowd on the way to the theare.All Kirov primas(Kolpakova et al) were there.A very young Kunakova was a wonderful Myrtha.
The standing ovation was going on forever.Such memories as if it was just yesterday and not 38 years ago and Bessmertnova is no longer with us.

#73 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 16 October 2012 - 09:32 AM

Bessmertnova is the greatest Giselle I've ever seen


I share with you your feelings on Mme. Bessmertnova, anin. Her video of Raymonda, even being as she was there way past her prime, is a revelation of knowledge of the style. Her head, her lowered eyes while dancing, the tilt of her neck and torso at times, and finally the completely lack of mannerisms and twiggy arms that one see nowadays so often, is something amazing. There you see a Ballerina, with capital B, not a mere ballet dancer, in completely control of her body and centered as few I've ever seen live or in video, in her role. She embodied an era that is sadly getting lost. The other day I was watching it again, and was amazed atthe similarities I see between her style and that of the older generation of Cuban ballerinas I still had the chance to see in Cuba back in the late 80's,early 90's, all way pass her prime also.

#74 Dunham16

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Posted 23 June 2014 - 06:46 AM

I saw the Ulanova GISELLE film with her final partner, Alexei Fadeyechev's dad, Nicolai. It was for many years on commercial Hollywood reel type film shown publicly in library and other musical venues. Apparently the entire ballet was filmed in 1956 at the time the Bolshoi visited London and Ulanova was 46 but the entire performance is not included in the edited film. I recall the peasant pas de deux was NOT edited in as well as the lyric poem dram ballet at the time Albrecht arrives repentant at Giselle's gravesite. Although Ulanova's great passage of 16 entrechats quatres en diagonale is superb and considered a standard, what really bowls over modern audiences is her interpolated solo, I believe dating from Russia around 1900,. following Albrecht's variation which I have never seen performed so superbly. .




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