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A Portrait of Giselle


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14 replies to this topic

#1 Mme. Hermine

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Posted 08 April 2011 - 07:29 AM

um, somebody's posted the whole thing in one piece -



#2 ViolinConcerto

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Posted 08 April 2011 - 08:42 AM

I have this tape and would love to hear other people's responses.
Here is a link to A. Kisselgoff's review in 1982.

#3 dirac

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Posted 08 April 2011 - 10:09 AM

I saw it a couple of times via a Blockbuster tape. Eventually it was taken off the shelf and I never saw it again even in the resale stacks and to this day I kick myself. It's an invaluable document (in small doses, for this viewer - the music gets annoying after too much repetition).

#4 richard53dog

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Posted 08 April 2011 - 06:01 PM

I love the sequences with Karsarina. She's quite feisty still and my favorite moment of the film is when she describes Giselle as the "holy" ballet.

#5 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 08 April 2011 - 09:23 PM

I love the sequences with Karsavina. She's quite feisty still and my favorite moment of the film is when she describes Giselle as the "holy" ballet.


...and when she reminisces about Vaganova-("it was a disaster!"-her Giselle)-and Pavlova-("I was in tears"-on their rivalries). Quite a charming lady. Actually all the ladies being interviewed show a remarkable allure and class, each of them with a little different touch that I'm sure went on to color their portrays. Chauvire and her great sense of wittiness and self security, Alonso, always showy, dramatic, centered and pointing her foot even while being interviewed, Markova...just epitomizing what an English Dame should look like and talk like, divine Spessistzeva still in her sleeping while mixing both French and English in her conversation-("yes...MY solo"), just as I guess was the rigeur during her Giselle days; Fracci, very fresh and sparkling just as the Giselle in her film and Makarova, the one who inherited the very essence of the Russian school-("I like my body to sing...Kirov training"). I wish they would have make McBride's appearance more interesting, for which it is very obvious-(almost painful to watch)- how she really falls way behind during her talking parts when compared to the rest of the women.

#6 dirac

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Posted 08 April 2011 - 10:23 PM

Makarova, the one who inherited the very essence of the Russian school-("I like my body to sing...Kirov training").[/quote]

IYes, that's right. I also saw Spessivtseva for the first time in this film and she was a revelation even though the clips were so poor.

#7 Mme. Hermine

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Posted 09 April 2011 - 09:07 AM

divine Spessistzeva still in her sleeping while mixing both French and English in her conversation-("yes...MY solo"), just as I guess was the rigeur during her Giselle days


i visited olga spessivtseva some years after that. by that time you could no longer speak english to her and the only way i could speak to her was to speak in french, she responded in russian and the nurse attendant would translate what she said into english back to me.

#8 sandik

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Posted 09 April 2011 - 09:14 AM

Excellent news -- I love this film, and am so glad to see it available again. I first saw it when I was beginning to teach dance history, and it was such a great help as I thought about how to present that ballet in its context.

#9 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 09 April 2011 - 09:35 AM

Comparing the fragments in the film was very revelatory to me. Ulanova's big eyes and blank face in her mad scene is the one I remember the most. Even if she claims that she didn't has to visit a mental institution to mold the scene, I find her portray one of the most vivid ones, and one that resembles the most those scared, fragile faces one sees in those places. I find many similarities with her Giselle in all the subsequent Russian ballerinas-(even Osipova's)-, clearly telling that Miss Ulanova's is THE pattern. Alonso, on the other side, gives the most technical offering, and the fragment Dolin chooses tells it all...Spessivtzeva's solo, where at the moment of the diagonal on sautés on pointe she chooses a painfully slow tempo, to the point that you just want it to be done...(I have never seen anybody taking it as slow as hers here, IMO...I would say this is a real killer for the ballerina's feet). Fracci's fragment is one of the most enjoyable ones...her Italian flirtiness and charm just pours out of her. She's very charming when she talks about her onstage lovers...(I've had too many!"), and the way she kisses Dolin on his lips is very cute too. Her film of Giselle with Bruhn is one of my favorite ones. She is one of the very few ballerinas who puts up with Markova's version of the solo, choosing to do the attitude/pirouettes on each leg during the S's solo using only one at the time-(whereas almost everyone else chooses to change legs on each turn as a matter of keeping balance...only Markova, Alonso and Fracci in the film do it the other way...), and of course, the final killer diagonal of pirouettes/chaines, which she also chooses, honoring again the old fashion way. There are some interesting facts that Dolin talks about, as when he refers to the sequence of lifts that according to him weren't done around Markova's times. I think he says something that it was Chauvire who took them back into the choreography...?-(can't remember very well). Little precious details, as when Dolin commands McBride to go down in her penchee slowly and "pray...pray!"-(the gesture of praying has been lost in many modern versions, using instead the Willis signature crossed hands down their chest). I could go on and on about this film, which I love and revisit very often to get glimpses of the "real deal"... :thumbsup:

#10 ViolinConcerto

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Posted 09 April 2011 - 06:32 PM

After I looked at these comments I went back to several of the threads on the ballet, trying to figure out if anyone has attributed Spissetseva's solo to a particular choreographer. There are so many threads and so many comments that I really couldn't untangle the mystery.

So who choreographed her solo?

#11 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 09 April 2011 - 08:58 PM

After I looked at these comments I went back to several of the threads on the ballet, trying to figure out if anyone has attributed Spissetseva's solo to a particular choreographer. There are so many threads and so many comments that I really couldn't untangle the mystery.

So who choreographed her solo?


I thought more convenient to move this answer to one of the threads on the Pas Seul, so I took it here...

#12 carbro

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Posted 11 April 2011 - 11:47 PM

Alas, the user has removed the video . :(

#13 diane

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Posted 12 April 2011 - 02:57 AM

Alas, the user has removed the video . :(


Yes, unfortunately, this user very often removes the video only a day or even hours after posting. If I have no time to view it right when I first find it, it is gone. -sigh-


-d-

#14 AG

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Posted 23 April 2011 - 01:29 PM

I'm so glad I tried anyway--it's back, and it's wonderful!

#15 diane

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Posted 29 April 2011 - 10:27 AM

It is?

Where?

-d-


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