Batsuchan

Osipova/Sarafanov 3D "Giselle" in movie theaters

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[Moderator Beanie On] I merged two threads to create this one. Please post your own comments, reviews, etc., here. Thanks. Bart [Moderator Beanie Off].

I don't think this has been posted already, but apologies if it has.

On July 12 they'll be showing "Giselle" in 3D at various movie theaters across the US.

http://www.fathomeve...nt/giselle.aspx

It appears to be a performance at the Mariinsky, with Natalia Osipova and Leonid Sarafanov as the leads.

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Thanks, Batsuchan. I was surprised to see how many theaters in my area are actually showing this -- 3 large multiplexes within 30 miles of semi-urban, semi-suburban sprawl. There are two showings, at noon and 7:30 p.m. :thumbsup:

I wonder: Does this reflect the appeal of "Giselle," or "Real 3D," or both?

Has anyone seen a full-length performance of ballet in 3D? I admit to feeling trepidation about the 3D effect, especially for this very familiar work, which seems to demand nuance and subtlety. Can 3D convey that?.

I'll be sure to sit as far back as I can.

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Ok, I'm going to the local showing of the new Maryinsky Giselle, advertised to be in 3D, this coming Tuesday. Anyone else going?

In the Seattle area, it's showing at a suburban theater. When the Met first started their HD broadcasts, we had a similar situation -- the first few showings were out in suburban mall theaters, and then they finally made it into the city. But somehow, the suburban setting seems right in line with the promise of 3D ballet...

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I'm going, here in Connecticut with as many students as I can talk into going... So many of my students have never seen a major company perform... I hope this works for them!

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I'm going to see it at the AMC on 42nd St. near Times Square. Stadium seating for ballet -

maybe a wave of the future. I hope many people support it.

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I'll be seeing it at the noon showing at the Clearview Chelsea on 23 Street in Manhattan on July 12

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I wonder: Does this reflect the appeal of "Giselle," or "Real 3D," or both?

Has anyone seen a full-length performance of ballet in 3D? I admit to feeling trepidation about the 3D effect, especially for this very familiar work, which seems to demand nuance and subtlety. Can 3D convey that?.

I'll be sure to sit as far back as I can.

Not sure if this is more about the ballet or about the technology.

I did see the recent Werner Herzog film about prehistoric cave paintings in France, which was shown in 3D, and was pleasantly surprised at how un-gimmicky it felt. It took awhile to get used to the 3D-ness of it, but there was a point where I just felt like I was looking at the interior of a cave.

I can say this -- activity that moves toward and away from the viewer is more vivid than lateral action (which makes big sense), and the faster something moves, the more disorienting it might be.

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I had such hopes for this... And the dancing was good... The mother did a superb job of the pantomime... But... I'd like to hear from the others who frame dance on this forum... Is it possible? Could they have a near perfect score of missing the shot at almost every opportunity? Well... I don't understand; Giselle is like a series of storyboards,,, it's basically a live graphic novel... It's over a hundred years old and there are many other director's choices to study. The Het Nationale does the framing beautifully. All I can say for this production is that the mystery of how Giselle's hair gets loose has now been carefully revealed. The framing was wide when it should have been close, close when it should have been wide and mostly the medium shots revealed what was behind the character's back instead of what s/he was looking at. Either there is a back story of feuding video crew communication or the director never bothered to reed the libretto. Perhaps they followed opera models.

Bring your fellow balletomanes, but leave the newbies home. Like the Director, they just won't "get" it. There are moments, however that are well beyond worth the $12. Save the novice for the real thing unfiltered by poor camera direction.

It was nice to be in the orchestra pit for the overture, and the music was nicely recorded, though at moments during the first act I wasn't sure if it was happening on the same day as the dancing..

I was surprised that the corps didn't pull off the arabesque voyage crossing in the 2nd act... The Mariinski Corps should be better than the Russian National Ballet in its one night stand tours... But here it wasn't. Why?

I'm still hoping for Wim Wenders' Pina in 3D...

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It was worthwhile to see Kondaurova's Myrtha....The film was too stretched out...very often Sarafanov lost a portion of his head and when the principals were downstage their lower legs were obscured. Luckily Osipova's astonishing small jumps in Act 2 survived, but it was touch and go at some point. I wonder if this will be out on DVD---and if those problems will show up on DVD---or is it just on 3D?

I personally did not see any advantage of 3D.

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Interestingly we did not seem to have any distortion issues... Though a couple of times we just lost the edge of a foot.

3D could have used so well in the corps dances... But there the director prefered to use an extreme wide shot.... We could have so easily understood Hilarion's dizzying drowning if we were immersed in 3d, but the obvious use for 3D was ignored... So strange.

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This was entirely bizarre. There was only one instance where I thought the 3D was powerful and it was when Myrtha turns her back on Hilarion, and her imposing figure really stands apart from the line of the Wilis in a super foreboding way--but I think Kondaurova's Myrtha would have managed that without the bridge of my nose suffering with those horrendously fitting glasses for 2 hrs. Plus the image quality was terrible due to the 3D blur, I felt like I was back to watching youtube videos.

The camera was not forgiving to Osipova's Giselle, imo. There were at least 4 times in the first act where I thought we were going to suddenly have a new mad scene...her face is just too histrionic for the close-ups. There was never a moment of peace or serenity in the act, it was always scrunching and furrowing...yet when the camera panned back you can see how this wouldn't be so noticeable to the theater audience. I thought she looked best in the first pas de deux in the second act; she really let herself be a spirit, and let the steps shine rather than trying to force the acting. Sarafanov looked good throughout, he tried to make some chemistry with Osipova, especially in the first act, but she seemed in her own world and often when he was clearly trying to make eye contact she was off doing something else. He was attentive, though.

Agree with atm711 that the highlight was Kondaurova's Myrtha...wow! Love her.

Oh and what was up with the shot of "Giselle" on high throwing the lilies down at Albrecht. They chose the wrong angle and it was painfully obvious it wasn't Osipova-she had on the Wili tutu and was blonde. Cutting to a shot from the other side of the stage would have hid all of that. What the heck? Did they even try?

There were about 15 people in my theater, which isn't that bad imo for a midweek matinee. I've been to other matinees for regular movies with less people.

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We had no focus problem... I wonder, were we not in an IMAX but simple 3d? It wasn't a huge theater. The house was about the same, maybe 16 people, 9 of whom I brought....

Extreme close-ups kill large theater acting... Big mistake. I can't understand why any cinematographer would choose to shoot jumps from above the eye level of the dancer, that she flew at all is a credit to Osipova. I did like her mad scene though... Particularly her way of picking up frantic speed on her way to collapse...very effective.

I didn't see the attraction for Sarfaanov.. Overly clean line, too immature in the acting... Seemed better cast for Franz in Coppelia than Albrecht but not sure he can act the sense of humor necessary for a good Franz. Lovely feminine line arabesques if you like those in a man, and exaggerated feet in simple walking. I will say his enterchat six were worth paying admission for though....

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I didn't see the attraction for Sarfaanov.. Overly clean line, too immature in the acting... Seemed better cast for Franz in Coppelia than Albrecht but not sure he can act the sense of humor necessary for a good Franz. Lovely feminine line arabesques if you like those in a man, and exaggerated feet in simple walking. I will say his enterchat six were worth paying admission for though....

He's gotten better, partnering and acting wise so I'm grading him on that curve. He's still too boyish for my tastes; I don't need every male dancer to be a Mukhamedov or anything, but a little more weighted presence is preferable for me. I feel the same way about Simkin.

I wasn't in an IMAX theater either, so maybe someone was really bad at calibrating things at some places. :dunno:

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I figure in ten years he'll really be something... But just now he is a little vacant... Lovely line and technique, but not enough for a drama... And. This IS Giselle after all.

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My first 3D was disorienting, making me feel like someone who has spent his life looking at good old reliable Giotto, suddenly thrust into a total-immersion Carravagio experience.

I knew I was in trouble with that first shot of the conductor's back, as seen from the orchestra seats. He was a tiny stick figure, apparently many yards distant from his orchestra and on a distinctly smaller scale. 3D reminds me in a way of a certain kind of collage. The cut-out in front often seems pasted on to the background.

This was especially true for me in Act I -- a visual mishmash whenever the stage filled up. Too much detail in the background made it hard to focus on what Giselle was doing in front. At times, the camera seemed to have difficulty coming into focus with some of the some of the quick cuts from long shots to closer shots.

The miracle of Osipova's balon came across more clearly than I would have thought possible, as did her footwork. I can't think of another Giselle film in which one could see and follow the intricacies and speed of Giselle's feet so easily. On the other hand, the camera did not show Osipova's face or her acting to advantage. She reminded me a bit of Giulietta Massina in La Strada, not a bad thing, but not my idea of Giselle. Sarafanov came across as slight and almost weightless, physically and dramatically. His was probably the least plausible Albrecht I've ever seen. Generally, this Act I was one that left me caring almost nothing about the characters.

Act II was a very different matter. With its dark background, white costumes for the women, andvisual simplicity, Act II worked almost perfectly in 3D.

I agree with others that Kondaurova's Myrtha was a highlight. 3D seems to isolate individual figures from dark backgrounds, allowing you to focus on details of movement. Kondaurova projected a blend of elegance and power was like no other Myrtha I have seen on film. She was not an particularly imperious Myrtha, much less an angry or vengeful one. By showing almost no emotion, she let the choreography speak for her character. Those huge jumps on diagonal, heading towards the audience, were weightless and heavy at the same time. How much of this was Kondaurova? How much was 3D? I don't know, but I suddenly found myself sitting at the edge of my seat during her solos. Something similar happened with Osipova's weightless jumps and with the lifts during the grand pas de deux.

I expect there will be more 3D in all of our futures. After the show, we were talking about what we else wanted to see in 3D and what we wanted to avoid. The white acts in Swan Lake, definitely. But not Acts I or III. Spartacus yes, but Mayerling no. Ballet blanc and leotard ballets, but no Don Q, Corsaire, Nutcracker (though I'd love to see the Snow Scene), Coppelia, or most of Sleeping Beauty. Symphony in C, on the other hand, and Diamonds or Square Dance -- YES.

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I saw it this afternoon with a friend, and I loved Osipova: I now know what everyone has been describing over the last few years.

Sarafanov was a bit of what we'd call on a figure skating board a "blandy blond pup". He almost seemed preppie. Beautiful line, beautiful jumps, beautiful feet, about a hundred thousand beats in Act II, but he didn't make me care one iota. I kept imagining invisible mirrors everywhere, with him looking at himself.

I thought Kondaurova's Myrtha was a bit static. I expected more power and energy from her, but it was beautifully danced.

I really liked the Hilarion and Wilfrid, but didn't catch their names in the credits.

They did not do the Mother's Mime, which is criminal and a huge shame, because the dancer playing the mother could act and mime, and they dropped the Peasant Pas as well. After the PNB production, this one looked empty.

3D was odd and took a while for me to get used to, and I never did on close-ups where they moved quickly, but the cameras cut off a lot of feet, and too often seemed to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

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Hilarion or Hans was Ilya Kuznetsov. I do not know who was Wilfred.

In our theatre the feet were cut off most of the time. Quite annoying. I was told by someone who knows film that it was due to the person running the projector not doing something correctly. Could you see the feet? All in all a wonderful evening filled with a ballet loving crowd! :clapping:

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vrsfanatic. The feet were not cut off at the Boynton Beach Cinemark last night.. Watching footwork was one of the joys of the evening. Everything looked just as the filmakers must have intended.

Like you, I enjoyed being part of an audience that was clearly there for love of ballet. It was rather largish and included a small group of young students Everyone was as silent as humanly possible once the performance began. :flowers:

Question: are the lead males as slightly built as they appeared on the screen?

Sarafanov looked like he was 12; Kuznetsov was the most willowy Hilarion I've ever seen; Wilfried seemed almost without substance, even during his big moment in the graveyard scene. On the other hand, the corps dancers -- male and female -- seemed quite solid and real. The Wilis, in their big white tutus, looked not at all ethereal, especially in when they formed those long diagonal lines. This worked out very well for the drama. Their synchronized rejection of Albrecht -- a wave of movement moving down the line -- was, for my companion, the strongest visual image of the evening. The moral: don't fool with THIS group of Wilis, you poor little man.

It would be fascinating to be able to see this WITHOUT 3D, while the 3D visual memories are still so vivid. Which each of us one like best?

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Sarafanov looked like he was 12; Kuznetsov was the most willowy Hilarion I've ever seen; Wilfried seemed almost without substance, even during his big moment in the graveyard scene. On the other hand, the corps dancers -- male and female -- seemed quite solid and real. The Wilis, in their big white tutus, looked not at all ethereal, especially in when they formed those long diagonal lines. This worked out very well for the drama. Their synchronized rejection of Albrecht -- a wave of movement moving down the line -- was, for my companion, the strongest visual image of the evening. The moral: don't fool with THIS group of Wilis, you poor little man.

I agree...I thought Kuznetsov looked like Cary Ewles in Robin Hood: Men in Tights; I've seen this production live before and I don't remember thinking that! I've grown accustomed to the rugged version of Hilarion presented by ABT et al--here the only thing that attempted to make him look "rugged" (his fancy beard) actually made him look more fey! Poor Kuznetsov.

I think the Wili tutu design was very poor: all the green foliage was not particularly attractive or figure flattering. I, too, thought the wave of Wilis was the most striking image from the corps (since they blew the visuals on the Wilis crossing the stage in arabesque), though having just seen the Cubans these Russian Wilis seemed pretty mild and tame in comparison!

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They did not do the Mother's Mime, which is criminal and a huge shame, because the dancer playing the mother could act and mime, and they dropped the Peasant Pas as well. After the PNB production, this one looked empty.

No peasant pdd? Did the corps dance for Bathilde? I can't imagine Giselle without the peasant pdd.

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vrsfanatic. The feet were not cut off at the Boynton Beach Cinemark last night.. Watching footwork was one of the joys of the evening. Everything looked just as the filmakers must have intended.

Like you, I enjoyed being part of an audience that was clearly there for love of ballet. It was rather largish and included a small group of young students Everyone was as silent as humanly possible once the performance began. :flowers:

Question: are the lead males as slightly built as they appeared on the screen?

Sarafanov looked like he was 12; Kuznetsov was the most willowy Hilarion I've ever seen; Wilfried seemed almost without substance, even during his big moment in the graveyard scene. On the other hand, the corps dancers -- male and female -- seemed quite solid and real. The Wilis, in their big white tutus, looked not at all ethereal, especially in when they formed those long diagonal lines. This worked out very well for the drama. Their synchronized rejection of Albrecht -- a wave of movement moving down the line -- was, for my companion, the strongest visual image of the evening. The moral: don't fool with THIS group of Wilis, you poor little man.

It would be fascinating to be able to see this WITHOUT 3D, while the 3D visual memories are still so vivid. Which each of us one like best?

A fey Albrecht? How did he portray the "he loves me/loves me not" flower petal scene? Did he have any humor or justification for his deception, or was he just slimy and self-involved? This sounds so disappointing.

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No peasant pdd? Did the corps dance for Bathilde? I can't imagine Giselle without the peasant pdd.

No peasant pdd. There was extensive corps dancing by a large several groups of dancers, but no individuals standing out.

A fey Albrecht? How did he portray the "he loves me/loves me not" flower petal scene? Did he have any humor or justification for his deception, or was he just slimy and self-involved? This sounds so disappointing.

I wouldn't say "fey," ... would "a cipher" be too strong a word? The petal business was done according to the book but you didn't learn anything about his character from the way he did it. "Slimy and self-involved"? Far from it. There was very little "self" in this portrayal. I am a fan of Nureyev's desperately self-centered reaction to the shock of Giselle's death: pointing hysterically to Hilarion and "shouting" ... YOU. YOU are to blame." Sarafanov politely mourns Giselle and then runs off. His cape flutters nicely but -- I am not kidding here -- with restraint..

And sadly no hounds....

No hounds. Maybe dogs are too spontaneous to risk in 3D.

My favorite part of Sarafanov's performance -- the bit where Albrecht, driven to dance by the Wilis, does a long series of exhausting entrechats. Sarafanov's were high, fast (3D made them very clear to the eye). But he added a touch I liked. As Albrecht begins to tire, Sarafanov's created the illusion that his body was becoming heavy. His arms (5th en bas) moved slightly to the front, as did his shoulders as they would if one were struggling. He wasn't struggling of course. Those entrechats remained perfect. The "look" however was completely in character and dramatically effective. So were his jumps near the end (mirroring Hilarion's desperate movements earlier in the Act). One arm thrusts up, seeming to pull his body along with it and throwing his shoulders out of alignment. On the next jump, the other arm. Again. Again. Hands are uncupped, with fingers spayed. Classical perfection breaks down for a moment, which brings you closer to Albrecht and to what his ordeal-by-dancing must have felt like.

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