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ABT Giselle with Baryshnikov and Makarova

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Yesterday I caught a glimpse of this video. I was shown some parts of it and was amazed at the quality of the dancing (from corps to principals). I very much liked the couple who danced the Peasant pdd. Could anyone tell me who these two dancers are?



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Here are the credits:

Giselle [videorecording] / WNET ; directed by Robert Schwarz ; produced by John Goberman ; choreography by David Blair after Coralli and Perrot ; music by Adolphe Adam, orchestrated by John Lanchbery.

Imprint U.S. : Lincoln Center Video/Bel Canto Paramount Home Video, 1989, c1977. (96 min.) : sd., col. NTSC ; 1/2 in. (VHS)

Note Performed by members of American Ballet Theatre, including Natalia Makarova (Giselle), Mikhail Baryshnikov (Albrecht), Martine van Hamel (Myrta), Frank Smith (Hilarion), Kirk Peterson and Marianna Tcherkassky (Peasant pas de deux), and Berthica Prieto, Ruth Mayer, Alexander Minz, George de la Pena, Richard Schafer, Nanette Glushak, and Jolinda Menendez.

Music performed by the American Ballet Theatre Orchestra, conducted by John Lanchbery.

Credits Scenery, Oliver Smith ; costumes, Peter Hall ; lighting, Nananne Porcher.

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shameless plug: it's this perf/tape that i address in the chapter on GISELLE in my book, BALLET 101.

i doubt tho' that there are more bare facts there than those given by dale's post, but otherwise there are many 'thougths' about this particular GISELLE.

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FABULOUS performances --

and yes, Silvy, that's the Marianna Tcherkassky person you were asking about in hte peasant pas de deux.....

Baryshnikov is so deep in character he won;'t even get up and take a bow when hte audience is screamng for him......van Hamel is superb, and Makarova outdoes herself...

Let me join with everybody else in recommending Robert Greskovic's wonderful book Ballet 101, available from Hyperion books -- which has a terrific essay on this performance, and muc of value on many great ballets...

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thanks for the credits you provided on this particular "Giselle". Do you happen to know what was the role played by Bethica Prieto? Because I have heard a lot stories about her dancing, from our director, and from other people who worked with her in Chile's Ballet de Santiago, so I was interested to read on your post that she had danced for ABT as well.



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Silvy, I don't really recognize Bertica Prieto but by process of elimination I think she portrays Bathilde in this video. I know that Ruth Mayer is the mother and Jolinda Menendez and Nanette Glushak are the 2 wilis.

This is my favorite video of Giselle. I saw Makarova/Baryshnikov in Giselle several times in 75 & 76 and for me no one else can compare. This video really does a good job of capturing the magic of their performance. Try to get a copy and watch the whole thing, you will love it!

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Paul, I personally don't know if Baryshnikov was ever so deep in character that he wouldn't think of a bow. He was a very rational performer, at least in the West. But his Kirov training was so deeply ingrained that it would have been unthinkable for him to indulge in something like that. If only ABT's current generation of danseurs were as discreet!

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Nysusan - I finally got hold of a copy and agree with you - the only things I do not like about this tape is the conductor's rendering of the music (almost disonant in some passages to my taste) and the fact that the filming is done very far to appreciate facial expressions. All the other things are, as you said, every inch enjoyable.

I was amazed at Tcherkassky's Peasant pas de deux - she was truly a ballerina. I liked of BAryshnikov that he was portraying the role all along, paying no heed to applause when this would be inappropriate of him (say, after his II act variation he remained on the floor, painful look and all). Makarova's balances and lightness were superb. I wish I could appreciate her facial expression a little more. As to Van Hamel, though I admire her for her powerful dancing, I still prefer Terekhova as Myrtha. The 2 wilis were also superb. Also the corps, in both acts (it happens that now I am dancing Giselle's friends of 1st act, and I know the difficulties - ABT dancers make it look easy)


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:yes: I saw this same performance live at the Met when they taped it!!!!!!! A truly

great performance.......and it translated beautifully to video. The production quality, esp. the camera work was/is very high quality esp., in the late 1970s. :yes:

So I still have some special moments from the live images I saw, along with the

complementary images of the video!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :yes:

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