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Adam - Giselle / Bessmertnova, Lavorovski, Kozlova, Bolshoi Ballet (1975)

Bessmertnova , Bolshoi Ballet  |  NR |  DVD
3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)

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DVD 1-Disc Version $15.78  
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Product Details

  • Actors: Bessmertnova, Bolshoi Ballet
  • Format: AC-3, Color, Dolby, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Empire Musicwerks
  • DVD Release Date: January 13, 2004
  • Run Time: 82 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00016XN1Q
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #506,747 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Adam-Giselle/Bessmertnova, Lavorovski, Kozlova, Bolshoi Ballet

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
33 of 35 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The Bolshoi Giselle.... disappointing February 14, 2004
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Let me say that Giselle is one of my favorite ballets; I love Adam's music, the choreography and the story.

I really wanted to like this Giselle; I could hardly wait to get the DVD home and in the player. However, this shortened movie version of Giselle starring Natalya Bessmertnova and M. Lavrovski was disappointing to say the least.

I have a several areas of concern with this DVD production... to mention a few

- The sets are "barebones" with flat color tones and meager drop back curtains; there is little or no "scenery" to give one the feeling of the rustic quaintness that seems to be the norm in other Giselles. The cast almost looks lost on this huge stage.

- The music/audio is flawed: there is an annoying high pitched tinny quality to a lot of the higher notes throughout the entire performance: this is very distracting and although I could diminish this effect by tweaking my audio system, I could not get this problem to disappear entirely.

-With the entire ballet only 82 minutes long, they decided to leave out the Peasant Pas de deux at the end of the Act I.... Need I say more.

-And finally, to me, Giselle has always represented ballet at its emotional best: with Adam's haunting melodies and the beautiful choreography taking the audience the full gambit between initial happiness and gaiety to final sadness and grief. In this production, although the dancing is technically good, it lacks any arousing impact; the performers went through the dance steps,but they didn't seem to be very convincing or committed in their acting.
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great dancing, awful DVD quality February 24, 2004
By A Customer
I have this performance on a Kultur VHS, and I absolutely love it. I was very excited when a DVD version came out, and immediately bought it. But ... this DVD is just awful. In the VHS the first act scenery has fall colors, the prince has a deep dark blue costume. This DVD shows everything in various shades of grey and brown. On the VHS second act had dark blue background with willis in shimmery white dresses. On DVD the background is dark grey, and the willis are dull white. Sound quality is even worse than on the VHS. I love the performance, but until a better DVD version comes out I'll watch the 15 year-old VHS.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Really poor June 19, 2004
I should have read the other reviews before I bought this. Horrible sound and poor picture quality. Very fine dancing, but I haven't been able to watch it through to the end, the production values are so poor.
This is not a "real" performance from the stage of the Bolshoi. Rather, this was filmed (taped?) on a sound stage rather than in a theatre. I assumed I would be getting a "real" performance from the Bolshoi.
All-in-all, avoid this
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Appalling DVD release of a great performance March 10, 2004
The present DVD release of this historical film, highlighting two great Bolshoi dancers Natalya Bessmertnova and Mikhail Lavrovsky at their peak, is a gross insult. The producers of this hideosity have succeeded in proving the unthinkable: DVD can after all be far worse than VHS - in sound as well as in image.
To be avoided at all costs.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great performance April 22, 2000
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
Absolutely great performance of the ballet. Besmertnova and Lavrovsky are great dancers, and together form a great couple. I own two copies of this, a copy next to each VCR.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Majestic and Luminous Giselle January 13, 2010
This is a remarkable document of the great Bolshoi partnership of Mikhail Lavrovsky and Natalya Bessmertnova. An ideal match physically and temperamentally, Lavrovsky and Bessmertnova are splendid as the tragic lovers. Son of the great Soviet choreographer Leonid Lavrovsky who created Romeo and Juliet for Ulanova, Mikhail Lavrovsky has a beautifully proportioned physique, with grace, power and a captivating musical, dramatic style.

There are unfortunately few opportunities to view this great couple. Their art was captured here and in Romeo and Juliet, but this Giselle is the superior document. Lavrovsky is convincingly princely, and has an indelible stage presence and virility that match other immortal dancers from this tradition, like Vasiliev and Baryshnikov. The ethereal Bessmertnova seems light as a feather but displays unparalleled steely strength and perfection, especially in the treacherous second act.

This is my favorite Giselle. There is another phenomenal version with Makarova and Baryshnikov, but it has yet to see the light of day on DVD. In spite of all the competition, I still find this performance with Lavrovsky and Bessmertnova to be the most beautifully danced of all Giselles I've seen so far. The color is weak and the sets minimal, but this performance is on a very high level artistically.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Format:VHS Tape
Natalya Bessmertnova, Bolshoi Company prima ballerina over three decades, performs splendidly in the title role for this worthy and largely successful attempt at recovering, within a studio setting, many past glories from a truly classical (as well as romantic) ballet. Filmed at the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow, an appropriate site for one of the Bolshoi's most admired pieces, the performance benefits quite strongly from the lack of applause that is normally tendered by live audiences revelling in infatuation for individual favourite dancers, bringing productions to a halt. A great leaper, Bessmertnova is alike successful with acting, specially to be noted here in the Act I mad scene, while the emotional forcefulness of her partner, Mikhail Lavrovsky, as Count Albrecht decidedly contributes toward the stirring presentation of the work's sundry musical climaxes. Juri Grigorovitsch, husband of Bessmertnova, creates here continually challenging choreography, a manifest blend of past Bolshoi triumphs along with his own innovations, and although the popular Peasant Pas de Deux from the end of Act I was completed during this production, one will forgive its subsequent removal as not being concordant with an elegiac mood that the choreographer establishes immediately upon progression into the second act. This mood becomes the most dynamic element of the film, enhanced through smoothly achieved artistic montage and lighting effects from cinematographer Konstantin Apriatin. During the more than a century and a half of Giselle's history, a good many sterling dancers have performed as Albrecht, but few who could maintain the role's cardinal accent upon emotional strength with the force that does Lavrovsky in this film. Read more ›
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Will not play at all
I would love to see Bessmertnova, no matter what the quality of the film or staging, but unfortunately the disc will not play at all. Read more
Published 8 months ago by K. Jensen
4.0 out of 5 stars It is the real Russian version - no translations!
Fortunately it is a ballet - one can read the story in the liner notes, and follow the dancing. The music is gorgeous, and the story interesting. We enjoyed it a lot!
Published 20 months ago by Frank S. Chandler Jr.
5.0 out of 5 stars See it, if only for Act Two
A beautiful performance in which the second act is truely sublime. The dancing of Bessmertnova and Lavrovsky is enthralling, their dancing is amazing but so is their acting... Read more
Published on December 14, 2010 by Savina K. Lee
1.0 out of 5 stars sublime
I agree with the other reviewer that this is the best Giselle I have ever seen. The second act, one of the peaks of European culture, is perfection in this version: bathed in... Read more
Published on May 20, 2010 by Diatonic
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant Giselle
The dancing in this historic performance is stupendous. Bessmertnova and Lavrovski are both Bolshoi jewels, embodying the athleticism, grace, power and artistic interpretation... Read more
Published on April 2, 2008 by customer
2.0 out of 5 stars Competent but dull
I pretty much agree with everyone else here, though I admit I am curious as to the color wash-out on DVD, I can readily understand how the VHS might be more enjoyable if the... Read more
Published on May 1, 2005 by Warmgoy
4.0 out of 5 stars It's sill worth it
I agree, the video and sound quality is underpar, but the dancing is very good. it's stll worth it for the price.
Published on March 19, 2004 by Opera fan
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