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14 customer reviews

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(Jun 24, 2008)
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Editorial Reviews


Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Adolphe Adam, National Opera of Paris, National Ballet of Paris
  • Format: Classical, Color, Dolby, DTS Surround Sound, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English, German, French
  • Subtitles: English, French, German
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Alliance
  • DVD Release Date: June 24, 2008
  • Run Time: 111 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0017PB27M
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #253,915 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 18 people found the following review helpful By L.T.N on June 30, 2008
Format: DVD
Well, here it is. This company knows its good, they wear their confidence so well in every step and gesture. Paris Opera has given us basically a seat in front stage/center, not too close, in a comfortable seat, traditional choreography from those secure enough in their ability that they feel no need to shock, wardrobe and lighting artists that know what's pleasing to the eye, and dancers that are among the best in the world.

Laetitia Pujol's acting matches her note-perfect dancing in the lead and she deserved to be handed this role over some rather heady competition within her own company (Clairemarie Osta, Aurelie Dupont, Isabelle Ciaravola, and Marie-Agnes Gillot who dances/plays Myrtha). Appropriately sweet and girlish in the first act, and equally effective in her mad scene, I wanted to follow her even when she wasn't the center of the action. Gillot, who probably has danced Giselle herself over the last few years with the company, is just as bewitching as Myrtha. (I seem to recall reviewers who either loved the dancer who played Giselle, or the dancer who played Myrtha, but not both---yet one more indication that the wait for this company to produce the classic was a shared hope for many).

I love the first act with its peasant pas de deux more than the second act spectacular of the wilis. While some may feel the first act is a mere prelude for how well the corps can wow the audience, in addition to how well the Giselle can entwine her dancing technique with her acting, the finale is always a little bit anti-climatic for me simply because I love the first act dances so much. Every little detail charms me, and Paris does the details better than anyone. I don't think anyone will quibble with how the second act 'looks'.
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18 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Andrew Heenan on July 8, 2008
Format: DVD
This is a marvellous version of the ballet, very traditional, rich in mime (done properly, so far as I can tell, but I'm no expert).

The leads are both excellent, Laëtitia Pujol on top form, and with good 'chemistry' between them. Good camera work and direction allows us to see almost all the footwork, with a variety of angles - but no pointless changing angles every few seconds. The company, as ever, is superb, which shows not only in the second act, but in the villagers' dances in the first act too.

Dramatically, Giselle is well portrayed as the innocent maiden, and the 'mad' scene is horribly convincing, while her 'white act' is as good as any you'll find.

Albrecht changes seamlessly from 'bad boy caught out' to concern to guilt and then to horror; nice one, Nicolas Le Riche! Myrta seems technically fine, but not as strong a presence as in some versions, while Hilarion, always an ambiguous character, comes across as little more than a bully; perhaps that's why the Wilis show him no mercy?

Throughout, the direction is smooth, the camera work and lighting is good - though I felt the spotlight following the leads was overly bright and a little distracting in the first act.

I was very impressed by the orchestra and the sound quality; so often ballets on DVD are let down by poor sound

I've probably missed several key points here, but, all-in-all it really is an excellent Giselle; all involved clearly understood the ballet and respect its history and traditions. I suspect it'll be a while before we see a better one!
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Hawkeye on December 25, 2008
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I am puzzled by the French critic who regards this performance as a major disappointment. Perhaps dancers are not without honor, save in their own countries. Since the critic seems to be an "insider" (claiming access to private management discussions), I wondered if he might have an ax to grind. In any case, I can only say that my high expectations were met. The music is rich and crisp, and the sound engineers placed the microphones wherever they needed to be to pick up every vibration of every air molecule. Viewers can judge for themselves from the live applause if the critic's major disappointment was widely shared. In addition to the fine performances of the etoiles, the doe-eyed Emmanuel Thibault, who is not (yet) an etoile, has a noteworthy solo in Act I. He doesn't seem to resent the "hierarchical" structure of the POB (what are most ballet companies-- anarchies?) and probably shares my belief that his talent will soon be rewarded with a promotion. Another reviewer felt that Romoli's Hilarion was something of a bully. What I noticed was that after he and Albrecht blame each other for Giselle's death at the end of Act I, Hilarion blames himself in Act II. Albrecht isn't the only one transformed by her death.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Jose Brito on April 28, 2010
Format: Blu-ray
Based on Heine's De l'Alemagne (essays on german folklore)Giselle has seen many revisions since its creation in 1941.This Paris version is perhaps the closiest to 1887 St Petersburg Petipa's revised Giselle.I had the privilege to attend, at the age of sixteen, a performance of this ballet in Lisbon(1968),danced by Nureyev and Fonteyn.Having watched quite a few Giselles ever since, I do consider this version (after 1991 Paris Opera production) a serious document of dancing. Laëtitia Pujol's Giselle is devoid of gratuitous mannerism and one of the purest I have seen. In fact, if in Act I her mime and her most skillful dancing show a girlish yet sensitive Giselle, in Act II she becomes the embodied spirit of Willy-Giselle with her slow (hence extremely difficult), precise, beautiful and graceful movement. She almost floates on the air, half feather half spirit, no longer human, yet attentive to Albrecht's punishment, with only a glimpse of the heartful Act I Giselle, her eyes looking like those of Garbo in Mamoulian's Queen Christine. Her legs, her arms, her hands, each gesture convey an amazingly intelligent portrayal of the Willy she has in fact turned into. Nicholas Le Riche dances Albrecht most brilliantly, even if Petipa's choreography for this ballet scarcely allows male dancers to show their skills ( he does nevertheless two dozens of consecutive entrechats) and so does Wilfred Romoli. Myrtha is powerfully danced by Marie-Agnès Gillot, her technique flawless, her gesture and face those of a merciless, haughty Willy queen. Last but not the least, Emmanuel Thibault and his immaculate dancing glitters in the Pas de deux des Paysans like a true pearl. The Paris Opera corps de ballet proove once more its legendary quality and Adam's music is intelligently, sensibly conducted by Paul Connely. Filmed in HD, the blu-ray image is perfect. Absolutely not to loose.
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