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Adam - Giselle / Svetlana Zakharova, Roberto Bolle, Vittorio d'Amato, La Scala Ballet

4.3 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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(Jul 25, 2006)
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Editorial Reviews

Giselle is the dramatic story of a peasant girl whose betrayal by her aristocratic lover causes her to go mad before dying and returning as a ghost.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: David Coleman, Marta Romagna, Antonino Sutera, Sophie Sarrote, Romagna
  • Format: AC-3, Classical, Color, Dolby, DTS Surround Sound, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: French, English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Alliance
  • DVD Release Date: July 25, 2006
  • Run Time: 105 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000FS9JC2
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #159,625 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Marc Haegeman on July 27, 2006
Format: DVD
Milan's La Scala continues to spoil ballet lovers with its exploration of the great classics, with yet another excellent "Giselle", filmed live in April 2005. Released some ten years after the "Giselle" with Alessandra Ferri and Massimo Murru, the current DVD features the Bolshoi's Svetlana Zakharova, now a frequent guest with the Milanese company, as Giselle, and La Scala's own Roberto Bolle as Albrecht. (Anyone yet possessing the older film with Ferri/Murru needn't hesitate to try out this new release as the Giselles couldn't possibly be more different.)

La Scala's "Giselle" has the asset of the sound choreographic text by Yvette Chauviré (the French Giselle par excellence of the 20th century), revived by Florence Clerc, and boasts eye-catching sets and costumes recreated by Angelo Sala and Cinzia Rosselli after Alexander Benois. It is as traditional a staging as you can get, and that's exactly what this ballet needs.

Russian star Svetlana Zakharova gives a fine dramatic reading of the main character. "Giselle" was one of Zakharova's first major roles when she started out with the Kirov now almost ten years ago. She has since then performed the ballet in at least five different productions around the world. Her sophistication is balanced by femininity and vulnerability, while her dancing has now acquired such fluidity and sense of purpose that she can get away with the sky-high extensions. In the last few years Zakharova developed a rewarding partnership with dream-prince Roberto Bolle. He is a noble and passionate Albrecht, his dancing clean, his partnering reliable. On the other hand, Marta Romagna's Myrtha is something of a letdown, hardly making any impact with either her presence or the quality of her dancing. La Scala's female corps de ballet proves excellent in the 2nd Act.

David Coleman conducts the Orchestra of La Scala in this new release which has first-rate filming, image quality and sound to boast.
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It has been quite a long time since the ballet world has been blessed with a ballet duo the likes of Zakharova and Bolle. Their ability to perform with technical excellence and emotional intensity is very rare--and breathtaking! We are blessed with some nice releases on dvd by them(Swan Lake and La Bayadere). Perhaps it is in Giselle that we can experience the most realistic portrayal of human emotion in ballet, and Zakharova and Bolle do not disappoint us! This version has the most sizzling emotional intensity of any I have seen, both in act one and act two. In act one Zakharova displays youthful warmth and innocence and in act two, intense love, pain, and grief. Bolle also gives a very appropriate portrayal, showing real intensity throughout. All the scenes are equally magnificent, as is the supporting cast. It is a complete Giselle with the peasant pas de deux and all the group dances, as well as extensive choreography for Myrtha and the other wilis. Finally, the music, costumes, and scenery are also of the highest standard. The image quality and sound are likewise superb. It is packaged with a booklet. Unfortunately, there is no bonus material on the dvd. This is definitely one of the finest Giselle performances on dvd.
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I put off buying this DVD for quite some time because of some of the negative reviews, but I finally decided to chance it and see for myself. I'm glad I did. I can understand most of the complaints by some of the other reviewers, though I think in all instances they are too severe. This is now the favourite of my many Giselles. I could do with a few less close-ups than provided, though I am happy with the amount of time spent showing the dancers's whole body and the work of the corps. I was impressed by the lead and found her in no way antiseptic. Her peasant girl demeanour was charming, her mad scene was wonderful, her ability to be both spirit and humanly present was gently convincing. Bolle strikes me as someone who might be more at home in a more extrovert part, but that makes his performance all the more appreciated for what he actually gives us. I do find conversion for him at the end of Act 1 and throughout Act 2, but it's the conversion of this particular personality, not someone else's. The only real short-coming I found in his acting was for a few moments in Act 2 during which he ceases to be Albrecht and becomes an attentive support to his partner in their pas de deux. Before and after those few moments he is in character. I am perfectly capable of being disappointed by a Myrthe - and have been - but not here. In fact, I enjoyed this Myrthe very much - especially some lovely "swan-like" arm movements that softened the avenging fury aspect of the character. There were still a few traces of humanity left in this Myrthe and it was a gain overall. The choreography of this production had some carefully worked out touches that made sense of the story and helped the story make sense, in both acts, in a way which makes other productions just a little more forced or stilted.Read more ›
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Format: DVD
Allow me to admit right up front that I am a fan of Svetlana Zakharova, so perhaps this leaves me a bit biased. Her dancing is, as usual, nearly flawless. But she's not the sort of Giselle that leaves you startled at her violent mood swings. She's a much more subtle creature in this. In some respects, this is disappointing. Like my fellow reviewer, I too saw Diana Vishneva perform Giselle and she blew me away with her emotional range and expressivity in the role. But in that performance, Giselle also came off as something of a manic-depressive all the way through; she perhaps shifted gears too much. Svetlana's Giselle flows more smoothly from who she was in life into who she became in death, and that has a certain beauty to it. No, the madness scene was not on par with the best. But I liked that it was a bit stilted, slow and internalized; more like true madness brought on by betrayal. And her Act II pas de deux is just beautiful.

Roberto Bolle, whom I generally like, I found to be a lacking Albrecht. He and Svetlana always dance beautifully together (and look gorgeous together to boot), but if Svetlana's Giselle was subtle...then Roberto's Albrecht was downright clinical. He only showed two expressions in Act I: arrogantly flirty and exaggeratedly sorrowful. But no depth of true love. I also agree with other reviewers, Marta Romagna's Myrtha was a major disappointment. She looked almost bored to be there, and her dancing revealed no power or commanding presence whatsoever. She made it difficult to believe that she could ever command Svetlana, and thus made Giselle's defiance to save Albrecht look too easy.

Some aspects of this performance: the technique of Svetlana and Roberto, the raw emotion in the eyes of Hilarion, the beautiful sets and costumes, the (as ever) lush musical performance by the orchestra, make this worthy of viewing. But don't expect the best Giselle you've ever seen.
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