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(Jun 24, 2008)
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Top Customer Reviews
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'.Read more ›
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!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Romantic and beautiful in the dancing and interpretation. (This is the very best since Alicia Alonzon has done it.)Published 8 months ago by JRM dit Jolicoeur
Adolf Adam is NOT an actor or dancer: he's the composer of the music, and has been dead for over a century!Published on December 17, 2013 by paul sullivan
I Love GISELLE!!.. is one of my favorites ballets ever... Le Riche does a pretty good job... Pujol.. blah!.. not my favorite Giselle... Read morePublished on April 10, 2011 by alejandroivh
There are ever so many productions of Giselle that it is difficult to single one out and say that 'This is the best, worst, average etc etc'. Read morePublished on April 8, 2011 by Satish Kamath
This version of Giselle is the best of them all. Svetlana has proven that she is the greatest ballet dancer of them all, past or present. Read morePublished on February 18, 2010 by Mel Hope
I've seen many versions of this over the years, both live and on film. This is the one of the most perfect I've seen in every way. Read morePublished on January 5, 2010 by Thomas Ascher
I have five versions of Giselle, this one, Royal Ballet's blu-ray version, and La Scala's DVD version. This one is second best, which is saying a lot. Read morePublished on December 2, 2009 by Maxwell Whipps
I saw this production of Giselle live at the Opera Garnier, and was by far not the only one who found it sub-par. Read morePublished on August 3, 2008 by French Critic
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