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Giselle

4.7 out of 5 stars 53 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Perhaps the most celebrated ballet of the Romantic era, Adolphe Adam's intoxicating ballet 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. Featuring the fabulous Alina Cojocaru in the title role and Johan Kobborg as a torn Count Albrecht, Peter Wright's sparkling production and John Macfarlane's pastoral designs create an opulent feast for the eyes, here captured in High Definition video and true surround sound

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Alina Cojocaru, David Drew, Martin Harvey, Johan Kobborg, Marianela Nuñez
  • Directors: Ross MacGibbon
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Classical, Color, DTS Surround Sound, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English (DTS 5.1), English (PCM2 .0)
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Opus Arte
  • DVD Release Date: October 28, 2008
  • Run Time: 112 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001E08TDA
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #64,819 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Giselle" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
Revised review Dec 02/08. (see P.P.S.)

Let me start off by saying that Giselle is my favorite ballet; I love the story, the music and the dance.

This performance was recorded in 2006 at the Royal Opera House, Covent Gardens, London and stars Alina Cojocaru and Johan Kobberg in the principal roles.

This is probably the best danced and finest interpretation of this magnificent ballet I've ever seen. I initially saw this at a movie theater with about 200+ people; you could have heard a pin drop during many of the pas de deux between Cojocaru and Kobberg, they were that stirring to watch.

There was so much to like about this performance...let me elaborate,

the Pros:

1.)The costumes for the peasants, the Royal hunting party and Wilis were sumptuous; the sets for both acts were nicely conceived to display the rustic theme for the village in Act I and then the marsh scene in Act II.

2.)The principal dancers, Alina Cojocaru and Johan Kobborg gave the performance of a lifetime. Cojocaru has such skill and grace...an easy effortlessness that holds her audience spellbound. Kobberg attains such height with his leaps and jumps that it appears as if he can defy gravity.

3.) The emotion displayed, through facial expression and body language, by both leads was perfect for the situation; their dancing techniques and skills when together, were simply breath taking. Some of the famous lifts in the Act II were, without a doubt, the best I've ever seen in any performance of Giselle.

4.) The conductor, Boris Gruzin, interpretation of Adophe Adam's music was beautifully rendered, complimenting the tone and mood of this ballet that covered both ends of the emotional spectrum.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Let me get to the punch line first. This is almost a "must buy" despite my 4-star rating which I'll explain below.

In the last several years, it's extremely difficult to keep up with the young ballerinas coming up the ranks. The Russian schools seem to have put out an unending stream of really talented and accomplished young female dancers whose names would require memory training to retain. Polina Semionova, Alina Somova, Maria Alexandrova, Alina Cojocaru, and one Osipova. Any more?

They are already principal dancers in the major houses - Bolshoi, Royal Ballet, Kirov, Berlin - and they all have "stories" attached to them if you read about them on Google. Semionova was specifically recruited by Berlin to partner Malakhov; Plisetskaya was so impressed by Somova that she took off her diamond ear rings and gave them to the awed young woman; Cojocaru turned down an offer of principal dancer by the Kiev Ballet and joined the Corps de Ballet at the Royal Ballet so she could improve more freely. I believe it. This is exciting stuff.

This Giselle was danced by Alina Cojocaru, a Romanian trained by the Kiev. She's fabulous. Every movement, turn, jump, and pose was precise and beautiful to look at. She also paid great attention to the story and acted very well. The ending of Act I might even be a bit over dramatic, but she was committed so I would not fault her. In Act II, the Corps was on stage 80% or more of the time and the ladies were magnificent. You wonder whether they tried extra hard to support their former colleague from their rank. It's one thing to do grand jete in ones, twos or even fours. But these women gave me the impression that they were FLYING in precision formation in the same split second as a squadron.
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I think no one need fear buying this performance; overall, it is very fine and I think it deserves a top rating, even though I hesitated over a possible four. Technically and overall, a five; though it evokes only an emotional response of four from me. My chief disappointment is the Albrecht. His dancing is accomplished and he acts well, especially in close-up, though I find him slightly mannered at times. My main complaint, however, is that he doesn't seem really to connect to Giselle. He acts outwardly as though he does but, especially in the second act, I really don't believe him. My eyes tell me they care deeply for each other, but my heart remains stubbornly unconvinced. I noticed during the curtain calls that he didn't seem genuinely pleased by the hearty applause given him. A few smiles, yes; but mostly rather blank. Perhaps he's simply a rather cool personality? But Giselle needs the heights of passion and the depths of redemptive love, not committed reserve. Cojocaru on the other hand is an utter delight. I can't imagine anyone looking the part more. And she can certainly act. And she can most certainly dance! She has a luminous sweetness that transforms the stage. With more chemistry from her Albrecht, this might have been as close to definitive as one could hope for, because everyone else is first rate. The Myrthe is especially noteworthy: technically wonderful and dramatically full of menace without seeming to try. It comes from within. And poor Hilarion who, I always feel, gets the rawest of deals is here very sympathetic. Possibly even handsomer than Albrecht [I really did feel Giselle made a poor choice in this case!] - a kind of Eric Bana of dance.Read more ›
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