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Giselle - Dutch National Ballet [DVD] [2009] [2011] [NTSC]

4.5 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Anna Tsygankova, Jozef Varga, Igone de Jongh
  • Directors: Jeff Tudor, Adrienne Liron
  • Format: Classical, NTSC, Widescreen, Surround Sound
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: Exempt
  • Studio: Warner Classics and Jazz
  • DVD Release Date: 22 Feb. 2010
  • Run Time: 155 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0034L9AP8
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 37,219 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Giselle

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
This DVD preserves a performance by the Dutch National Ballet that took place in February 2009. Their Giselle was then a new production by Rachel Beaujean und Riccardo Bustamante (and considering that such productions usually stay in the repertory for a long time, it is still very new). The beautiful designs by Toer van Schayk look like 19th century paintings with their careful choice of colour and use of light. The painted backdrop for the first act shows the Rhine (in particular, the region between Bonn and Koblenz where there are hills and castles on both sides), a river that was a source of inspiration for romantic poets and travelers.
Although the stage designs are quite detailed (Giselle's hut has a gate), the Amsterdam stage itself is so spacious it never looks cluttered. The two sides of the Romantic era are conveyed exemplarily as the first act looks warm, sunny and folksy whereas the second act is closer to the dark, gothic atmosphere of some of Heinrich Heine's poetry. I especially liked the first entrance of the wilis and the way they form a circle around Myrtha like a sinister sisterhood, supported by very effective positioning of the camera somewhere high up. The wilis here also keep on their veils longer, which adds to the ghostly, spectral atmosphere.
If you have seen other performances of this ballet you will probably notice that in the first act there is a peasant pas de quatre and not a pas de deux like they have in Paris and Milan, or a pas de six (Royal Ballet). It gives more than two dancers the chance to shine and supports the idea of the village being a community, thus plausibly dealing with the problem that I always thought comes up when there is a Peasant Pas de Deux: who are these people and why do they dance this divertissement.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Everything is right about this production:
Picture 5
Sound 4
Sets 5
Dancing 5
Storytelling 4
Music making 4
There are also 45 minutes of interviews with the leading dancers discussing their roles. Overall highly recommended.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This is a gem of a Giselle. Although I bought this DVD primarily because of the artistry and wonderful virtuosity of the great Fernando Bujones, and I was not disappointed in this, I was very pleasantly surprised by the standard of technical prowess displayed by the Company of The Ballet Teatro Municipal of Rio De Janeiro. All the dancers and particularly the soloists give an excellent account of themselves in this great romantic ballet. The choreography is very authentic and exactly as I remember from being taught as a student in my youth. This is not so surprising as the Ballet Master of the company when this was filmed is Desmond Doyle who was a very eminent dancer with The Royal Ballet in his time. The quality of the film, particularly in the first act is not so good because the colour has faded to a rather attractive sepia tinge, but this does not at all detract from the excellent standard of the dancing. The second act is very atmospheric and eerie, happily here the colour seems to have been restored. I love the way the Wilis rise out of the mist as if they are indeed rising up from their graves, so much more impressive than just having them appear from the wings as in so many more contemporary productions. Ana Botafogo who dances Giselle is a truly lovely dancer, with a strong technique, and she certainly proves an excellent match for Bujones who dances the role of Albrecht with his usual outstanding lyricism and jaw-dropping virtuosity. The Corps de Ballet are also very impressive in the second act in the precise dances of The Wilis. All in all this is a very surprising and pleasing performance.
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Format: DVD
This is my second Giselle on Blu-ray. The ballet seems to me less emotional. Otherwise I have no objection to it. I have reservations on the quality of an audio recording, which I think is wrong. A sound engineer is recorded ambient noise from the audience a lot. Someone sneezes still there. It works very distracting, especially in the quieter passages.
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Format: Blu-ray
This is probably the Xth Giselle that I have watched on the screen for years....

This is also one of the most satisfying Giselles that I have ever watched, and not for the reasons that are usually attributed to a 5 star performance....

Tsygankova? No.. not anywhere as convincing as Cojocaru, not because of her dancing, but her attitude towards Giselle. She has to take a leaf out of Cojocaru insofar as acting is concerned, although her technique and dancing seem absolutely flawless... Tsygankova seems to be more in the Zakharova mold, which requires shedding of a few pounds of ego.
The Mad scene is nowhere as good as Cojocaru's in the ROH production.

But Myrta? Jongh can give the best of the best a run for the money. She is one of the best ever Myrthas that I have seen, Marianella Nunez notwithstanding.
Yes, as some critics have pointed out that the second act seems devoid of overt emotions as Nunez is so successful in bringing out, but Jongh comes through without having to exert herself in observable expressions to bring out the cold blooded intents.

The conductor has done a great job with the music, and the recording, unlike in the ROH version, is far far better. The choreographers have worked overtime to present some dances different from the other productions, without losing any artistic stuff. Thank them for it. The corps de ballet seems to be extremely well utilized, and dance beautifully, without being mechanical in the first act dances. They seem to be having fun as peasants, without inhibitions and dance thus.....
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