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Adam: Giselle (Bolshoi Ballet Company) [DVD] [2012] [NTSC]

3.8 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Svetlana Lunkina, Dmitry Gudanov, Vitaly Biktimirov
  • Format: Classical, Colour, DVD-Video, Widescreen, PAL
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: French, English, German
  • Dubbed: None
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: U
  • Studio: Bel Air Classiques
  • DVD Release Date: 2 April 2012
  • Run Time: 109 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0072A4I2W
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 144,796 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)
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Product description

Product Description

The Bolshoi Ballet troupe in Yuri Grigorovich s version of the romantic masterpiece 'Giselle', at last available in HD. First performed in 1841, 'Giselle' was an immediate hit. With music by Adolphe Adam and a libretto by Théophile Gautier and Jules-Henri Vernoy de Saint-Georges, the ballet touches on the great romantic themes: local colour, a pastoral love affair doomed to end in tragedy, a plunge into fantasy and redemption through the power of love. Learning that Albrecht, her beloved, is in fact a nobleman engaged to be married to a princess, the naive peasant girl Giselle dies. The Queen of the Wilis the spirits of deceased young virgins decides that Albrecht should follow Giselle to the grave, and condemns him to dance until he dies of exhaustion. But Giselle s spirit dances with him and saves him. Composer Adolphe Adam owes his reputation to this archetypal, richly melodic Romantic ballet. As Giselle, Svetlana Lunkina is simply sensational. Her Albrecht is the iconically noble dancer Dmitri Gudanov. And the cast is perfectly rounded off by Maria Allash as the Queen of the Wilis. The Bolshoi Theatre Orchestra is conducted by Pavel Klinichev.

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
This is the Grigorovich version, and it differs from western productions of this ballet in many ways - most obvious is the reduction of pantomime (Berthe's narration is missing) and the fact that the Peasant pas de deux is danced after Giselle's variation.
The stage design is appropriately autumnal, with evocative lighting that reminds you of late afternoon sunshine. I liked how the skirts of the corps women seem to anticipate those of the Wilis in the second act. The courtier's entrance is quite elaborate and maybe also longer than in other versions.
Svetlana Lunkina as Giselle is not as sweet as Alina Cojocaru on the Royal Ballet's DVD, she comes across as more of a teenager and in her big first act solo she looks convincingly excited as she finds herself suddenly at the centre of attention in front of so many people. Her mad scene is very internalised and almost like she is sleepwalking: at one point she starts to dance and then stops like an automaton when the music breaks off.
Dmitri Gudanov as Albrecht is a danseur noble, elegant and rather gentle, not a cynical character who just wanted to seduce Giselle and was never going to be serious. Both dancers here are lyrical and not showy virtuoso types, they are also dramatically reticent, but their acting has some beautiful moments: when Albrecht's true identity is revealed, he acknowledges the situation with a single slow gesture and when Giselle runs to him he can't look at her.
In the second act Svetlana Lunkina comes across as rather more like a Wili than a woman, she does not relate that much to Albrecht as Alina Cojocaru does on the RB DVD. I thought the corps de ballet dancers where excellent but could have performed the scene with "Hans" (Hilarion) with a bit more energy, it looked rather studied and calculated.
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Format: Blu-ray
Some reviewers compare the Giselle danced by Svertlana Lunkina to other ballerinas'.
I personally am only interested in comparing her 2011 outing here with her debut in 1998 when she was barely 18 years old, with the great Nicolai Tsiskardize dancing the role of Albrecht.
Admiteedly, Lunkina is technically perfect here, even more so than when she was in 1998. But she had the added bonus of being young (18) and very delicate looking back then, and the Duke Albrecht of Tsiskaridze was such a perfect portrayal that Dmitry Gudanov here, howwever technically proficient, cannot compare.
The cast in that 1998 performance had Maria Alexandrova as the queen of Willis, and that one too was more convincing, though Maria Allash here is, again, technically perfect.
The joy and pathos of this work was brought out vividly in the 1998 version, available on Youtube, but if you vie for good pictorial quality, this one is it, and the cast is very solid (Gudanov, while may not the best fit for the flirtatious Albrecht, is a tremendously capable dancer). And we are given this rather LATE chance to watch the great portryala of Lunkina, which is the major reason for the purchase, really.
Lunkina is not as famous as her namesake Svetlana Zhakarova overseas, but I really find that she has more soul in her dancing than the great Zahkarova at most points. Her Giselle mad scene is splashingly pulled off, bringing out all the vehemence, the disappointment and pathos of the dying girl. Admiteedly, her later portrayal of this scene in this version has more dramatic effect than her debut's.
The great Act 2 saw less dramatic conviction than the 1998 version, though once again, Lunkina is virtually perfect in each and every single move. Gudanov puts his great technical prowess to good use in this Act, but ultimately, I personally am more convinced by NT's Albrech.
Still, Lunkina remains 'the' Giselle to me, being the most delicate, soulful, light and heart pulling Giselle.
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By I. Giles HALL OF FAMETOP 10 REVIEWER on 7 April 2012
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
This latest issue in the series of HD recordings from the Bolshoi Ballet was made in 2011 and brings their version of one of the most staple Romantic period ballets to our screens. In this case the choreography is by Grigorovich who has also created a memorable Spartacus and Nutcracker. The Bolshoi Ballet has always been renowned for their wonderful dancing, both solo and corps de ballet, so it is a pleasure to report that their return to recordings after an absence due to refurbishment has not resulted in any loss of their previous high standards.

The setting is therefore completely traditional as one would expect and the stage backdrop and flats are of the previous high quality that one would also expect of this company. In Act 1 the backdrop is particularly beautifully painted and the chosen autumnal colours are picked up in the very lovely dresses and peasant clothing of the female and male members of the corps de ballet. The aristocratic court is appropriately luxurious and stylish and both the gamekeeper and Albrecht wear totally believable outfits in both acts. Giselle is delicate and waif-like as befits the story. Act 2 is appropriately devoid of light colours other than the traditional shimmering dresses of the Wilis and the mood is generally sombre throughout.

Svetlana Lunkina makes a good Giselle and dances with skill and delicacy. Albrecht (Dmitry Gudanov) dances and acts his part with meaning in Act 1 and provides good support when required in Act 2. The unfortunate gamekeeper, Hans (Vitaly Biktimirov), equally acts and dances his role well and is summarily despatched by a very unforgiving Queen on the Wilis (Maria Allash) in Act 2. The Wilis rather steal the show in their famously renowned `danse des Wilis, which is performed with precision and grace.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)

Amazon.com: 4.6 out of 5 stars 12 reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Maximova's Student Made It ! 30 Mar. 2013
By Yudi Chao - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I had seen some clips of Svetlana Lunkina's Giselle. One year ago this DVD was not available in the US. I left a comment on amazon.uk. When this DVD is published with DVD region code 1, I just simply bought it. I love Svetlana Lunkina's Giselle very much. She is a natural and light dancer. She continues Ulanova's tradition to dance as a pure, innocent and light Giselle. She is the best Giselle after Galina Ulanova, Ekaterina Maximova (Bolshoi Ballet). Hope this great tradition can go on forever. In Act II Svetlana Lunkina's technique and performance is almost perfect. She is like a piece of cloud, even lighter than Alina Cojocaru. Her dancing is not to jump high, but only move as air flowing. A Beautiful Giselle!
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Boshoi catches up with the 21st century 11 Dec. 2013
By Pincus - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
This is a nice clean recording, especially attractive in blu-ray. I first saw the Bolshoi in 1959 at the old Met in NYC. Whatever else one may choose to say and despite their troubles over the decades since then, they seem to me consistent in their aim to put on stage a performance that is transcendent for the audience. In 1959 a sophisticated Manhattan audience was left in a such a state of excitement that no one seemed willing to leave the theatre to encounter the real world outside. Many were openly weeping, cascades of flowers were thrown on the stage. It may have had something to do with the Cold War, but we also learned that the Russians have a passion for life and love that can sweep an audience into another world. We applauded continuously for more than forty minutes, Plisetskaya came out for one curtain call after another, obviously moved by the passion of the audience response as we had been moved by the intensity of the drama she and the rest of the company had created onstage. The real world seemed pale for days after.

In time I came to see in Bolshoi performances that appeared on Laser Disc a resemblence to the great films of the silent era.
Ballet is, or once was the telling of a story without the words. Today dance is more an exercise in abstract motion, divorced from narration or any deep emotion. In that context the Bolshoi, the Russian approach to theatre can seem dated .
However,here's nothing dated in the performance on this disc. It's a bright, clean 21st century staging, well lit, populated by a bright young cast.

The folks at the Bolshoi have been attentive to what has been happening at the Paris Opera ballet. Giselle's friends are not so much peasant harvest girls as an expensively dressed chorus line. The same goes for the the attendants in the aristocratic
retinue. This gives the first act an air of spectacle that may please some more than others. Svetlana Lunkina has the look
and lightness of motion that make for an appealing GIselle. Her lover is a more neutral figure.

The second act is again well performed by chorus and principals but with little sense of a haunted forest populated by spirits not friendly to the two men who blunder into the scene. Maria Allash is another young dancer, whose blank expression as Myrtha suggests more a prom queen than an avenging Wili. Vitaly Biktimirov does well as the luckless Hans, who gets jilted in the first act, to then become the sole victim of twenty seven unforgiving females.

This is not intended to be a negative review of the performance. The dancing is flawless if not always impassioned. The two leads seem more to live out their roles and their relationship as the second act unfolds. Lunkina has a bright future to grow into. If I have a reservation it would be with the orchestra, which often seems too comfortable with the music. Blame it on the conductor. Adolph Adam wrote a small masterpiece in a score which can powerfully underline the tragedy that takes place on the stage. It's in a class with Bernstein's music for West Side Story, which also doesn't let you off with a smile, a song and a dance.
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 22 May 2017
By Pyramid - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
Excellent product and service.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Bolshoi production 1 Feb. 2015
By Gary W. Hines - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
Sometimes, the Bolshoi can be a little stiff and formal, but this one is a little more intimate. I liked it.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another one to add to the library... 30 Dec. 2014
By Susan Benson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I just have to agree with the other reviews written to date. I have six or seven versions of Giselle and this one rates high on the list of favorites for all the reasons cited by others. One to add to the library.
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