Bolshoi Theatre Orchestra
Conductor A Zhuraitis
Artistic Director Yuri Grigorovich has added a few of his own touches
to the original choreography. This is a studio production, not a live performance.
Consequently, there was opportunity for multiple outtakes to get everything polished
up just right.
"Natalia Makarova of ABT has earned a
stellar reputation for her portrayal of Giselle. But whatever slight edge in adage
work that Makarova may have, Bessmertnova makes up for as a better leaper and
with more convincing theatrics in the mad scene. Nobody becomes a lead in the
Bolshoi unless they have quite a lot going for them, and Bessmertnova's dancing
is exquisite. The strength of Lavrovsky's performance as Albrecht lies in his
ability to portray his emotions so effectively. In this production, the partners
are well matched.
The real genius of the Bolshoi production is Grigorovich's
special, protective handling of the mood in the second act. The Bolshoi's second
act begins with a three minute cut to the musical score and the libretto. Nothing
of consequence has been omitted. Grigorovich opens with Myrtha softly and slowly
bourreeing across the gigantic Bolshoi stage in her white wedding dress, with
moonlight streaming through the huge willow-like trees, accompanied by a sweet
melody of string instruments and harp arpeggios. The first fourteen minutes are
pure mood music, including variations by Myrtha, her two assistants, and some
oustanding corps work. Grigorovich's change is a brilliant way to set the mood
for the second act!
Furthermore, Grigorovich doesn't let the mood get lost
along the way. In one especially wild scene, Bessmertnova's dancing is fast, but
The Bolshoi production has effective scenery and lighting for
enhancing the mood. This is particularly true of the ending. In this version,
I feel a gentle hush as the words "The End" appear on the screen at
the end. To me, that's the desired effect. You stay in the moment right up until
you push stop on your VCR remote. Live is great for a ballet like "Don Quixote,"
but I don't find it desirable for a ballet of this character. Consequently, I
prefer a studio version of "Giselle" to a live performance.
triumph is that he has produced an improved second act by the way that he has
cared for and protected the mood of the ballet. I highly recommend it. Why not
buy a copy and enjoy it for yourself? It will give you the Wilis!"
version of a review by rss28
Conversion to DVD
has meant a washed-out colour, to some extent, and poor sound in places.