The Kirov Ballet at The Kirov Theatre,
- Galina Mezentseva as Giselle
- Konstantin Zaklinsky
- Angelina Kabarova as Bertha
Traditional sets, staging and choreography; Excellent performences by both leads; and an almost perfect corps de ballet, as you'd expect from the Kirov. Some of the special effects appear a little 'stagey' to the modern eye.
Recorded live at the Kirov (Mariinsky) Theatre in 1983, this performance by the Kirov Ballet is based on the traditional staging of the ballet. As a result of the continuity of performance in St. Petersburg/Leningrad since 1842, the Kirov staging is generally considererd to remain an ideal realization of this work.
Galina Mezentseva, who dances the title role, is very good indeed, although she doesn't look like a young and innocent village girl. Konstantin Zaklinsky (Albrecht) looks like a rare "danseur noble". He is a superb dancer. In the Act 2, all the leading soloists, including Tatyana Terekhova (Mrytha), are excellent. Mezentseva's dancing has an ethereal quality.
The corps de ballet are simply sublime. Their musicality is excellent, performing with grace, reacting to music and conveying the atmosphere in Act 2 superbly well. Understandably, there are frequent bursts of applause from the enthusiastic audience, this film being a live recording. But, who could blame them?
The costumes and stage sets are very beautiful. The stereo sound is very clear. Adolphe Adam's music is beautifully played by the Kirov (Mariinsky) Theatre Orchestra under the direction of Victor Fedotov.
Review by Mhr
The colours and sound are better preserved on the 1983 production than many later ones; but the transfer is not perfect, and some movements are blurred or jerky - but, on the whole, a pretty good job!