Bolshoi Theatre 1990
Director: Yuri Grigorovich
Music by Adolphe Adam
Conductor: Algis Zhuraitis
Choreography: Jean Coralli,
Jules Perrot, and
Marius Petipa plus Yuri Grigoravich
- Natalia Bessmertnova as Giselle
- Yuri Vasyuchenko
as Count Albrecht
- Maria Bylova as Mirta, Queen of the Wilis
- Yuri Vetrov as Hans, the woodsman
A live performance on a huge stage; some special effects, which were not
I really wanted to like this Giselle; I could hardly wait to get the
DVD home and in the player. However, this shortened movie version of
Giselle starring Natalya Bessmertnova and M. Lavrovski was disappointing
to say the least.
The sets are "barebones" with flat color tones and meager drop back
curtains; there is little or no "scenery" to give one the feeling of
the rustic quaintness that seems to be the norm in other Giselles. The
cast almost looks lost on this huge stage.
The music/audio is flawed: there is an annoying high pitched tinny
quality to a lot of the higher notes throughout the entire performance:
this is very distracting and although I could diminish this effect by
tweaking my audio system, I could not get this problem to disappear entirely.
And finally, to me, Giselle has always represented ballet at its emotional
best: with Adam's haunting melodies and the beautiful choreography taking
the audience the full gambit between initial happiness and gaiety to
final sadness and grief. In this production, although the dancing is
technically good, it lacks any arousing impact; the performers went through
the dance steps, but they didn't seem to be very convincing or committed
in their acting. For instance, Bessmertnova tends to look very serious
most of the time in the opening scenes where she is suppose to be flirting
and falling in love with Albrecht; any rare smile seems forced and unnatural
On a positive note, however, the Wilis' costumes in Act II were stunning;
the skirts were sheer, moved beautifully with the lifts and generally
enhanced the impression of them being apparitions .
An edited version of an Amazon review by
The transfer to digital is poor; serious colour loss, and some distortion
in the sound too. Camerawork is not ideal, with closeups and full stage,
but little in between.