ou Les Wilis
Ballet-pantomime en deux actes
Paris Opera Ballet,
Choreography: Jean Coralli, Jules Perrot, and Marius Petipa
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.
This is a marvellous version of the ballet,
very traditional, rich in mime (done properly, so far as I can tell, but I'm no
The leads are both excellent, Laëtitia Pujol on top form,
and with good 'chemistry' between them. Good camera work and direction allows
us to see almost all the footwork, with a variety of angles - but no pointless
changing angles every few seconds. The company, as ever, is superb, which shows
not only in the second act, but in the villagers' dances in the first act too.
Giselle is well portrayed as the innocent maiden, and the 'mad' scene is horribly
convincing, while her 'white act' is as good as any you'll find.
changes seamlessly from 'bad boy caught out' to concern to guilt and then to horror;
nice one, Nicolas Le Riche! Myrta seems technically fine, but not as strong a
presence as in some versions, while Hilarion, always an ambiguous character, comes
across as little more than a bully; perhaps that's why the Wilis show him no mercy?
the direction is smooth, the camera work and lighting is good - though I felt
the spotlight following the leads was overly bright and a little distracting in
the first act.
I was very impressed by the orchestra and the sound quality;
so often ballets on DVD are let down by poor sound
I've probably missed
several key points here, but, all-in-all it really is an excellent Giselle; all
involved clearly understood the ballet and respect its history and traditions.
I suspect it'll be a while before we see a better one!
of a review by Andrew73
Les Premiers Danseurs
et le Corps de ballet de l'Opera national de Paris
Orchestre de l'Opera national
Paul Connelly Conductor
Production by Patrice Bart and Eugene
Polyakov, with costumes and 1924 décor by Benois
Recorded Live at
the Opera national de Paris / Palais Garnier December 2006
for TV and Video by Francois Roussillon
Running time 111 minutes