Giselle - The Ballet

The Royal Ballet Royal Opera House, 2006

 
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The Royal Ballet

at the Royal Opera House
Covent Garden, London

2006 (published 2008)

Giselle: Alina Cojocaru

The Dancers

  • Giselle: Alina Cojocaru
  • Count Albrecht: Johan Kobborg
  • Myrtha: Marianela Nuñez
  • Hilarion: Martin Harvey

The Ballet

This tale of the transcendental power of love over death is evocatively portrayed through Peter Wright’s sensitive staging and John Macfarlane’s designs, which beautifully contrast the human and supernatural worlds – mastered from a High Definition recording and true surround sound.

Review

This is a wonderful performance of "Giselle." Alina Cojocaru and Johan Kobborg dance and act wonderfully and help make the ballet's fundamental dramatic point of love and forgiveness very well.

Alina Cojocaru is a perfect Giselle. Her acting is subtle and real, and her Giselle is so vulnerable, trusting and gentle. She is not wild in her "mad scene" but simply broken-hearted, and later, as a ghost, her Giselle loses her girlishness and becomes a tender woman, still in love with Albrecht, still willing to save and forgive him in spite of all. But it is her dancing that makes this version so beautiful. During the first act, she seems to just float around on the air, and as a ghost she seems weightless.

Johan Kobborg also made a wonderful Albrecht, and his dancing is clean and precise. He continually lifts Alina as if she is made of nothing during the second act, helping us believe she really was nothing more than a ghost. He portrays Albrecht as someone genuinely smitten with Giselle, but pursuing her without thinking ahead or remembering his responsibilities. By the second act, though, he seems to be genuinely lost, repenting, and mournfully dancing with her until dawn. And as the curtain fell, I felt that Giselle's forgiveness has brought about a kind of healing for him as well as redemption. I felt he had truly repented, Johan's Albrecht, at the ballet's close.

Marianela Nuñez was cold and cruel as Myrtha, and her dancing was beautiful, graceful and measured. Martin Harvey was also great as Hilarion. Myrtha's two main attendants, danced by Deidre Chapman and Isabel McMeekan, were great and Sandra Conley and Genesia Rosato were also good as Berthe (Giselle's mother), and Bathilde.

Finally, the corps de ballet were wonderful. The peasants' dances, in the first act, and the dances of the wilis, in the second act, were wonderful to behold and shows how strong the Royal Ballet's corps de ballet is. The wilis' dancing was especially haunting, dramatic and beautiful.

Edited version of a review by misslibrary

Giselle is a great ballet not just because of the theme and choreography, but even more so because the music is lovely. There have been a great number of ballets with fantastic dancing and choreography from 19th and 20th centuries that have not reached an iconic status just because the music is ordinary or just plain lousy. For this reason alone, it is really necessary to be careful about the sound recording and editing, especially as the music is one of the most recognizable in all ballet and most lovers of ballet would definitely expect a good sound.

Here, It is BAD. I played it on different sound systems. Mine is a Yamaha Bose combination. I tried it on three others which I consider are comparable or even better. In all of them, the sound was totally out of balance, screeching at certain times and booming throughout. It became acceptable to us only after switching off the sub-woofer. Even then, it was totally out of balance.

Edited version of a review by Satish Kamath

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