Giselle - The Ballet

National Ballet of Canada


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National Ballet of Canada


Director: Norman Campbell

Choreography: Peter Wright after Jean Coralli, Jules Perrot, and Marius Petipa

Karen Kain as Giselle

The Dancers

The Ballet

This Giselle is unusual because it has the the complete variaton of Myrtha at the start of the second act as well as an almost complete peasant pas de deux. There are minor cuts, a couple of the variations are edited out.


A nice performance, though I admit I tend to vastly prefer live performances than those undertaken in the studio, which tend to be a bit "studio bound" as it were, and this is.

The production is very attractive, and reads well on camera. There are a few cuts, the peasant PDD is not in fact complete, a couple of the variations are edited out, and there are minor cuts here and there in many of the numbers. Recorded sound is acceptable, not terribly vivid. The principles all do well, perhaps a mild want of bravura here and there, and the lifts in act Two are not ideally fluid.

Giselle's expiration by weakness of constitution dates to the ballet's creation, and while one will occasionally see a performance in which she stabs herself with Albrecht's sword, or some such reference in a synopsis, that is a latter-day invention, and is rarely utilized. The original choreographer's work has been filtered through Pepita and others, and it is quite possible the change came about as a more warts-and-all Russian response to French Romanticism. Giselle's mother continually expresses concern that her daughter not overdo, for fear of falling dead and becoming a Wili. Giselle is often seen to tire during the first peasant ensemble. Her death by betrayal imposed upon a fragile soul is much more in keeping with the ethos of the ballet's place in composition than the more veristic act of suicide.

Edited version of a review by Warmgoy

The Production

The camera work is excellent, and the direction for the screen is generally well done. The sound is mono only.


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06 Royal
06 Paris
05 La Scala
96 La Scala
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90 Australia
90 Bolshoi
88 Harlem
87 Cullberg
84 Rio
80 Rome
79 Bavarian
76 Canada
75 Bolshoi
69 ABT

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30 November 2016 | Copyright Andrew Heenan | | Privacy