Giselle - The Ballet

Paris Opera Ballet

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ou Les Wilis

Ballet-pantomime en deux actes

Paris Opera Ballet, 2006

Choreography: Jean Coralli, Jules Perrot, and Marius Petipa

The Dancers

Pujol and Le Riche

The Ballet

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 expert).

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.

Dramatically, 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.

Albrecht 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?

Throughout, 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!

Edited version of a review by Andrew73

The Production

Les Premiers Danseurs et le Corps de ballet de l'Opera national de Paris
Orchestre de l'Opera national de Paris
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

Directed for TV and Video by Francois Roussillon

Running time 111 minutes



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06 Royal
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DVD Cover Guide

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Extract from the DVD

Laetitia Pujol rehearsing for a variation of Giselle with Elisabeth Platel and Alicia Markova.
Piano: Cathy Ernould
Extract from the film "Markova: The Legend" by Dominique Delouche (2001).
30 November 2016 | Copyright Andrew Heenan | | Privacy