The Royal Ballet
at the Royal Opera House
2006 (published 2008)
- Giselle: Alina Cojocaru
- Count Albrecht: Johan Kobborg
- Myrtha: Marianela Nuñez
- Hilarion: Martin Harvey
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.
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.
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.
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
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