Arthaus presents “Giselle”, a classical ballet, which, with all its splendour and grace, is generally regarded as the apotheosis of the Romantic ballet. The work premiered in the Salle de la rue Le Peletier at the Paris Opéra in 1841 and is considered the first major plot-based ballet to have survived to the modern day with its original choreography almost intact. In the course of the past century and a half “Giselle” has undergone only a few changes, e.g. by Marius Petipa, who revised the work for his 1887 production at the Maryinsky Theatre in St Petersburg. The performance recorded on this DVD is based on the St Petersburg version and was choreographed by Patrice Bart and Eugène Polyakov, two out-and-out Petipa specialists. The scenery is the work of Alexandre Benois from 1924; originally designed for Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes, it heralded the re-emergence on Western programmes of the long absent “Giselle” and to this day it remains the benchmark for traditionalist stagings of this ballet. The production was marked by an all-stars cast: Laëtitia Pujol dances the title role, combining her flawless technical skill with a fully developed sense of grace. Nicolas Le Riche, one of international ballet’s most respected stars, created her male counterpart, Albrecht, whose faithlessness drives her insane. Le Riche is famous all over the world for his elegant strength, the beauty of his expression and the musicality of his movements.
Wagner Tiso is an internationally renowned musician whose achievements include a having a solid impact on the rise of major singer Milton Nascimento, an extensive set of composed soundtracks for movies, a solo discography comprising 28 albums, and performances with jazz giants such as Edison Machado, Paulo Moura, Ron Carter, Johnny Alf, and many others.
The Bolshoi Ballet troupe in Yuri Grigorovich’s version of the romantic masterpiece 'Giselle', at last available in HD. First performed in 1841, 'Giselle' was an immediate hit. With music by Adolphe Adam and a libretto by Théophile Gautier and Jules-Henri Vernoy de Saint-Georges, the ballet touches on the great romantic themes: local colour, a pastoral love affair doomed to end in tragedy, a plunge into fantasy and redemption through the power of love. Learning that Albrecht, her beloved, is in fact a nobleman engaged to be married to a princess, the naive peasant girl Giselle dies. The Queen of the Wilis – the spirits of deceased young virgins– decides that Albrecht should follow Giselle to the grave, and condemns him to dance until he dies of exhaustion. But Giselle’s spirit dances with him and saves him.
Giselle remains one of the most popular Romantic ballets of all time. The story brings together an engaging mix of human passions, supernatural forces, and the transcendent power of self-sacrificing love. The production by Sir Peter Wright catches the atmosphere of this great Romantic ballet, especially in the perfection of its White Act, with ghostly maidens drifting through the forest in spectacular patterns – one of the most famous of any scenes for the corps de ballet…