Live from Lincoln Center: Season 2, Episode 4

American Ballet Theatre: Giselle (2 Jun. 1977)

TV Episode  |   |  Music, Musical
9.5
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Title: American Ballet Theatre: Giselle (02 Jun 1977)

American Ballet Theatre: Giselle (02 Jun 1977) on IMDb 9.5/10

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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
...
Giselle
...
Martine Van Hamel ...
Frank Smith
Marianna Tcherkassky
Kirk Peterson
Ruth Mayer
Berthica Prieto
Alexander Minz
George De La Pena
Nanette Glushak
Jolinda Menendez
Richard Schafer
Elizabeth Ashton ...
Corps de ballet
Carmen Barth ...
Corps de ballet
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Storyline

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Plot Keywords:

ballet | live performance | fairy | See All (3) »

Genres:

Music | Musical

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Release Date:

2 June 1977 (USA)  »

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Did You Know?

Crazy Credits

The dancers are identified by name in the closing credits, but not the characters they portray. Nor do we see photos of them accompanying their names, so except for Baryshnikov, Makarova, and Hamel, we cannot be absolutely sure who plays whom. See more »

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User Reviews

 
A very enchanting Giselle
30 August 2014 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

To me, Giselle is not just the best non-Tchaikovsky ballet but also one of the greatest ballets there is. And this 1977 production is one of the best performances of Giselle available(unfortunately as of now only on VHS). The sets are simple but effective, but the stars on the visual front were the lighting and costumes, the luminous white tutus for the Willis against the dark lighting were most striking. The orchestral playing is top-notch with wide dynamic range and ravishing tone colours, that couldn't be more true in the Act 2 Grand Pas De Deux, while the conducting is authoritative and sympathetic throughout. The choreography is intricate and beautifully traditional, again the Grand Pas De Deux faring best though the Willis do evoke chills. What also stood out was how much attention there was to the characterisation, and it is done in a very nuanced way. The Corps De Ballet are mostly excellent but they and the orchestra are a touch out of sync in the duet between the two Willis. In the supporting roles, all of which are very solidly performed, the standout's Martine van Hamel who has the demeanour of Myrtle dead-on and boasts a very controlled dancing technique that makes the strenuous steps and lines seem effortless. But the two leads as it should be are the ones that are the driving force of the production. Natalia Makarova is a haunting and outworldly Giselle, she moved me to tears by the end of the production(at no time does she show signs of being detached from the drama) and her dancing is so impeccably graceful and carefully detailed, her arms beautifully elongated, her foot placement enviously supple and her pirouettes and leg movements like she's floating on air. Even better is Mikhail Baryshnikov, who also displays phenomenal technique(some of the best there was when it came to dancing)- just look at how he lifts Makarova like she is as light as a feather- and he really lives his character. Their partnership is just magical in the Grand Pas De Deux in a way that has rarely been done better on any other version of Giselle, and it is remarkable in how subtle that magic is with the looking at each other and how they move and touch together having a real affectionate intimacy. In conclusion, very enchanting, one where you genuinely do feel the chills and the tears. 10/10(one of the easiest I've given in a long time). Bethany Cox


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