Russian Ballet: Giselle
Documentary • With Nina Ananiashvili, Victor Barykin, Ruslan Pronin
• 1991 • 113 minutes
This moving and picturesque work of French romantic ballet caused a sensation in 1841. With music by Adolphe Adam and choreography by Jules Perrot (the solos) and Jean Coralli (the ensemble), Giselle featured the new ethereality possible on pointe, ghostly lighting effects with gas light, and a ballerina role whose mad scene is famous for its dramatic demands. Giselle is an innocent peasant girl who lives with her mother. The armorous Duke Albert disguises himself as a villager and swears to marry her, but when his deceit is uncovered Giselle's heart breaks and she dies in a madness of grief. She becomes a Wili, one of the ghosts of betrayed girls who haunt the forest. This 1991 performance film, digitally restored and remastered to HD quality, stars the world-renowned Nina Ananiashvili as a delicate yet dramatic Giselle, with Victor Barykin as the faithless Albert.