I got an extra special treat last night. A select few movies theatres show recorded ballets, and for the first time one of those theatres was in my area! The ballet was Giselle, performed at the famous Mariinsky Theatre in Russia. The leading lady was none other than Natalia Osipova, a current superstar in the ballet world.
Natalia didn't disappoint, in fact she did far better with this role than I expected. I already knew what a gifted dancer she is, after all I've witnessed one of her live performances. But I also knew her specialty was the physical side of ballet. She can jump higher than any man I've seen. She tends to have a lot of energy and powers through her dances. Giselle is gentle and fragile, more artistic than athletic. Natalia held back and captured the feeling of a young, naive girl, with an already fragile heart set up to be broken. Her incredible jumping ability was put to good use in the second act. A spirit isn't supposed to be bound by the laws of gravity, and seeing her leap across the stage made one wonder if she really was flying.
Albrecht was danced by Leonid Sarafanov. I couldn't believe the stamina and power he showed during the last part of the ballet, when the Wilis were forcing him to dance till death. Yekaterina Kondaurova as Myrtha was perfect for the role. She was ice cold, showing no hint of mercy for the unfortunate men that crossed paths with her.
Music, scenery, costumes, and the dancing from the core de ballet to the stars were first rate. I only have one complaint. This was the first ballet to be shown in 3-D, and I think it should be the only one. It made the picture kind of blurry, and at certain times it impossible to focus on details of the dance. It was a little easier to see during close ups, but girls running across the stage during far away shots looked like colorful blurs. That was disappointing.
Other than that, it was a unique experience that I thoroughly enjoyed.