Giselle (Kirov Ballet) (1983)

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Released 9-Jul-2001

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Ballet Booklet
Listing-Cast & Crew
Web Links
Rating Rated G
Year Of Production 1983
Running Time 108:31
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Language Select Then Menu
Region Coding 2,3,4,5,6 Directed By Preben Montell

Warner Vision
Starring Galina Mezentseva
Konstantin Zaklinksy
Gennadi Selyutsky
Tatyana Terekhova
Case Amaray-Transparent
RPI $39.95 Music Adolphe Adam

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame Audio Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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Plot Synopsis

Giselle is a romantic ballet with the story taking place in a village in the Rhineland. A nobleman, Albrecht has fallen for a village girl, Giselle. He begins to court her, but he pretends to be but a village boy himself. Giselle is also desired by Hilarion the woodsman, who discovers that Albrecht is in fact a nobleman. A hunting party of nobles arrives midway through the first act. The party includes Albrecht's betrothed - noblewoman Bathilde. Bathilde, who is charmed by Giselle's beauty presents Giselle with a necklace. During the stay of the hunting party, jealous Hilarion reveals the true identity of Albrecht. In her shock and pain, the delicate Giselle dies and the first act closes. Act two takes place at night entirely in a cemetery not far from the village. Hilarion comes to mourn at the grave of Giselle. At midnight, the spirits of young girls who have died before their wedding day rise up from the earth and a terrified Hilarion flees and is pursued to his death. Albrecht too comes to the fresh grave of Giselle bearing flowers, and the spirits or 'willis' led by their queen - Myrtha - make him dance until dawn with the intension of killing him by exhaustion. The spirit of Giselle loves him still and succeeds in preventing his death and so Albrecht lives to see the dawn and has a last farewell to the spirit of Giselle before she returns to the grave.

Giselle is a pleasant enough production although I don't think the music compares to any of the great ballets. It certainly does not have the famous melodies that are found within 'The Nutcracker' for example. I am not an expert on ballet but I know the reputation of the Kirov and the performance at least seemed of a high standard. Doubtless ballet critics will applaud or criticize particular scenes within the performance but at least to the casual observer no faults could be found.

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Transfer Quality


This production of Giselle is a PAL full frame transfer from a videotape source.

The first act of Giselle is brightly lit and has few problems of note for a 1983 production. The painted backgrounds would not need a high bitrate to be well encoded. The blacks in the first half (when they occur) present no problems. Act two is a different story. Set at night, the act contains low level noise throughout. The worst scenes are Chapters 19-21. The dark shots look grainy and uneven with blacks poorly saturated. The transfer is not very sharp.

There are some stronger colours in the first act, but none in the second. There were no colour-related problems in the transfer.

Grain and pixelization were only a problem in this transfer during the darker parts of the second act. MPEG and videotape artefacts were minimal.

This disc is not a dual layer disc and thus was free of any layer change issues.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


There is just the one audio track on this DVD, encoded in Dolby Digital 2.0.

Having already commented on the music itself, which was pleasant if unremarkable, the sound presentation on this DVD is similarly adequate but also unremarkable. The musicians of the Orchestra of the Leningrad Theatre of Opera and Ballet perform perfectly adequately. The strings sound strident at times and the recording does have a tendency to sound 'bright' but there are no serious problems.

The audio is not surround encoded and contains no deep bass at all.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use


There are only basic extras on this disc.


Static and unscored.


A booklet in French, English, German, Spanish and Italian which gives the complete casting and an in-depth synopsis of the story with black and white photos.


Listing-Cast & Crew

Web Links

A DVD-ROM web link to the distributor's website.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

This is a Region 2-6 PAL DVD designed to play in all those regions. I am not aware of this production being available in Region 1.


Whilst there is nothing wrong with this performance of Giselle at all, it is presented on a DVD with an unexceptional video and audio transfer. The DVD is almost devoid of extras. For fans of this ballet only.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Gavin Womersley (read my bio)
Thursday, September 27, 2001
Review Equipment
DVDToshiba 2109, using Component output
DisplayToshiba 117cm widescreen rear projection TV. Calibrated with AVIA Guide To Home Theatre. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderRotel RSP-985 THX Ultra certified surround pre-amp.
AmplificationParasound HCA-2003 3x300w THX certified power amp, NAD 208THX 2x300w power amp.
SpeakersVelodyne HGS-18 1250w 18 servo-driven subwoofer, Celestion A3 front speakers, A2 rear speaker (full range) and A4c center channel speaker.

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