Search - Adam - Giselle / Karen Kain, Frank Augustyn, National Ballet of Canada on DVD

Adam - Giselle / Karen Kain, Frank Augustyn, National Ballet of Canada
Adam - Giselle / Karen Kain Frank Augustyn National Ballet of Canada
Actors: Karen Kain, Frank Augustyn
Genres: Indie & Art House, Music Video & Concerts, Special Interests, Educational, Musicals & Performing Arts
NR     2004     1hr 24min


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Movie Details

Actors: Karen Kain, Frank Augustyn
Genres: Indie & Art House, Music Video & Concerts, Special Interests, Educational, Musicals & Performing Arts
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House, Music Video & Concerts, Dance, Educational, Classical, Ballet & Dance
Studio: Video Artists Int'l
Format: DVD
DVD Release Date: 05/25/2004
Theatrical Release Date: 09/06/2004
Release Year: 2004
Run Time: 1hr 24min
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 1
Edition: Classical
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)

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Movie Reviews

Kain's Giselle : so close to being THAT good
R. Nicholson | 06/02/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)

"This DVD is the movie version of Giselle filmed by the CBC in Canada in the mid 70's. The cast is highlighted by National Ballet of Canada stars Karen Kain and Frank Augustyn: both in their prime.

There were highs and lows, in my view, associated with this Giselle.... To mention a few

The pros

- Separately, both Kain and Augustyn are excellent dancers; (see some of Mr. Ausgustyn's solos in the 2nd act). The emotional interpretations required in this ballet were generally well done by both principal dancers.

-The sets were detailed and attractive for both the village and forest scenes. The costumes were colorful for the main dancers as well as the corps de ballet, however the attire for the nobles in the latter part of the 1st scene was simply sumptuous.

-The camera work and film edit is, without doubt, the best of all the Giselles I've seen: the cameras tended to move in and out with the dancers on stage, so that there is not a lift or jump that is not viewed from the best vantage point.

The cons...

-The lack of spontaneity and enthusiastic response from a live audience in hard to measure and describe, but it definitely noticeable and sorely missed in this production.

-The audio is mono: maybe not a big point, but I must admit that having gotten use to listening to almost everything in Dolby Stereo, I now find mono really dull and lifeless.

-and last, I found that some of the lifts and glides from the pas de deux in the 2nd act were somewhat stiff and well... almost forced...even rushed. This is hard to understand in a movie version of a ballet: a dance segment could be repeated over and over until the perfect one was captured on film and edited into the final cut. Such is, unfortunately, not the case. Then again, maybe it was the choreographer who intended these maneuvers to be presented in this fashion. To me, the finale of this ballet is what Giselle is all about; Adam's haunting melodies accompanying those fabulous, smooth, unhurried lifts and glides that just leave me breathless and in awe of such unbelievable talent and skills. It just didn't happen in this Giselle.

All in all, this is a solid, well done performance (and you will probably never see a better filmed and edit production of Giselle), but the less than satisfying dancing interpretation shown in the pas de deux of the 2nd act has resulted in a Giselle that has been left wanting and me a little disappointed."
A nice DVD, but you might do better otherwise
Warmgoy | 05/01/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)

"A nice performance, though I admit I tend to vastly prefer live performances than those undertaken in the studio, which tend to be a bit "studio bound" as it were, and this is. The production is very attractive, and reads well on camera. There are a few cuts, the peasant PDD is not in fact complete, a couple of the variations are edited out, and there are minor cuts here and there in many of the numbers. Recorded sound is acceptable, not terribly vivid. Ther principles all do well, perhaps a mild want of bravura here and there, and the lifts in act Two are not ideally fluid.

One might do better with the Scala/Ferri version, which is not perfect, but is about as fine a performance as is available on DVD.

I mean no disrepect to the enthusiastic reviewer below, but I must gently disagree regarding the matter of Giselle's death. Her expiration by weakness of constitution dates to the ballet's creation, and while one will occasionally see a performance in which she stabs herself with Albrecht's sword, or some such reference in a synopsis, that is a latter-day invention, and is rarely utilized. The original choreographer's work has been filtered through Pepita and others, and it is quite possible the change came about as a more warts-and-all Russian response to French Romanticism. Giselle's mother continually expresses concern that her daughter not overdo, for fear of falling dead and becoming a Wili. Giselle is often seen to tire during the first peasant ensemble. Her death by betrayal imposed upon a fragile soul is much more in keeping with the ethos of the ballet's place in composition than the more veristic act of suicide. The Nureyev/Seymour video (a very truncated studio version that is not the best representation of the overall piece, actually) feature the suicide, but most performances present the standard concept."
Best DVD of Giselle
E. M. W. Merrett | london | 06/07/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I need not comment on the performance of Karen Kain whose is a great ballerina.This Giselle is unusual because it has the the complete variaton of Myrtha at the start of the second act as well as a complete peasant pas de deux (actually using the a pas de six). The annoyingly directed Fracci/Bruhn ABT performance cuts out chunks of both variations.I prefer the studio recording. Dancer take more risks in a studio and the result is bolder steps and higher leaps - also helped by the fact that the loud sound of shoes impacting the ground can be silences in a studio.Strongly recommend it"
One of the Best Giselles on DVD by a Much Beloved Duo!
J. M WILINSKY | teaneck, NJ United States | 06/24/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Karen Kain and Frank Augustyn were one of the greatest ballet duos in North America, if not the world. They both dance to perfection in this wonderful studio performance of Giselle. They were so perfectly matched in their great strength, accuracy, and artistry. This version is pretty much complete, with the entire peasant dance performed as a pas de quatre and the entire Myrtha variation. The principal dancers really dance their hearts out in both acts, and the acting by all is excellent. The corps de ballet do not disappoint, either! Augustyn's partering with Kain is also a ballet wonder to behold! The sound and image quality are excellent, as is the camera work. The sets and costumes are also pleasing to the eye. Karen Kain and Frank Augustyn(see their award winning performance in the Bluebird Variation in Nureyev's Sleeping Beauty, which I have also reviewed) are now retired from the stage(but they are both still very much involved with teaching and administrating ballet) and if you have not seen much of their dancing, don't pass up this wonderful monument to their legacy!"