Yay, this movie is now available on DVD, and of course I wasted no time in getting my sticky paws on my very own copy. (I bought it here.)
Director Toa Fraser and DOP Leon Narbey have done a brilliant job, capturing a very respectful yet fresh and artistic interpretation of the Ethan Stiefel/Johan Kobborg staging, performed by the Royal New Zealand Ballet in 2012.
Plus it has EXTRAS - woohoo! Here are a few snippets from the cast and crew interviews:
"What we aimed for right from day one is to make something that is beautiful, that is respectful and reverential of this classic ballet." - Matthew Metcalfe, producer.
"I was working with two incredible actors as much as dancers." - Toa Fraser, director.
"To have that captured on film from a live performance is a rare thing in the ballet world. A lot of what we do is ephemeral - we perform and you either were there or you weren't, which is part of the beauty of our art, but it's also bittersweet." -Gillian Murphy, 'Giselle'.
'It's me being that character. I can become the character, rather than try to pretend to be the character." -Qi Huan, 'Albrecht'.
'A lot of people think that [the good guy] is Hilarion and a lot of other people think that it's Albrecht. I think that the good guy is Giselle! It's just lovely how even though she was hurt deeply, she could still forgive." - Abigail Boyle, 'Myrtha'.
When I saw this production live, I saw it with a different cast: Antonia Hewitt as Giselle, Andrew Bowman as Albrecht, Lucy Balfour as Myrtha (I miss you and your gorgeous dancing, Lucy!), and Dimitri Kleioris as Hilarion. They were all BRILLIANT, so it was fascinating to see the same roles performed in the movie by other dancers. The movie cast are also absolutely brilliant, but quite different. It amazes me that such a tightly prescribed artform as ballet still produces such unique results depending on who is dancing each role.
The RNZB are taking this production on tour to the USA in early 2014, and rehearsals are already underway.
Do you know the BEST thing about watching ballet at home on DVD? We can talk! We usually yell out dancers' names ('Helio!' 'Tonia!') whenever they appear in shot (I think this could become the basis of a drinking game, actually . . ) Or we supply dialogue: "How about a kiss, baby? Go on!' etc etc. Very silly, I know, but too hard to resist!