Nothing Can Match the Glory of Giselle; PEAK Alina Cojocaru in the Title Role of Giselle

The Mail on Sunday (London, England), February 1, 2009 | Go to article overview

Nothing Can Match the Glory of Giselle; PEAK Alina Cojocaru in the Title Role of Giselle


Byline: Rupert Christiansen

The only problem with the superlative new version of Giselle on DVD ( Opus Arte, [pounds sterling]22.50 inc p& p, 01634 832789) ***** is that it leaves you wishing that you had been in the theatre to see it live.

Ross MacGibbon's immaculately directed film of Sir Peter Wright's traditional Royal Ballet production captures one of those rare performances where everyone on stage hits peak form and the sparks fly.

In the title role, Alina Cojocaru is heartbreakingly innocent and vulnerable, with Johan Kobborg riveting as the caddish Albrecht - they dance their pas de deux with a physical and spiritual togetherness which recalls the partnership of Fonteyn and Nureyev.

There is a superb supporting cast led by the imperious Marianela Nunez as Myrtha and Martin Harvey as the hapless Hilarion, and the corps de ballet is exquisite. Just glorious.

Fans of the singer- songwriter Joni Mitchell will be curious to explore The Fiddle And The Drum ( Arthaus Musik, [pounds sterling]22.50 inc p& p) ****, a work that Mitchell devised in collaboration with choreographer Jean Grand-Maitre of the Alberta Ballet.

Using recordings of some of her most famous songs (including For The Roses, Sex Kills and Big Yellow Taxi), it presents a somewhat pretentious but undoubtedly powerful vision of the horrors of war and the destruction that man has inflicted on the natural environment.

The Alberta Ballet dances with verve and the music is absolutely marvellous.

Memories being so short, Mikhail Baryshnikov is probably best known now for playing Carrie Bradshaw's Russian boyfriend in Sex And The City. …

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