GISELLE

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Scotland’s iconic first ballerina, Elaine McDonald, stars as Giselle in this dramatic classic. (clip - onsite only)

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Genres:

  • Dance

People/organisations:

  • Scottish Ballet

Decade:

  • 1970s

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Related biographies

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Overall rating:

Title: GISELLE

Reference number: 10918

Date: 1971, March 3

Sound: sound

Original format: U-Matic

Colour: bw

Fiction: fiction

Running time: 108.41 mins

Description: A performance of Giselle in two acts by Scottish Ballet. See also refs 11295 and 11277.

'Giselle was the first of the 19th-century classics to be revived by "The Darrell Touch". His aim was to make the stories and characters relevant to modern audiences. Elaine McDonald, the first ballerina to dance the title role for Scottish, portrayed Giselle as an ordinary, happy girl who is fatally betrayed in love.' (Scottish Ballet: Forty Years, p.11)

'[Darrell's] Giselle (1971) honoured the 19th-century choreography, but his interpretation was his own. And when his muse, the outstandingly gifted Elaine McDonald, danced the leading role she - like Darrell - saw Giselle in heart-rendingly everyday terms: an ordinary girl who loves, trusts and is betrayed by a wealthy man who conceals his commitment to another woman.' (Scottish Ballet: Forty Years, p.14)

Please note this is a copy of the raw capture of the original analogue video for preservation and as such may display defects such as dropout, washed out colour and sound fluctuation.

Credits: [Music: Adolphe Adam
Choreography: Jean Coralli and Jules Perrot (recreated by Joyce Greame)
Scenario: Theophile Guatuier, Vernoy de Saint Goerges, Jean Coralli
Production: Peter Darrell
Design: Peter Cazalet
Lighting: John B Read]

Shotlist: Act One: The Village (02.00-50.51)
Disguised as a peasant, Duke Albrecht is living in the house of Wilfrid, one of his former retainers, in order to be near to Giselle to whom he is attracted. It is a Saint’s day and the village is preparing to welcome its feudal lord, the Prince of Courland, and to celebrate the choosing of one of the village girls to be crowned Queen of the Day. Giselle’s mother warns her that maidens who are over fond of dancing and who die before their wedding day will become Wilis, who haunt the neighbouring forest and lure young men to their deaths during the hours of darkness. When the Prince arrives he brings with him his daughter Bathilde who, unknown to Giselle, is betrothed to Albrecht

Act Two: The Forest (02.26-54.57)
Some days have passed and Giselle, unable because of her suicide to be laid in consecrated ground has been buried in the forest. Halarion comes mark her grave with a cross. Myrtha appears to summon up her subjects, the Wilies, to lead them through the forest in search of victims and receive a novice unto their ranks, Giselle. Albrecht overcome by remorse is seeking Giselles’s grave; she appears and dances with him. When the Wilis try to capture Albrecht Giselle places him in the shelter of her cross, but when Myrtha commands her to lure him from its protection only the coming of dawn can save him.

Curtain call (55.05-57.01)