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7.97% of people buy Giselle: The Movie and A Ballerina's Tale ~ DVD.

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4.8 out of 5 stars Based on 6 Customer Ratings

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"A truly beautiful film" Purchased on Mighty Ape

Having missed the recent RNZ Ballet touring Giselle I was determined to get a copy of this earlier version of Giselle a couple of years old. NO regrets. I love it, and best of all can re-watch any time !!

"Excellent well done"
5 stars"
Purchased on Mighty Ape

Have seen it live, this was nearly as good, excellent


Giselle is a new NZ feature dance movie on DVD, made in collaboration with the Royal New Zealand Ballet and acclaimed director Toa Fraser (No. 2, Dean Spanley). Featuring a score by the Auckland Philharmonic Orchestra, the film departs occasionally from the hauntingly evocative stage settings and places the lovers within a real-world frame in New York & Shanghai.

GISELLE is acclaimed director Toa Fraser's inter­pretation of the Royal New Zealand Ballet's
production of Giselle. The classic story of love, erotism and death has been reinterpreted by Fraser to include both the on stage performance of the ballet, and an off-stage romance – interwoven with the ballet – that tells of two itinerant dancers, separated by time, distance and their abiding love for each other.

In the first act, Giselle, a delicate village beauty, loves to dance. Albrecht, a prince disguised as a commoner, is entranced and woos her away from her devoted suitor. They fall in love, but before he has the chance to disentangle himself from an inconvenient betrothal his perfidy is revealed. The second act sees the consequences of the princes actions revealed. His actions have led him to world ruled by the Wilis, a corps de ballet of wraiths – spirits of women jilted at the altar, who take revenge on feckless men by forcing them to dance until they die.

Toa Fraser has worked with Ethan Stiefel and Johan Kobborg’s staging and choreography to
pare back the traditional elaborations and restore psychological directness to the relationships. These are perfectly expressed by a peerless set of dancers, principally Gillian
Murphy as Giselle and Qi Huan as Albrecht.

The off stage performances take place within a real-world frame: we see Murphy in New York and her partner Huan in Shanghai – wistful, melancholic dancers separated not by death but by distance. When we break from the stage to see them rehearsing the pivotal second act pas de deux, the effect is electric, as if they are reunited at last, in secret, unobserved.

Audiences will quickly recognise that Giselle as an exceptionally powerful film. Ethan Stiefel and Johan Kobborg’s staging and choreography are a sight to behold and the peerless set of dancers, principally, Prima Ballerina Gillian Murphy as Giselle and Qi Huan as Albrecht, create magic through their telling of the story.

Giselle: Gillian Murphy
Albrecht: Qi Huan
Myrtha: Abigail Boyle
Hilarion: Jacob Chown
Wilfrid: Maclean Hopper
Wedding Lady / Moyna: Lucy Green
Wedding Man: Medhi Angot
Berthe: Lucy Balfour
Bathilde: Clytie Campbell
The Duke: Sir Jon Trimmer
Riding Master: Brendan Bradshaw
Zulma: Mayu Tanigaito
Artists of the Royal NZ Ballet

Giselle Reviews

“The Royal New Zealand Ballet’s production of “Giselle” is considered by many dance enthusiasts as one of the best and most challenging interpretations of the ballet and Toa Fraser’s dance movie Giselle beautifully captures the performance in grand style. Mixing behind the scenes footage of the dancers practicing and preparing for their role, Fraser’s movie also captures the ballet in, from what I can tell in my limited knowledge of the performance, full. The dancers are wonderful but none are more impressive than Qi Huan whose power and stamina are evident in every scene. He’s spectacular and magnetic and I found myself completely drawn to him in every number and hoping for his return when he wasn’t on screen (which doesn’t happen often). Though Giselle doesn’t offer much in the way of insight into the ballet, fans of dance will not be disappointed by Fraser’s film which brings “Giselle” to the masses.” Row 3 USA

““Leon Narbey's cine­matography beautifully captures the details you might not see from theatre seats, portraying the action from high angles, or intimate close-ups, making the most of the dancers' acting skills, as well as bringing every important twitch of the legs into relief.” NZ Herald

“IMPRESSIONISTIC SCENES OF backstage and city scenes of a girl in a cafe and a man dancing on a rooftop bookend and beautifully punctuate what is a highly traditional staging of Giselle. For anyone who saw the avant-garde production at Ballet B.C. earlier this spring, here is the New Zealand Royal Ballet’s real, frothy-tutu’d classic. Auburn-haired Gillian Murphy makes for a lithe, passionate lead. But it’s Qi Huan’s Albrecht who almost literally looks like he’ll get danced to death; just wait till you see the showstopping scissoring sautés the Willis put him through.” Georgia Straight, Canada

Release date NZ
December 4th, 2013
Movie Format
  • DVD
DVD Region
  • Region 4
  • Standard Edition
Aspect Ratio
  • 1.85 : 1
Length (Minutes)
Supported Audio
  • Dolby Digital Surround 5.1
Number of Discs
Country of Production
  • New Zealand
  • Documentary
Original Release Year
Box Dimensions (mm)
All-time sales rank
Top 5000
Product ID


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