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"Giselle" in 3-D at movie theatres on July 12, 2011
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Author:  Francis Timlin [ Sat Jul 09, 2011 12:14 pm ]
Post subject:  "Giselle" in 3-D at movie theatres on July 12, 2011

In the Wall Street Journal, Pia Catton previews the July 12, 2011 screening of the Mariinsky Ballet's "Giselle" in 3-D at select movie theatres in the U.S.

Wall Street Journal

Author:  Francis Timlin [ Thu Jul 14, 2011 11:57 am ]
Post subject:  Re: "Giselle" in 3-D at movie theatres on July 12, 2011

Pia Catton reviews the "Giselle" in 3-D screening on July 12 in the Wall Street Journal.

Wall Street Journal

Author:  Francis Timlin [ Fri Jul 15, 2011 12:29 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: "Giselle" in 3-D at movie theatres on July 12, 2011

Alastair Macaulay reviews "Giselle" for the New York Times.

NY Times

Author:  Catherine Pawlick [ Fri Jul 15, 2011 12:35 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: "Giselle" in 3-D at movie theatres on July 12, 2011

Francis thanks for posting these reviews -- if only the film was shown on the West Coast! Interesting that this is a recording of Osipova guesting with the company before this spring, when Sarafanov was still with the company...Fantastic that those who haven't seen the Kirov (or those who have) can see in 3-D. Although I would bet nothing compares to live theatre performance, but this must come close.

Author:  Francis Timlin [ Sat Jul 16, 2011 1:53 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: "Giselle" in 3-D at movie theatres on July 12, 2011

Sarah Kaufman reviews the 3-D "Giselle" for the Washington Post.

Washington Post

Author:  bcx [ Sun Jul 17, 2011 10:34 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: "Giselle" in 3-D at movie theatres on July 12, 2011

Catherine Pawlick wrote:
Francis thanks for posting these reviews -- if only the film was shown on the West Coast! Interesting that this is a recording of Osipova guesting with the company before this spring, when Sarafanov was still with the company...Fantastic that those who haven't seen the Kirov (or those who have) can see in 3-D. Although I would bet nothing compares to live theatre performance, but this must come close.


Catherine,
I was in New York for this screening but it was scheduled to play in San Francisco on July 12 as well. You didn't miss much technically--the camera work (cut off feet and heads) couldn't compare with the live High Definition transmissions in 2-D that the Paris Opera Ballet, Royal Ballet, Bolshoi & the Mariinsky have been offering in movie houses throughout the world. It's possible that a major problem with this 3-D version was a local projection problem (New York reviewers all mentioned it, but Sarah Kaufman in Washington didn't seem to notice it). There were, however, a few images of dancing in this film, especially of the Mariinsky corps de ballet, that were extraordinary. The camera actually seemed to offer a dancer's perspective of the stage, not the usual view from the audience, or even from the wings. Natalia Osipova was an engaging, at times thrilling Giselle, but the Mariinsky does not need to import a GIselle from Moscow, even one with Osipova's gifts!

I'm in NYC for the Mariinsky at Lincoln Center. The Mariinsky A-Team (ballet and orchestra) is in New York. You don't see this many artists of the Mariinsky when the company tours the provinces, like the West Coast! I'll add a note about the performances at Lincoln Center on the appropriate page (I will say the company is getting a very warm reception in the Metropolitan Opera House). No recording, even a full 3-D virtual world immersion (which I'm sure is coming) will ever replace a live performance, but I welcome the technical experimenting European ballet companies (especially the Mariinsky) are doing to bring ballet to audiences around the world.

PS: The actual highlight of "Giselle in 3-D" for me was Yekaterina Kondaurova's Myrtha, one of the greatest performances of the role I have ever seen.

Author:  Catherine Pawlick [ Tue Jul 19, 2011 7:35 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: "Giselle" in 3-D at movie theatres on July 12, 2011

Bcx: Totally and utterly agree with you about Kondaurova's Myrtha. No one does the skimming bourree entrance as her, you cannot see her bounce or bobble, it literally as if she is floating by her wings. And then the shift from that placid weightlessness to the still ethereal but powerful jumps, almost two sides of the same coin. If there was another spot on the Principal roster, it would be hers (five years ago!) and should be hers now.

Alas provincial West Coast, ahem, do not remind me! :-) At least NYC is seeing the A-team at last.

Regarding cut off feet and hands -- that is a travesty for ballet viewing (who filmed? Sounds like the camera angles needed forethought and maybe planning (?)) But the idea of shots from the stage is appealing. I've watched many a performance from those wings, and I echo your sentiments about imported Giselles, am a huge fan of Osipova but the MT has their own gems to display as well!

Author:  Dean Speer [ Wed Jul 20, 2011 12:02 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: "Giselle" in 3-D at movie theatres on July 12, 2011

3-D Does It
“Giselle” Film, 07-12-2011, Federal Way, Washington

by Dean Speer

Ballet and dance viewed on film and similar mediums like television or even over the Internet such as You Tube, tends to flatten out and dull what is a three-dimensional, sharp, and kinetically felt art that, traditionally, is best experienced live.

While I still believe that to be true, watching – and enjoying – the recent showing of the Mariinsky (Kirov) Ballet’s production of “Giselle” made me come to the conclusion that not all hope is lost. Wearing the inevitable glasses, the effects of seeing dance filmed in 3-D are amazingly, well, three-dimensional. There is depth and depth-perception, that gives a sensory illusion that makes it lift itself right off the screen. These figures on the huge silver screen are truly larger than life, being enlarged in such as way as might never be possible on the live stage.

With these impressions, I find myself on the other side of the fence from previous reviewers. Yes, we could complain about some shots, but I thought overall that it was quite good. I’m also one of those persons who “cheats” a bit with the 3-D glasses and like to occasionally slide them down my nose to compare – and guess what?! – sometimes it was just as good as 2-D [not out of focus as true 3-D is when used and seen without the glasses]. My cue here was my 92 year-old father who was with us, who took his glasses off a couple of times, saying under his breath, “I don’t need these.” My understanding of why using 3-D is not always to make objects or persons stand or fly off of the screen but that it can also provide enhancement to depth of color and the richness of what’s there. This seems to be true here. Other times, it was obvious that technology was being used with the intent of making it 3-D.

Osipova thrilled me with her elevation – I saw complete jumps -- and Sarafanov’s 28 entrechat six, which he began with arms en bas and then made them more uncontrolled as if to show his near-death exhaustion were perfect – I mean just perfect. Tight, even beats with both legs making the action evenly (one leg tends to want to dominate, which is natural).

Perhaps not perfect for everyone’s taste, Mariinsky’s “Giselle” is a very good example of the use of current technology and how it may apply to a very old and venerable 3-D art form.

Author:  Catherine Pawlick [ Thu Jul 21, 2011 6:44 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: "Giselle" in 3-D at movie theatres on July 12, 2011

Thanks for your review, Dean! I wish, for the sake of comparison I could have seen this in the 2-D, 3-D with/without glasses but hopefully there will be future opportunities! (Glad you liked Sarafanov, he truly is an amazing technician...)

Author:  bcx [ Sun Jul 31, 2011 1:57 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: "Giselle" in 3-D at movie theatres on July 12, 2011

Another review of Giselle in 3-D by a New York balletomane. I have a feeling that the way the film was projected in NYC must have been different than in Seattle (and Washington, DC) but my experience is closer to hers on technical grounds (except for Kondaurova!):

http://www.poisonivyswalloftext.com/2011/07/giselle-in-3-d.html

Author:  MKirschner [ Fri Aug 05, 2011 8:01 am ]
Post subject:  Re: "Giselle" in 3-D at movie theatres on July 12, 2011

Thought I would throw in my .02 on the topic, since I've had the opportunity to see a lot more dance and ballet in 3D than most. I should also note that I was at the same screening as Macaulay/Catton/Johnson etc, so if there were projection errors inherent to the location, I experienced them, although many of the issues I experienced were unrelated to those possible issues.

As a representative work of the potential for the format, Giselle 3D was pretty poor. Some of the issues that plagued the production were harder to anticipate than others - yes, the camera operators had at times horrific framing, and direction could have been a lot better, and by shooting live, they lost the ability to set the cameras (and the lighting) up optimally. The lighting in the first act was very "hot", while the lighting in the second half was very dark. Other factors also played a role in diminishing the end result - such as the raked stage at the theater. I suffered from significant eyestrain in the first half, which is not something I am prone to do when viewing 3D.

Where there were glimpses of the potential of the format was towards the end of the second act, where Albrecht's positioning in relation to the formation of the willis (some horrendous framing aside) allowed for a near perfect camera angle.

The good news is that there is a fairly high number of 3D projects in various stages of production, most of which are far superior and should provide for exciting viewing ahead.

Author:  Catherine Pawlick [ Sun Aug 14, 2011 1:40 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: "Giselle" in 3-D at movie theatres on July 12, 2011

Hi MKirschner,

Welcome to the forum and thanks for your post! Since you have some experience in this, I will venture a question:

Do you happen to know, with live filming for 3D format, is there not a possibility for directors/cameramen to watch a rehearsal (or ten, ideally) and therefore plan the shots, the angles, the timing, the lighting, before the actual filming of the live performance? (I presume finance may not permit them to spend so much preparation time but on the other hand, wouldn't it be worth it? And is there any reason with 3D projects that this cannot be done?) I would think that the higher quality productions you're speaking of are incorporating more of that planning... and maybe that's what was missing from this Giselle film?

Just musing...

Author:  MKirschner [ Thu Aug 25, 2011 8:25 am ]
Post subject:  Re: "Giselle" in 3-D at movie theatres on July 12, 2011

Catherine,

Thanks for the question - first, I suppose I should actually reveal why I was so interested in the Mariinsky 3D broadcast, because it's now public. My company, TenduTV (in collaboration with the Dance Films Association) has just been awarded a substantial grant as part of the Rockefeller Foundation's Cultural Innovation Fund to begin producing 3D/HD films of NYC based dance companies. Press release here:

http://www.rockefellerfoundation.org/news/press-releases/rockefeller-foundation-gives-nearly-3

To answer your question - the answer is yes, and no.

Yes: preproduction is very possible, and it helps tremendously. Having camera operators that are prepared also helps. There is a tendency to track dancers with the camera, which results in a lot of lateral camera movement, which is not something you want in 3D.

No: There are some organic factors that will prevent live works from translating well to 3D. Part of the problem when shooting live is that the camera positions required to do it well involve cutting off the audiences view of the work. There should have been a camera position on the front of the stage, which, of course, would have greatly upset the audience - hence why live is pretty tricky. If there's a lot of high speed lateral movement, that's also going to be an issue, as the frame rate currently required for 3D theatrical projection (23.98 fps) is simply too slow to handle most dance.

Also - some works just won't work in 3D.

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