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    This Guide is in development and is not completed.

    SUBJECTS — Dance/Performance;
    SOCIAL-EMOTIONAL LEARNING — Romantic Relations
    MORAL-ETHICAL EMPHASIS — Trustworthiness.

    Age: 8+; MPAA Rating -- Not Rated; Ballet; 1977; 94 minutes; VHS Color; Available from Amazon.com.

    Description:     The two greatest dancers of their day Mikhail Baryshnikov and Natalia Makarova are at their best. it has been said that Giselle is to ballet what Hamlet is to drama.

    Benefits of the Movie:     ***

    Possible Problems:     This is only available on VHS and the production values could be greater.

    Parenting Points:     ***


Benefits of the Movie
Possible Problems
Parenting Points
Selected Awards & Cast
Suggestions for Using This Movie in Class
Helpful Background
Discussion Questions:
      Subjects (Curriculum Topics)
      Social-Emotional Learning
      Moral-Ethical Emphasis
            (Character Counts)
Bridges to Reading
Links to the Internet
Assignments, Projects & Activities


    Selected Awards, Cast and Director:

      Selected Awards:   None.

      Featured Dancers:   Mikhail Baryshnikov, Natalia Makarova, and Martine van Hamel.

      Director:   David Blair.

Suggested Response: *** Other productions: The 1979 production by the Bavarian State Ballet, with Rudolph Nureyev and Lynn Seymour is interesting. It is a different interpretation of the ballet with some new choreography. Nureyev is magnificent but Lynn Seymour was at the end of her career and it shows quite painfully.

The 2006 Kirov production staring Galina Mezentseva and Konstantin Zaklinsky is much inferior to the Baryshnikov/Makarova version.

    Suggestions for Using "***" in a Classroom Setting


    Helpful Background:

    Carlotta Grisi, who created the title role in Giselle at the Paris Opéra in 1841. The traditional choreography of nearly all modern productions is derived from the revivals of Marius Petipa for the Imperial Ballet (1884, 1899, 1903). "The thing about "Giselle" that is so nice is that it's a two act ballet with all the elements that people love to see in a story ballet," said Lisette Miles, Cache Valley Center for the Arts executive director and former Ballet West dancer. "There's a wonderful opening act that is vibrant and spirited, then the second act is very ethereal and otherworldly with long white romantic tutus, an element that really epitomizes ballet for a lot of people." Act II, Ms. Krapivina as Giselle, has matured considerably. In the company of her sister “Vilises” (Wilis), who are quintessentially serene and bride-like in costumes that flatter their perfect line, she now seems wise beyond her years. Her earlier coltishness is absent in the pas de deux with Albert, here costumed in purple tights and a black tunic. In their grief, they dance a paradox: A partnership in solitude. She offers us a heavenly battue changement sauté, and breathtaking moments in the coda, "Giselle tests the dancers technically, it’s a really exposing work." Gary Harris, Artistic Director of the Royal New Zealand Ballet For Swan Lake??? "Paris Opera Ballet company established in France in 1661 by Louis XIV as the Royal Academy of Dance (Académie Royale de Danse) and amalgamated with the Royal Academy of Music in 1672. As part of the Théâtre National de l'Opéra, the company dominated European theatrical dance of the 18th and early 19th centuries. Its artists developed the basic techniques of classical ballet: Pierre Beauchamp, the company's first director, codified the five basic ballet positions, and the virtuosos Jean Balon, Louis Duport, Marie Camargo, and Gaetano and Auguste Vestris extended the range of dance steps, especially the jumps and leaps." Cite "Paris Opéra Ballet." Encyclopædia Britannica. 2007. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. 27 Nov. 2007 . Giselle has to go from naive peasant girl to powdery yet powerful wraith Question: Swan Lake too????? "Answer the following questions in your writing journal: What values are important to you? How do you think your values are shaped by the times that you live in? Do you think you would value the same things if you lived in the Age of Romanticism? If you lived in the Romantic Age, how do you think your life would be different?" ***

For an extended scene by scene dissection of the 1977 ABT Version of the ballet, see Ballet 101 pp. 298 - 324.




    Discussion Questions:

    1.  See Discussion Questions for Use With any Film that is a Work of Fiction.

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    Social-Emotional Learning Discussion Questions:


    *  question Suggested Response: ****


    Moral-Ethical Emphasis Discussion Questions (Character Counts)

    Discussion Questions Relating to Ethical Issues will facilitate the use of this film to teach ethical principles and critical viewing. Additional questions are set out below.


    (Be honest; Don't deceive, cheat or steal; Be reliable -- do what you say you'll do; Have the courage to do the right thing; Build a good reputation; Be loyal -- stand by your family, friends and country)

    *  question Suggested Response: ****


    (Treat others with respect; follow the Golden Rule; Be tolerant of differences; Use good manners, not bad language; Be considerate of the feelings of others; Don't threaten, hit or hurt anyone; Deal peacefully with anger, insults and disagreements)

    *  question Suggested Response: ****


    (Do what you are supposed to do; Persevere: keep on trying!; Always do your best; Use self-control; Be self-disciplined; Think before you act -- consider the consequences; Be accountable for your choices)

    *  question Suggested Response: ****


    (Play by the rules; Take turns and share; Be open-minded; listen to others; Don't take advantage of others; Don't blame others carelessly)

    *  question Suggested Response: ****


    (Be kind; Be compassionate and show you care; Express gratitude; Forgive others; Help people in need)

    *  question Suggested Response: ****


    (Do your share to make your school and community better; Cooperate; Stay informed; vote; Be a good neighbor; Obey laws and rules; Respect authority; Protect the environment)

    *  question Suggested Response: ****


Teachwithmovies.com is a Character Counts "Six Pillars Partner" and uses The Six Pillars of Character to organize ethical principles.

Character Counts and the Six Pillars of Character are marks of the CHARACTER COUNTS! Coalition, a project of the Josephson Institute of Ethics.

    Bridges to Reading: ***

MOVIES ON RELATED TOPICS: All films listed in the Subject Matter Index under U.S./Civil War.


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