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Ballet & Dance

  • The Birmingham Royal Ballet/The Royal Ballet - Nutcracker Sweeties/The Judas Tree The Birmingham Royal Ballet/The Royal Ballet - Nutcracker Sweeties/The Judas Tree | DVD | (27/11/2006) from £14.77  |  Saving you £3.22 (17.90%)  |  RRP £17.99

    Kenneth MacMillan choreographed his last ballet The Judas Tree for Irek Mukhamedov who takes the lead in this striking production. A vampish woman turns up on a building site in dockland wastes and causes an explosive reaction amongst a group of thirteen workmen led by their Foreman. In the heated confusion only one man responds with tenderness. Gradually the dark underside of male sexuality is exposed and the power of peer pressure takes over. The ballet spirals into a climax

  • Ballet Class for Beginners [1986] Ballet Class for Beginners | DVD | (07/07/2008) from £12.61  |  Saving you £N/A (N/A%)  |  RRP £13.99

  • The Nutcracker - The Story Of Clara [1994] The Nutcracker - The Story Of Clara | DVD | (27/11/2007) from £N/A  |  Saving you £N/A (N/A%)  |  RRP £12.99

  • Darcey Bussell Darcey Bussell | DVD | (08/11/2004) from £10.25  |  Saving you £2.74 (21.10%)  |  RRP £12.99

    A unique insight to the backstage preparation of Darcey Bussell on the road and in rehearsals. Featuring Adam Cooper in Herman Schmerman by William Forsythe. Darcey Pricipal Dancer of the Royal Ballet and a performer of charismatic beauty was born in London where she attended the Royal Ballet School. Kenneth MacMillan wrote Price Of The Pagodas in which Darcey created the role of Princess Rose and also Masha in MacMillan's Winter Dreams. Darcey has performed with the New York Cit

  • Baryshnikov Dances Sinatra [1984] Baryshnikov Dances Sinatra | DVD | (04/08/2008) from £N/A  |  Saving you £N/A (N/A%)  |  RRP £32.99

  • Tchaikovsky - Swan Lake Tchaikovsky - Swan Lake | DVD | (20/02/2008) from £7.15  |  Saving you £-3.16 (-79.20%)  |  RRP £3.99

    Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake - a ballet in 4 acts.

  • La Fille Mal Gardee [1981] La Fille Mal Gardee | DVD | (23/02/1998) from £12.51  |  Saving you £5.48 (30.50%)  |  RRP £17.99

    La Fille Mal Gardée ("The Unguarded Maiden"), perhaps the best-known work of composer Ferdinand Hérold, is here presented in a Royal Ballet production freely adapted, arranged and conducted by John Lanchbery. The unquestioned centre of attention is Royal Ballet superstar Lesley Collier who plays Lise, the beautiful farm girl whom her widowed mother (Brian Shaw) plans to marry to the eligible Alain (Garry Grant) despite Lise's love for young farmer Colas (Michael Coleman). This is a colourful pastoral romp with pause for tender and lyrical moments and plentiful opportunities for Collier to enchant her many admirers. Royal Ballet principal conductor Lanchbery--himself composer of the well-loved Tales of Beatrix Potter (1971)--brings all his flair for this sort of carefree entertainment to play and the result is delightful. Filmed for BBC television at Covent Garden in January 1981, the witty, energetic and romantic choreography is by Frederick Ashton (his dancing chickens are hilarious, as is Shaw's "clog dance" in Act Two) and the stage design by Osbert Lancaster, whose legacy adds charm to a much more recent BBC Royal Ballet film of Coppélia (2000). Hérold's score is filled with playfulness, melody and laughter, making this a very superior pantomime. --Gary S. Dalkin On the DVD: Presented at the original 4:3 TV ratio, the focus is soft throughout and details lacking in long shots are reduced to a formless blur. The image looks washed-out, with colours missing any sparkle or depth. The live stereo sound is much better, being detailed, full, and free of the hiss one might expect from a TV soundtrack of this vintage. The disc offers one page of credits, a three-page synopsis and a web link. The drab black and white booklet repeats this information in more detail in various languages, but offers nothing on the performers, composer or conductor. --Gary S. Dalkin

  • Peter And The Wolf / L'Enfant Et Les Sortileges [1986] Peter And The Wolf / L'Enfant Et Les Sortileges | DVD | (25/09/2000) from £16.75  |  Saving you £3.24 (16.20%)  |  RRP £19.99

    It was a happy idea to couple the Royal Ballet School production of Peter and the Wolf with the Netherlands Dance Theatre's L'enfant et les sortiléges, for in each story the boy is the protagonist, in one instance leading a wolf hunt and in the other wreaking revenge on his toys after his mother has locked him in his room to finish his homework. Neither work in their final form was conceived for dancing: the Prokofiev comes from the concert hall and the Ravel from the opera house. Colette, the authoress of Gigi penned the story of L'enfant et les sortil&ecute;ges, which is related here in an introduction by the choreographer Jiri Kylian with charm and a nod back at his own childhood pranks. Viewers coming to this dance version of the opera for the first time maybe be surprised that Ravel composed the boy's role for a girl and a rather buxom one in this instance. The somewhat gloomy, heavily embroidered production misses no opportunity in bringing to life the toys in the boy's room or the animals in the garden that turn on him in retribution. In conclusion as an act of compassion of binding the paw of an injured squirrel, the boy and the animal kingdom are reconciled in music of a truly sublime nature. Lorin Maazel conducts Ravel's sophisticated and witty score with its translucent vocal lines with the affection for which he has long been renowned. In marked contrast to that production, Peter and the Wolf is set against a plain backdrop with one prop, a slice of carved tree trunk centre stage. Anthony Dowell narrates and also dances the role of the Grandfather with aplomb. In each instance a musical instrument represents a character. The choreographer Matthew Hart marshals his small group of dancers, duck, cat, bird and wolf, with imagination and dexterity. David Johnson as Peter (represented by the full orchestra) gives a splendid performance, boyish and graceful, making a further excellent advertisement for schoolboys considering dancing as a career in the wake of Billy Elliot. A stylish presented and well contrasted double bill. --Adrian Edwards

  • New York City Ballet - The Complete Workout - 1 And 2 [2006] New York City Ballet - The Complete Workout - 1 And 2 | DVD | (15/01/2007) from £24.92  |  Saving you £3.64 (12.10%)  |  RRP £29.99

    A deluxe edition DVD set comprised of the best-selling fitness videos New York City Ballet Workout Volume 1 and 2. These workouts are designed to help you develop the strength grace and poise of a dancer. An excellent alternative to fast paced high-energy workout routines this unique exercise program balances art life and fitness into the perfect workout for any age or fitness level. Whether you love ballet or are simply searching for an alternative workout regimen designed to produce a strong graceful body this program will deliver exceptional results.

  • Michael Flatley's Lord of the Dance: Dangerous Games [Blu-ray] Michael Flatley's Lord of the Dance: Dangerous Games | Blu Ray | (24/11/2014) from £14.99  |  Saving you £5.00 (25.00%)  |  RRP £19.99

    Michael Flatley's Lord of the Dance: Dangerous Games - a spectacular new staging of the traditional masterpiece; a magical adventure of sight and sound that transports its audience to a mythical time and place lifting the spirits and capturing the hearts of all who experience it. Based on Irish folklore this classic tale of Good vs. Evil expressed through the universal language of dance has thrilled audience's worldwide and catapulted Irish dance to a new dimension and unprecedented worldwide acclaim. With all the visceral precision and thrills of the original Lord Of The Dance: Dangerous Games features new staging new costumes and choreography and 40 of the world's most outstanding young performers directed by Michael Flatley. With new music by composer Gerard Fahy this latest iteration combines the best of tradition with all the excitement of new music and dance!

  • Moiseyev Dance Company 2 Moiseyev Dance Company 2 | DVD | (26/07/2007) from £18.72  |  Saving you £0.00 (0.00%)  |  RRP £18.99

  • Matthew Bourne's Nutcracker Matthew Bourne's Nutcracker | DVD | (22/12/2003) from £11.19  |  Saving you £6.80 (37.80%)  |  RRP £17.99

    One of his earliest pieces of choreography, Matthew Bourne's Nutcracker is also one of his most charming and imaginative. Moving the Christmas party from a comfortable middle-class home to a Dickensian orphanage whose proprietors starve their wards to spoil their own children, it then shifts to a wonderland where sweets and sugar are a none-too-subtle metaphor for sexual awakening. In both worlds, Clara (Etta Murfitt) has to struggle to be heroine, or even a participant, in her own story and her struggle for the muscular, sexy Alan Vincent with her bitchy rival Sugar (Soranne Curtin) is not resolved until the last moments of the ballet. Along the way, Bourne finds charming and sexy ways to make all of the well-known genre moments of the score fresh and new--the Chinese dancers are a bunch of daffy marshmallow girls in pink, for example, whose dance is all strutting cuteness. There is a truly stunning transformation scene at the beginning of the waltz, which like much else in the score becomes a complex ensemble in which all the character dancers have their own things to do. Bourne's Nutcracker has become a popular favourite, and deservedly so. On the DVD: Matthew Bourne's Nutcrackercomes to DVD with no additional features. It is presented in a 16:9 anamorphic ratio and has sumptuous sound in both Dolby Digital 5.1 and L-PCM Stereo that does full justice to the Royal Philharmonic's eloquent performance of the score. --Roz Kaveney

  • Johann Strauss Gala [1999] Johann Strauss Gala | DVD | (05/04/2000) from £5.35  |  Saving you £14.52 (72.60%)  |  RRP £19.99

    Not only did 1999 mark the 150th anniversary of the death of Johann Strauss Sr., but the centenary of the passing of his son, Johann Strauss, "The Waltz King". To commemorate, on the evening of May 29, 1999 in Vienna's grand Heldenplatz almost 8,000 people gathered for a gala concert. This Wiener Philharmoniker performance was conducted by Zubin Meta (who had previously conducted the The Three Tenors, one of whom, José Carreras is here joined by soprano Andrea Rost for two duets from Strauss operettas). At 103 minutes this DVD offers 19 selections, but either there was an interval after just six pieces, or considering how rapidly it gets dark between "Tritsch-Tratsch-Polka" and the "Overture" from Die Fledermaus, there has been some cutting. Given such a great orchestra and the wonderful setting, it would have been nice to see people dancing to what is after all, real dance music. Despite the static nature of the event, the music is still uplifting, moving even the staid Vienna audience to clap along by the finale of the rousing "Radetzky March".On the DVD: Other than some useful booklet notes there are no special features, and unlike most other Arthaus titles the sound is offered only in stereo Dolby Digital and PCM stereo. This is presumably due to the difficulties associated with outdoor acoustics and live recording which nearly prevented the concert going ahead. The anamorphically enhanced picture generally makes the most of the spectacular location, having a clarity in the close-ups such that it is virtually possible to count the hairs on the musicians heads.--Gary S. Dalkin

  • New York City Ballet Workout [2000] New York City Ballet Workout | DVD | (03/01/2005) from £N/A  |  Saving you £N/A (N/A%)  |  RRP £17.99

    The New York City Ballet Workout routine was developed by Peter Martins and the New York City Ballet along with the New York Sports Club. If you envy the ballet dancer's long, lean body and graceful, elegant movements, then this beautifully produced video is for you. First watch the rippling muscles of four gorgeous ballet dancers (two bare-midriffed women and two bare-chested men) performing the warm-up moves to classical ballet music, while Martins narrates: no ballet technique is taught, so it's look-and-follow if you have no previous ballet training. Then get down on a mat for slow lower-body stretches. A difficult abdominal series is next, followed by "floor barre" exercises to tone the thighs and buttocks while still using the abdominals, then moves to strengthen the back and upper body. Next is a series of standing exercise segments using various ballet movements to strengthen the legs and postural/balance muscles. The workout is divided into 17 short sections, which may give it a disjointed feeling if you're used to more continuity. At the end is a bonus sequence with profiles of the four performers, all dancers with the New York City Ballet. We get to watch them performing, practicing, and eating. One dancer makes the point that ballet is very athletic, but because it's supposed to look ethereal, the hard work stays hidden from the audience. If you love ballet (even just watching it), you'll enjoy this workout. (By the way, Sarah Jessica Parker introduces the video, but does not have any other role in it.) --Joan Price, Amazon.com

  • Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake [1996] Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake | DVD | (20/07/1998) from £9.80  |  Saving you £8.19 (45.50%)  |  RRP £17.99

    This Swan Lake was the unexpected popular hit of 1996, when radical choreographer Matthew Bourne took Tchaikovsky's traditional ballet by the scruff of the neck and reworked it with a myriad of modern influences and themes to astonishing effect. Seldom have the dark psychological riptides at the heart of so many classical ballets been so brilliantly exposed. The Prince (Scott Ambler) is a wretched and dissolute young man dominated by his mother, the Joan Collins-like Queen (Fiona Ambler). Shades of Tennessee Williams, indeed. Von Rothbart becomes a press secretary, more sinister éminence grise than hissable villain. Most startling of all, The Swan (Adam Cooper) is a muscular, emphatically masculine male. Bourne has stressed the universality of his interpretation, which proved such a success for his Adventures in Motion Pictures dance company. And indeed this is never an overtly "gay" Swan Lake, although the electricity of the pas de deux at the height of Act 2 delivers a palpably homoerotic charge. Its universal threads--as Bourne suggests, the need to be held and understood is common to us all--are synthesised in the utterly moving conclusion as the Swan cradles the lifeless Prince and raises him to a better place. Swan Lake becomes a human, rather than simply romantic, tragedy. On the DVD: Swan Lake is presented in full screen 4:3 video format and this version would certainly have benefited from widescreen to show off the dazzling court and night club scenes as well as the lake and the impact of the all-male swan corps de ballet. But the lush Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound serves the rich interpretation of Tchaikovsky's score from The New London Orchestra to handkerchief-wringing effect. Extras include menu-driven resumes and a synopsis. --Piers Ford

  • Mendelssohn - A Midsummer Night's Dream [Blu-ray] [2008] Mendelssohn - A Midsummer Night's Dream | Blu Ray | (28/01/2008) from £23.74  |  Saving you £6.25 (20.80%)  |  RRP £29.99

    This performance of George Balanchine's ballet A Midsummer Night's Dream was filmed live at Sadler's Wells Theatre, London, in February 1999 and won the award for "Best Television Realisation of a Stage Production" at IMZ Dance Screen. The music is from Mendelssohn's youthful overture plus later theatre music, and five other pieces by the composer all selected by the great Russian choreographer Balanchine in 1962. In a fine ensemble cast, Paul Gibson as Oberon and Patricia Barker as Titania are suitably aloof, at least until the latter dances with the ass Bottom (Timothy Lynch) in a highlight of touching comedy. After all the quarrelsome entanglements of the first act, the finale ensures celebration and richly deserved happy endings all round. The simple sets have a picturesque charm, the costumes a fairytale glamour and the large cast, including many children, dance with flair and enthusiasm; this is clearly one production where everyone was having a fine time. In fact it is rather more enjoyable than Hollywood's A Midsummer Night's Dream of the same year. Ballet aficionados may also want to explore the BBC's wonderful Coppélia (2000). On the DVD: There are no special features on the disc, but the 12-page booklet is entirely in English and is well presented, offering track and cast lists, a synopsis and notes on Balanchine, Mendelssohn and the creative talents and directors of the Pacific Northwest Ballet. The sound is atmospheric--Dolby Digital 5.0--and the anamorphically enhanced 16:9 image is good, though slightly soft, and does occasionally reveal some compression artefacting. In defiance of regional encoding regulations, not only is this DVD region free, but includes the normal PAL UK television system programme material on one side and on the reverse includes the same content in NTSC format, suitable for American playback. Anyone curious to see if one format is better will find that the UK PAL transfer contains just a little more picture detail. --Gary S Dalkin

  • New York City Ballet Workout 2 [2003] New York City Ballet Workout 2 | DVD | (03/01/2005) from £10.79  |  Saving you £7.20 (40.00%)  |  RRP £17.99

    New York City Ballet 2, like its bestselling predecessor, is still designed to sculpt and tone your body; but this second edition has also learned the lessons of the original routine, which was difficult to use for those without formal ballet training. This second workout attempts to be accessible to all, providing a glossary explaining ballet terminology and introducing such steps as Plies and Tendus. Be warned though, this will still take practise if you are new to ballet. The routine itself is also less demanding than the first, but includes one of the best abs workouts to be found on an exercise programme. While the steps do not offer a cardio workout, they are enjoyable once mastered and will make you feel more graceful. Combining ballet and yoga is all the rage at gyms, so a good tip is to tie this in with your favourite yoga programme for that ideal posture and definition. All in all this is a great improvement on the first edition and certainly more enjoyable than watching a Big Brother celebrity's dance routine. On the DVD: New York City Ballet 2 offers pristine images and a 5.1 Dolby sound. This works wonderfully on the choice of classical and contemporary tracks. There is also the option to develop your own routine, which is useful if you are never sure how much time you have spare to exercise. The DVD also offers a movement combination which slowly takes you through the steps to learn a dance sequence. --Nikki Disney

  • Giselle [1983] Giselle | DVD | (11/06/2001) from £11.57  |  Saving you £6.42 (35.70%)  |  RRP £17.99

    The strength of the Kirov Ballet's Giselle is also, in a sense, its principal weakness: this is a no-gimmicks, no-frills production in a performing tradition that goes back to the introduction of the work to Russia in the mid-19th century. The advantage of this is that, after all, Adam's ballet is a work of deliberate naiveté, in which a village maiden dies of a broken heart over the mere fact that her lover has deceived her about his social class; there is no subtext here nor any need for any. Galina Mezentseva is more or less perfect, both in the delicate simplicity of her every gesture and movement and in the overall sweetness and devotion that they convey; Konstantin Zaklinsky is an equally fine Albrecht--for once we entirely believe in his absence of malicious intent and welcome his salvation from her vengeful fellow ghosts. Of the others, Gennadi Selyutsky is a slightly melodramatic Hilarion, whose death in terror is a fine piece of high Victorian theatre, and Tatyana Terekhova makes the spirits' leader a figure in whom terrifying justice and vengefulness are united. On the DVD: The DVD has no frills either except for a link to the NVC-arts Web site; the booklet provides a synopsis and, criminally, no other information about either ballet, production or stars. --Roz Kaveney

  • La Sylphide - Royal Danish Ballet La Sylphide - Royal Danish Ballet | DVD | (27/03/2006) from £12.55  |  Saving you £2.44 (16.30%)  |  RRP £14.99

    La Sylphide which first appeared in the 1830's was the world's first Romantic ballet. The story of James a young Scottish farmer enchanted by a sylph or tree fairy on the eve of his wedding combines reality and fantasy. The great Danish choreographer August Bournoville created a version of La Sylphide for the Royal Danish Ballet in 1836 and it remains his most famous and enduring ballet. The Royal Danish Ballet rightly regards its interpretations of the Bournoville classics as being in the purest and most faithfully maintained tradition. This production recorded at the Royal Theatre Copenhagen in 1988 features Lis Jeppesen as La Sylphide. She is of the most famous interpreters of the role which requires lyrical interpretation as well as superb technique. Nikolaj Hubbe and Sorella Englund also star as James and Madge respectively.

  • Lock - Amelia (La La La Human Steps) [Blu-ray] Lock - Amelia (La La La Human Steps) | Blu Ray | (05/01/2009) from £19.32  |  Saving you £10.67 (35.60%)  |  RRP £29.99

    The multi-award-winning dance film Amelia (2002) explores the use of point technique using extended intertwining solos, complex partnering sequences and extreme speed to generate powerful performances with unexpected moments of tender emotion and serenity. Edouard Lock uses intricate choreography for both camera and dancers, creating amazing and constantly shifting points of view. Trademark performances, brilliant and relentless, combined with the delicate sensual lighting of Andr? Turpin and the minimalist environment of a giant wooden box with rounded forms that seems to have no exit, create a disturbingly exquisite and moving experience. The original score, written by David Lang for violin, cello, piano and voice, combines evocative minimalism with lyrics from five of Lou Reed's most famous works, created in the 60s for The Velvet Underground.

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