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Black And White Ballet DVD

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Black and White Ballet is a treat for all fans of contemporary dance. The Nederlands Dans Theater's reputation is formidable in any event, but there's also a tradition in the Netherlands of producing modern dance for television and video media with enormous expertise, as owners of the superb Springdance VHS collections will testify. The advent of DVD has of course upped the ante considerably in terms of detail and overall production values, with this disc being a fine example of what can be achieved. The stark, monochromatic staging of this sequence of dance pieces is overlaid by a choice of music which encompasses Mozart, Bach and Webern, but it's the opening item, set to the first part of Steve Reich's Drumming, which is the most compelling, displaying as it does the power of dance to extrapolate from music rather than just accompany it. In terms of features, the disc is pretty spartan, with a stereo-only soundtrack and no extra features worthy of the name, but the overall result is nevertheless highly recommended.--Roger Thomas

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