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L'Histoire Du Soldat DVD

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In Stravinsky's The Soldier's Tale, the hero believes he has cheated the devil and lives to regret his cleverness. The aftermath of the First World War had left the composer convinced of an aesthetic of austerity, so here he replaces his huge pre-war scores with the Ballet Russes with a few dancers, a few instruments and narrators. The score, brilliantly played, includes a lot of genre dances--a tango, a waltz, a ragtime--as well as fragmentary jagged marches and love scenes that drift with deliberate grace into the further reaches of tonality. Kylian's choreography involves a rather larger cast than most--many of the dance numbers are performed as a "divertissement" for the soldier and his princess--and some slightly corny staging: at the end, dragged off to Hell, the soldier disappears into a red dry-ice mist. None the less, this version is superbly danced, with a real sense of menace, moments of fairytale beauty and passionately cynical flippantness. The DVD has menus and subtitles in English, French, German and Spanish, and contains trailers for other ArtHaus releases. --Roz Kaveney

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from£16.75 | RRP: £17.99
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