Peter And The Wolf / L'Enfant Et Les Sortileges DVD|
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 Edwardsfrom£14.66 | RRP:
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