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  • Khachaturian: Spartacus (Timofeyeva, Liepa) Khachaturian: Spartacus (Timofeyeva, Liepa) | DVD | (23/02/2004) from £20.35  |  Saving you £2.64 (11.50%)  |  RRP £22.99

    An opera in 3 acts.

  • Swan Lake [1990] Swan Lake | DVD | (25/03/2003) from £20.05  |  Saving you £4.94 (19.80%)  |  RRP £24.99

    Natalia Makarova one of the most important interpreters of the classical ballet repertoire in the twentieth century has also had great success as a producer.Makarova's staging of Swan Lake is based on the original choreography by Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov with additional choreography by the late Sir Frederick Ashton.Evelyn Hart and Peter Schaufuss are stunning as Princess Odette and Prince Siegfried in this studio recording. Leanne Benjamin is a treat a one of the 'pas de quatres'.Makarova's innovative interpretation presents the work as a story of perfect and eternal love.The stage design by Gunther Schneider-Siemssen does not use scenery to communicate changes of place and mood but back projections (blue laser to indicate water for example) which are extremely effective for creating a mysterious magical atmosphere.

  • Tchaikovsky: The Sleeping Beauty -- Kirov Ballet [1989] Tchaikovsky: The Sleeping Beauty -- Kirov Ballet | DVD | (27/02/2003) from £5.99  |  Saving you £3.74 (15.00%)  |  RRP £24.99

    The first performance of Sleeping Beauty at the Marinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg in 1890 choreographed by the legendary ballet master Marius Petipa was doubtless the pinnacle of classic Russian ballet tradition.Tchaikovsky's score composed in 1889 was created based on a scenario from Petipa that took the composer's wishes into account from the outset. It was a 'number' ballet score which was a homage to the baroque 'ballet de cour.' The premiere of Sleeping Beauty was not gr

  • A Tribute To Alvin Ailey [1990] A Tribute To Alvin Ailey | DVD | (18/12/2000) from £20.05  |  Saving you £4.94 (19.80%)  |  RRP £24.99

    The legendary American choreographer Alvin Ailey is the subject of this well-balanced Tribute. Three of the four dances--"For Bird with Love", "Witness" and "Memoria"--are Ailey's, and the programme concludes with Ulysses Dove's "Episodes". Each is eloquently introduced by Judith Jamison, and each demonstrates the joyous, affectionate atmosphere which Ailey's work always seemed to generate. "For Bird with Love", a dance interpretation of the life of the seminal jazz saxophonist Charlie Parker, is probably the best known and best loved of the items presented here. Ailey always relied on an element of rather camp Broadway glitz to carry his ideas beyond the hardcore audience for modern dance, and much of the work presented here is closer to Cats than to Cunningham. Overall, though, these dances are superbly structured, graceful edifices which transcend their showbiz influences, and there are few examples of the craft that are so extrovertly welcoming to the viewer. --Roger Thomas

  • Bolshoi Ballet - the Nutcracker [1957] Bolshoi Ballet - the Nutcracker | DVD | (13/10/2003) from £12.99  |  Saving you £2.01 (8.40%)  |  RRP £23.99

    The Bolshoi Ballet was formed in 1776 by an Englishman Michael Maddox and the Russian patron of the arts Prince Urusov. Today the dancers are the elite product of an eight year course at the Moscow Choreographic Institute and the ballet has a reputation unsurpassed by any other company in the World. In total there are some three hundred dancers and more than four hundred backstage staff. This production of The Nutcracker features the music of Pyortilyich Tchaikovsky performed by the Bolchoi Theatre Orchestra conducted by Rojdestresnki with star dancers Ekaterina Maximova and Vladimir Assiliev.

  • Sleeping Beauty - Tchaikovsky Sleeping Beauty - Tchaikovsky | DVD | (24/09/2004) from £22.59  |  Saving you £7.40 (24.70%)  |  RRP £29.99

    Featuring The Sleeping Beauty Ballet performed by the Het National Ballet recorded at the Het Muziektheater in Amsterdam.

  • Nederlands Dans Theater Celebrates Jiri Kylian [1998] Nederlands Dans Theater Celebrates Jiri Kylian | DVD | (01/10/2007) from £20.05  |  Saving you £4.94 (19.80%)  |  RRP £24.99

    Nederlands Dans Theater Celebrates Jiri Kylian.Bella Figura - Nederlands Dans Theater I.Sleepless - Nederlands Dans Theater II.Birth-day Nederlands Dans Theater III.

  • Masterpieces Of British Ballet [1982] Masterpieces Of British Ballet | DVD | (04/12/2006) from £21.55  |  Saving you £1.44 (6.30%)  |  RRP £22.99

  • Adam: Giselle - Bolshoi Ballet [1990] Adam: Giselle - Bolshoi Ballet | DVD | (03/03/2003) from £24.99  |  Saving you £0.00 (0.00%)  |  RRP £24.99

    Adam: Giselle

  • Three By Duato [2000] Three By Duato | DVD | (25/02/2002) from £14.66  |  Saving you £4.94 (19.80%)  |  RRP £24.99

    Under the artistic directorship of Nacho Duato the Compania Nacional de Danza has developed it's own distinctive style mixing classical and contemporary idioms and has become on of the most accomplished and entertaining dance ensembles in Europe. Duato's inventive choreography is earthy sensual and emotive and demands high levels of physical energy.

  • Swan Lake - Tchaikovsky Swan Lake - Tchaikovsky | DVD | (04/11/2002) from £24.99  |  Saving you £0.00 (0.00%)  |  RRP £24.99

    This new staging of Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake from the Royal Swedish Ballet features a dance ensemble of breathtaking wonder in a majestic staging true to the values of the original production. Choreographer Sir Peter Wright has built up the role of Prince Siegfried, giving him a greater presence right from the beginning when he appears as a mourner at the funeral of his father. Sir Peter also emphasises the darker forces that will destroy the romance between the Prince and Odette, the swan transformed into a beautiful maiden. These touches are manifest through the granite-like grandeur of the castle exterior and the skilful deployment of chiaroscuro, notably in the scenes by the lake where the indigo and royal blue contrast with the brilliant white worn by the corps de ballet. There are many other imaginative touches in the choreography, from the swans' initial entry, seemingly self-propelled to suggest their airborne flight overhead, to the comical turn of the bandy legged cygnets in the "Dance of the Little Swans". Nathalie Nordquist is an enchanting Odette, and, with a slight change in makeup, a characterful Odile. The Prince, danced by Anders Nordstrom, cuts an aristocratic figure, making an elegant partner for Odette. The swans are the last word in poise and grace. On the DVD: Swan Lake is presented in 16:9 anamorphic format with the option of stereo or surround sound. The picture quality is first class with good front-to-back depth. The orchestra may not be the world's most glamorous but there's compensation in hearing this score played in the theatre acoustic for which it was written. The special features are just that: an audio commentary on the plot, a list of notable productions, an interview with the two principal dancers, a history of the Royal Swedish Ballet from Director Peter Jacobbson and, best of all, an interview of wisdom and insight from Sir Peter Wright, the choreographer, entitled "Love Transcends Death". --Adrian Edwards

  • Amelia [2002] Amelia | DVD | (27/02/2006) from £21.05  |  Saving you £3.94 (15.80%)  |  RRP £24.99

    The multi-award-winning dance film Amelia (2002) directed and choreographed by Edouard Lock and performed by the acclaimed dance company La La La Human Steps 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.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 AndreTurpin 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.

  • Tchaikovsky - Swan Lake Tchaikovsky - Swan Lake | DVD | (02/01/2007) from £20.05  |  Saving you £4.94 (19.80%)  |  RRP £24.99

    Agnes Letestu, a feminine and warm Odette, Jose Martinez, a convincing, pale vulnerable Prince Siegfried, and Karl Paguette, doubling as a dutiful Wolfgang and an equally devious Rothbart, are the stars of this deeply passionate, 'dream' version of Swan Lake, Rudolf Nureyev's interpretation of Tchaikovsky's lyrical ballet, far from being a cliched stereotype of this celebrated masterpiece, is an expose of astonishingly powerful and recognisable human emotions. Under the inspired and clear-cut musical direction of Vello Pahn, this production of one of the jewels of the Paris Opera Ballet's repertoire brilliantly displays the meticulous precision, technical prowess and pure, unmanbnered style of the company's unrivalled female corps de ballet, eliciting an ethereal, intense beauty, captured for DVD in High Definition video and superb surround sound.

  • Prokofiev - Romeo And Juliet [1974] Prokofiev - Romeo And Juliet | DVD | (26/07/2007) from £21.23  |  Saving you £1.76 (7.70%)  |  RRP £22.99

  • Swan Lake - Tchaikovsky Swan Lake - Tchaikovsky | DVD | (29/08/2005) from £21.55  |  Saving you £3.44 (13.80%)  |  RRP £24.99

    Recorded live at the Teatro degli Arcimboldi Milan 14 April 2004La Scala's 2004 Swan Lake brings together two world stars of classical ballet in the lead roles Svetlana Zakharova and Roberto Bolle in this traditional production of Tchaikovsky's fairy story. The production comes from the Teatro degli Arcimboldi La Scala's temporary home at the time.There is certainly scope for various interpretations of the swan myth which goes back to antiquity when Jupiter took the shape of a swan and seduced Leda the wife of the king of the Spartans. The Milan production does not deny the psychological subtexts - the transformation of the girl Odette into a swan by being taken under Rothbart's huge wings in the prologue sets of black and white in the white acts and the most varied and colourful costumes in the merry ball scenes. The world of Prince Siegfried before the intrusion of Rothbart is characterised by Arcadian like pastel-colours and when Siegfried successfully fights him to free Odette from the spell the staging creates a most impressive lake scenery with roaring waters which acts as a transforming experience for Siegfried as well as Odette.Directed by Florence Clerc from Paris and Frederic Olivieri Artistic Director with the La Scala Ballet the Milan staging combines the best of both worlds in ballet: Russian classical school with the history of choreographic adaptation in the West. The filming underlines both aspects - in the expressive and soulful moments of the ballet the camera draws close to the dancers while it zooms out for the outstandingly symmetrical dancing of the swan scenes which the ballet has become so famous for.

  • La Sylphide [2004] La Sylphide | DVD | (30/05/2005) from £21.05  |  Saving you £3.94 (15.80%)  |  RRP £24.99

    The original choreography by Philippe Taglioni had changed ballet forever. It introduced constitutional features of Romantic Ballet as we know it. These include dance en pointe and the tutu which most certainly owe their omnipresence in ballet to the success of the 1832 staging of La Sylphide in Paris. Everything about the event combined to transform the ballet into a magical spectacle: the libretto inspired by romantic literature the bucolic exoticism of the village wedding festivities the dramatic realism of the Sylvan forest the eerie halo of the gas lights the aerial flights of the dancers the long diaphanous tulle costumes and the ballerina's variations en pointes. Through this work ballet master Philippe Taglioni managed to achieve a magical fusion between mime and artistic dance in a light and flowing style that gave birth to the first white act in the history of ballet.

  • Dance Theatre Of Harlem [1989] Dance Theatre Of Harlem | DVD | (28/02/2001) from £22.09  |  Saving you £2.90 (11.60%)  |  RRP £24.99

    The Dance Theatre of Harlem has long since entered the history books as the world's foremost black classical ballet company, founded in 1969 by School of American Ballet graduate Arthur Mitchell. In 1989, RM Arts and Danmarks Radio produced a studio repertoire of four of the company's most popular works, encapsulating the extraordinary mixture of grace and physicality that have captivated audiences globally. Quite possibly, too, they have attracted and inspired a different audience for whom the traditional trappings of classical ballet--tutus and tights--hold little appeal. Take "Troy Game", a short piece for six male dancers who tumble, fight, swagger, jostle and play in a joyful, gladiatorial celebration of male muscularity. It's ironic, sometimes challenging, and very funny. Or take "John Henry", an interpretation of the life of the legendary factory worker who resisted the increased automation of the steel industry but wore himself out in the process. These are ballets that draw heavily on folklore to create tension which is almost tangible. "Fall River Legend" is a reworking of the Lizzie Borden story (choreography by Agnes de Mille) and "The Beloved" is based on the story of an over-zealous minister who throttles his wife over a bible. It seems invidious to pick out individual artists but Virginia Johnson as Lizzie and Eddie J Shellman as John Henry embody the dramatic, character-driven dancing which is the foundation of the Dance Theatre of Harlem's reputation: exhilarating and compelling. On the DVD: PCM stereo-sound quality is adequate for the music, much of it derived from American folk tunes. The 4:3 picture format favours some fine camera work which moves in among the dancers. This is especially effective for the fast-moving "Troy Game" and the stylised settings of "Fall River Legend", where the choreography generates an electric air of personal meltdown around axe murderess Lizzie Borden. An important feature is an introduction to the Dance Theatre of Harlem by its founder, the genial Arthur Mitchell. The accompanying booklet provides a potted history. --Piers Ford

  • Prokofiev/Stravinsky/Struchkova/Vasiliev - Lt. Kije Prokofiev/Stravinsky/Struchkova/Vasiliev - Lt. Kije | DVD | (02/08/2007) from £22.75  |  Saving you £0.24 (1.00%)  |  RRP £22.99

  • Sleeping Beauty [1999] Sleeping Beauty | DVD | (05/04/2000) from £13.57  |  Saving you £3.74 (15.00%)  |  RRP £24.99

    Tchaikovsky's Sleeping Beauty is here transformed by the masterful contemporary choreographer Mats Ek into an allegory of repression, love and emotional maturity set in a bleak, stylised postmodern limbo which is both chilling and, just occasionally, bleakly humorous. Traditionalists may be flinching already, but this is a ballet which has always lent itself to this kind of treatment. Indeed, what many will think of as the "traditional" interpretation is in fact Diaghilev's forward-looking production of 1921, which had sets and costumes by Bakst and re-instrumentation by Stravinsky. Ek's Princess inhabits a world seemingly out of Fritz Lang, where Carabosse is a drug-dealing low-life and the Fairies are a gaggle of sneering girlies. Ek removes his work from the classical tradition to a large degree, but what goes in its place is a highly disciplined yet tactile and gut-wrenchingly emotive approach, conveying both the external and internal narratives of the work with unfailing conviction. --Roger Thomas

  • Firebird / Pulcinella [1982] Firebird / Pulcinella | DVD | (22/11/2000) from £14.66  |  Saving you £4.94 (19.80%)  |  RRP £24.99

    This release offers two short ballets by Stravinsky, The Firebird from 1909-10 and Pulcinella written a decade later, the former based on three Russian fairytales. This 1982 production by the Royal Danish Ballet was choreographed by Glen Tetley, for whom "The Firebird is a symbol of our innermost dreams and longing for freedom and true love". His interpretation has a dreamlike atmosphere, the designs echoing Jean Cocteau's La Belle et La Bete, the languorous, sensual dance evoking an understated fairytale eroticism in parallel with the shimmering score. Pulcinella comes from Stravinsky's neo-classical period and is inspired by the Italian commedia dell'arte of the 17th and 18th centuries. The story, an almost slapstick series of romantic confusions and complications amid the streets of Naples, is brought to life in this 1988 Scapino Ballet production with an enchanting mixture of dance and mime. The design is boldly colourful and Nils Christe's choreography filled with character and playful good humour. The music comes from an enthusiastic LSO under Claudio Abbado, with vocal soloists of the calibre of John Shirley-Quirk. The two works make an attractive programme. On the DVD: Other than a trailer for other Arthaus DVDs there are no special features. Reflecting the age of the material, the sound is unremarkable PCM stereo and the picture conventional 4:3. There is some audio distortion on Pulcinella, particularly on the vocal parts. The image has rich, vibrant colours and is reasonably detailed, but is also grainy and shows compression artefacts. Firebird has a smoother image, largely due to the focus being soft. The booklet contains useful notes and a full scene breakdown. The disc is encoded for regions 2 and 5. --Gary S. Dalkin

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