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  • Gael Force Dance [2002] Gael Force Dance | DVD | (29/07/2002) from £5.99  |  Saving you £0.00 (0.00%)  |  RRP £5.99

    Filmed in Belfast 'Gaelforce Dance' is a supercharged Irish dance spectacular in the vein of Riverdance. Sensual and dramatic it has brought over one million people to their feet worldwide with its energy grace passion and mix of original and contemporary Irish dance music.

  • Rudolf Nureyev's Don Quichotte [2002] Rudolf Nureyev's Don Quichotte | DVD | (03/03/2003) from £14.74  |  Saving you £N/A (N/A%)  |  RRP £24.99

    Don Quichotte, composed by Ludwig Minkus for the Bolshoi in 1869, was relatively unknown in the West until Nureyev's new choreography--which naturally gave him centre stage as Basile--was introduced at the Vienna State Opera in 1966. A later production in 1981 forms the basis for this 2002 success by the Paris Opera. Don Quichotte is in some ways a misnomer for the ballet. Rather than being the dominant character, here the beloved hero of Cervantes' original novel and tilter at windmills is a catalyst for the troublesome events which beset the love story of Basile and Kitri. The dream in which the knight encounters the queen of the dryads becomes a glittering fault in the narrative. But there is no doubting the fluid delights of the pas de deux between Basile (Manual Legris) and Kitri (the enchanting Aurélie Dupont), always literally several steps ahead of their would-be romance spoilers, which rather overshadow the pathos of Jean-Marie Didière's Quichotte. Nureyev's triumph, though, remains the teeming ensemble dances that reaffirm the close marriage between Minkus's score and the unfolding drama, here immeasurably enhanced by Alexandre Beliaev's Goya-esque designs. Ermanno Florio's musical direction keeps the pace light and busy. On the DVD: Don Quichotte is presented in 16:9 video aspect ratio with a choice of stereo, Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS (by far the best) soundtracks: the quality is all you'd expect of a standard modern television broadcast, although the subtleties of the theatrical lighting don't always shine through. Extras are limited to previews of other TDK releases. --Piers Ford

  • Swan Lake [1998] Swan Lake | DVD | (04/04/2000) from £14.66  |  Saving you £N/A (N/A%)  |  RRP £24.99

    A disaster at its 1877 premiere, the fantastical Swan Lake was revived in 1895 and has since established itself as the most popular ballet ever. Daniel Barenboim, conductor of this sumptuous performance at Berlin's Staatsoper Unter den Linden (of which he is Artistic Director and General Musical Director) says "Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake is a masterpiece that transcends its time!". The production uses choreography adapted and subtly modernised by Patrice Bart from the 1895 staging, which combined with elegant costume and set design results in a very traditional and thoroughly engaging evening's entertainment. Barenboim ensures that Tchaikovsky's score is a romantic delight, the ensemble dancing is highly polished, Oliver Matz passionately intense as Prince Siegfried, Steffi Scherzer making an enchanting fairytale heroine.On the DVD: The generally excellent anamorphically enhanced picture is almost completely free of grain, a slight soft focus in mid and long shots probably more attributable to the live production being shot on video rather than any fault in the transfer. Mastered in Dolby Digital 5.1, the sound mix is sensibly tied to the screen, the rear channels used to enhance live ambience, subtly establishing an effective sense of "being there". The only "special feature" is a plot synopsis, however, the superior booklet also provides a synopsis, notes on Tchaikovsky and the writing of the ballet, the performance and the performers. --Gary S. Dalkin

  • 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.

  • Don Quixote [1999] Don Quixote | DVD | (01/12/2003) from £10.89  |  Saving you £14.10 (56.40%)  |  RRP £24.99

    The legendary Rudolf Nureyev stars in this classic ballet.

  • Magic Of The Russian, The Ballet Magic Of The Russian, The Ballet | DVD | (11/10/2004) from £35.05  |  Saving you £4.94 (12.40%)  |  RRP £39.99

    A compilation of the ballet from Russia. Includes the complete 'The Nutcracker' 'The Firebird' 'Petrushka' 'Scheherazade' and shorter ballet extracts.

  • Dancer's Dream - The Great Ballets Of Rudolf Nureyev - Raymonda [1999] Dancer's Dream - The Great Ballets Of Rudolf Nureyev - Raymonda | DVD | (01/09/2003) from £N/A  |  Saving you £N/A (N/A%)  |  RRP £19.99

    The story of Raymonda takes place in the Middle-Ages and is set in the south of France. Raymonda is a young noblewoman waiting for the return of her fianc Jean de Brienne a knight who is on a crusade in the Holy Land. Meanwhile however the Saracen knight Abderachman appears on the scene and first of all pays her court but then uses force to try and make her bend to his will. Thanks to the warning and help of a ghost who is thought to be an ancestor and patron saint of her family

  • 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

  • Die Kameliendame - NDR Sinfonieorchester/Andre Presser/Chopin Die Kameliendame - NDR Sinfonieorchester/Andre Presser/Chopin | DVD | (11/06/2007) from £15.39  |  Saving you £1.60 (9.40%)  |  RRP £16.99

    Die KameliendameBallet By John NeumeierMusic By Frederic Chopin

  • Sylvia - Delibes And Neumeier [2005] Sylvia - Delibes And Neumeier | DVD | (03/01/2006) from £N/A  |  Saving you £N/A (N/A%)  |  RRP £24.99

    A performance by the Paris National Opera Company choreographed by John Neumeier. Recorded at the Opera National De Paris in March 2005.

  • 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

  • Mayerling [1994] Mayerling | DVD | (22/04/2002) from £N/A  |  Saving you £N/A (N/A%)  |  RRP £24.99

  • Bamboo Dream Bamboo Dream | DVD | (30/06/2003) from £6.63  |  Saving you £16.52 (66.10%)  |  RRP £24.99

    A 'blend' of ballet contemporary dance and Chinese dance which follows the seasons of the year. Choreography by Lin Hwai-Min. Cloud Gate Dance Theatre's extraordinary blend of contemporary dance ballet and traditional CHinese dance takes it influence from elements as diverse as calligraphy meditation and martial arts. Here in the choreography of artistic director Lin Hwai-Min age-old beliefs and stories are brought into contemporary and universal perspective taking inspiration from the bamboo seen in China as a symbol of integrity and epitome of elegance.

  • Delibes: Coppelia -- L'Ecole de Danse de l'Opera National de Paris [2001] Delibes: Coppelia -- L'Ecole de Danse de l'Opera National de Paris | DVD | (24/02/2003) from £N/A  |  Saving you £N/A (N/A%)  |  RRP £24.99

    Performed at the Opera National De Paris in April 2001 this production features Charline Giezendanner who was just sixteen at the time.

  • 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

  • Glazunov - Raymonda [1980] Glazunov - Raymonda | DVD | (26/07/2007) from £19.16  |  Saving you £3.83 (16.70%)  |  RRP £22.99

  • Joni Mitchell's The Fiddle and The Drum [DVD] [2006] Joni Mitchell's The Fiddle and The Drum | DVD | (05/01/2009) from £13.57  |  Saving you £5.20 (20.80%)  |  RRP £24.99

  • Ballet Classics Ballet Classics | DVD | (09/06/2008) from £5.95  |  Saving you £4.79 (32.00%)  |  RRP £14.99

    Includes: Romeo And Juliet: Featuring the one act version of this outstanding ballet designed and choreographed by Victor Smirnov-Golovanov and set to theTchaikovsky overture. Also featuring the superbly choreographed and exquisitely danced 'Death of Anna Karennina'. Don Quixote: The athletic grace and beauty of the ballet tells the delusional story of Don Quixote on this extraordinary DVD. Starring Nadzedah Pavlova Music by Minkus choreography adapted by Victor Smirnov-Golovanov. Based on the original by Petipa. The Carmen Suite: This stylish modern ballet set in a symbolic bullring captures the spirit and passion of Merimee's novella. Music by Rodion Schedrin and choreography by Victor Smirnov-Golovanov.

  • Johann Strauss Gala [1999] Johann Strauss Gala | DVD | (05/04/2000) from £6.27  |  Saving you £13.72 (68.60%)  |  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

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