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  • Fame [1980] Fame | DVD | (22/09/2003) from £3.19  |  Saving you £10.00 (71.50%)  |  RRP £13.99

    This early effort by director Alan Parker is lively but jagged as it follows four students through their years in the New York City High School for the Performing Arts. Rather predictably, the kids fall into four clearly defined stereotypes: brazen, gay and hypersensitive, prickly, shy. Fame makes up for a disjointed presentation with a lot of heart and a great soundtrack (for which it won two Academy Awards). The hopes and disappointments, failures and successes of these teens are fodder for emotional scenes and exuberant dancing in the streets. It also turned out to be the first of many imitators and spawned a popular television series. (It was the breakout film for the short-lived feature-film career of Irene Cara, who sang the title song.) --Rochelle O'Gorman

  • Matthew Bourne's Nutcracker Matthew Bourne's Nutcracker | DVD | (22/12/2003) from £10.59  |  Saving you £7.40 (41.10%)  |  RRP £17.99

    One of his earliest pieces of choreography, Matthew Bourne's Nutcracker is also one of his most charming and imaginative. Moving the Christmas party from a comfortable middle-class home to a Dickensian orphanage whose proprietors starve their wards to spoil their own children, it then shifts to a wonderland where sweets and sugar are a none-too-subtle metaphor for sexual awakening. In both worlds, Clara (Etta Murfitt) has to struggle to be heroine, or even a participant, in her own story and her struggle for the muscular, sexy Alan Vincent with her bitchy rival Sugar (Soranne Curtin) is not resolved until the last moments of the ballet. Along the way, Bourne finds charming and sexy ways to make all of the well-known genre moments of the score fresh and new--the Chinese dancers are a bunch of daffy marshmallow girls in pink, for example, whose dance is all strutting cuteness. There is a truly stunning transformation scene at the beginning of the waltz, which like much else in the score becomes a complex ensemble in which all the character dancers have their own things to do. Bourne's Nutcracker has become a popular favourite, and deservedly so. On the DVD: Matthew Bourne's Nutcrackercomes to DVD with no additional features. It is presented in a 16:9 anamorphic ratio and has sumptuous sound in both Dolby Digital 5.1 and L-PCM Stereo that does full justice to the Royal Philharmonic's eloquent performance of the score. --Roz Kaveney

  • The Nutcracker [1985] The Nutcracker | DVD | (23/02/1998) from £10.59  |  Saving you £7.40 (41.10%)  |  RRP £17.99

    If Christmas is an elusive, childhood state of mind, Peter Wright's 1985 Royal Ballet production of The Nutcracker, recorded at Covent Garden, is just the thing to recapture it. The delicately symmetrical choreography of Wright and Lev Ivanov ensures that the stage is constantly filled with the mesmerising enchantment demanded by Tchaikovsky's perennial favourite. The ballet's success will always lie, in part, in its familiarity and its intrinsic status as Christmas entertainment, but the best productions, like Wright's, give equal weight to the dark forces of Hoffmann's original tale, which must be overcome before good and innocence can prevail. Here, the sadness of Drosselmeyer is a potent thread in the ballet, resolved in a moving, well-judged moment as the curtain falls. There is real magic in the dancing, from Julie Rose's charming, constantly involved Clara to the irresistible images of the divertissements. But rightly, the laurels go to Lesley Collier as the Sugar Plum Fairy and Anthony Dowell as the Prince for a pas de deux that seems to hover above the stage without making contact. And, like Wright's production, the splendid sets of Julia Trevelyan Oman--combining traditional Victorian Christmas images, a delicate filigree flower garden and pre-Raphaelite angels--steer the right side of sentimentality. On the DVD: The Nutcracker has no extras on this DVD, although the booklet provides adequate production notes. The 4:3 format also provides adequate picture quality for a mid-1980s television production, although no amount of colour adjustment improves a slightly washed-out look. The sound, Linear PCM Stereo, makes the orchestra sound robust and solid at the occasional expense of subtlety. --Piers Ford

  • Nutcracker: the Motion Picture [DVD] Nutcracker: the Motion Picture | DVD | (16/11/2015) from £7.99  |  Saving you £8.00 (50.00%)  |  RRP £15.99

    The much-loved ballet for all the family is brought to the screen in this classic and faithful adaptation designed by author and artist Maurice Sendak (Where the Wild Things Are). Never has this timeless Christmas story looked so magical It is Christmas Eve and guests are arriving at the Stahlbaum home. When Clara's godfather arrives he brings her a gift - an intruiging toy solider nutcracker which she instantly falls in love with. That night, as the house sleeps, she creeps downstairs to take another look at her present. As the cloch strikes midnight she suddenly finds herself transported to an enchanted world.

  • Michael Flatley's Feet Of Flames Michael Flatley's Feet Of Flames | DVD | (04/05/1999) from £4.99  |  Saving you £8.50 (53.20%)  |  RRP £15.99

    An expanded and more polished version of Lord of the Dance, Feet of Flames was recorded at an outdoor performance in London's Hyde Park. While much of the material is familiar to Flatley fans, the production is superior in every way. It's better photographed and the editing is less frenetic. The individual segments are sharper, more self-assured, as is Flatley, who also produced and directed this version. (He also demonstrates his talents as a flutist--maybe he should call himself Lord of the Renaissance.) The outdoor setting also makes the show feel less like a Vegas act, though the proceedings have about as much relation to their Celtic folk roots as the Broadway musical Cats has to the TS Eliot children's poems on which it was based. --Richard Natale

  • The Car Man [2001] The Car Man | DVD | (24/12/2001) from £15.12  |  Saving you £2.28 (12.70%)  |  RRP £17.99

    This latest dance version of Carmen comes courtesy of choreographer Matthew Bourne, who has devised his own scenario of Bizet’s opera set in a garage-diner in the American mid-West, circa 1960. The Car Man toured the UK in 2000 finishing with a four-month run to packed houses at the Old Vic. This film treatment details all the excitement of the occasion. The cinematography assists in capturing the atmosphere of Bourne’s treatment--film noir with allusions to Hitchcock--through employment of chiaroscuro. The use of the split-screen technique also enhances the cinematic feel. The music sounds seductive and full-bodied, befitting the new story line (Bourne calls it an “auto-erotic thriller”) in which an enigmatic stranger, Luca, walks into town seducing both Lana (Carmen) and Angelo (Don Jose). A swarthy individual, Luca looks an unlikely dancer until his first solo galvanises the company. The single stage set adapts into eight different permutations, taking us from diner through nightclub and prison and then out on the road in a cinematic finale where the Chevrolet cars of the period are destroyed in a pile up. The period look is further enhanced with the girls in tight-waisted colourful frocks and the men in Brando-esque T-shirts and jeans. The dance ensembles are an extraordinarily versatile group: classical, jazz, modern and flamenco seem natural expressions of their body movements. Will Kemp deserves a special mention for his sensitivite portrayal of Angelo. On the DVD: the soundtrack comes in a choice of stereo or 5.1. surround sound where the subtle employment of percussion instruments in the orchestration makes a telling effect. A picture gallery of 25 stills from the production and a 14-minute interview with Bourne expressing his initial doubt about doing another version of Carmen are further assets. He needn’t have had a qualm. This Car Man is destined to give much pleasure. --Adrian Edwards

  • Ballet Class for Beginners [1986] Ballet Class for Beginners | DVD | (07/07/2008) from £13.98  |  Saving you £N/A (N/A%)  |  RRP £13.99

  • Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away [DVD] Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away | DVD | (15/07/2013) from £3.80  |  Saving you £14.40 (72.00%)  |  RRP £19.99

    Far more than circuses featuring impressive acrobatics, Cirque du Soleil's live and filmed shows are powerful presentations that seamlessly combine daring acrobatic feats, intense artistry, and simple, yet emotionally rich stories. Worlds Away is a stunning compilation of acts from seven Las Vegas shows: O, Kà, Mystère, Criss Angel Believe, Zumanity, Viva Elvis, and The Beatles Love. The disparate acts are woven together by a poignantly romantic story of a young woman who falls into an ethereal world searching for a man she's only glimpsed, but is destined to love. The film showcases everything from synchronised water ballet to martial arts-inspired combat, aerial silk acrobatics, contortionism, and the frightening Wheel of Death. Each impeccably choreographed presentation is absolutely breathtaking in its beauty and its seeming defiance of the laws of the human body's capabilities. Viewers will leave the film feeling awed, uplifted, and completely inspired. --Tami Horiuchi

  • Aria [DVD] [1987] Aria | DVD | (15/06/2009) from £6.69  |  Saving you £13.30 (66.50%)  |  RRP £19.99

    Conceived developed and produced by Don Boyd Aria is a completely unique film both structurally and also in the sheer scale of the production itself. Ten of the world's most creative and celebrated directors were each given the same brief; to choose a piece of opera music and then present a visual interpretation of that music. The result is by turns erotic violent funny and poignant. The stills photographers assigned to each were equally celebrated among them David Bailey Annie Leibovitz Lord Snowdon Terry O'Neill and John Swannell. The impressive cast list includes John Hurt Tilda Swinton Bridget Fonda and Elizabeth Hurley Teresa Russell. A remarkable collective achievement Aria is a cinematic experience like no other.

  • Michael Flatley's Lord of the Dance: Dangerous Games [DVD] Michael Flatley's Lord of the Dance: Dangerous Games | DVD | (24/11/2014) from £4.79  |  Saving you £15.20 (76.00%)  |  RRP £19.99

    Michael Flatley's Lord of the Dance: Dangerous Games - a spectacular new staging of the traditional masterpiece; a magical adventure of sight and sound that transports its audience to a mythical time and place lifting the spirits and capturing the hearts of all who experience it. Based on Irish folklore this classic tale of Good vs. Evil expressed through the universal language of dance has thrilled audience's worldwide and catapulted Irish dance to a new dimension and unprecedented worldwide acclaim. With all the visceral precision and thrills of the original Lord Of The Dance: Dangerous Games features new staging new costumes and choreography and 40 of the world's most outstanding young performers directed by Michael Flatley. With new music by composer Gerard Fahy this latest iteration combines the best of tradition with all the excitement of new music and dance!

  • Verdi - La Traviata Verdi - La Traviata | DVD | (12/11/2007) from £15.39  |  Saving you £1.60 (9.40%)  |  RRP £16.99

    Acclaimed film and stage director Franco Zeffirelli spared no costs to reproduce the opulent setting of Violetta Val''ry''s happiness and downfall. The unparalleled musical quality of the production is guaranteed by some of the world''s most famous musicians: The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra of New York conductor James Levine and singers Teresa Stratas and Placido Domingo. As Violetta soprano Teresa Stratas strikes the right balance between emotional grandeur and physical weakness. And with his meltingly lyrical voice and magnetic stage presence Placido Domingo embodies Alfredo Germont with a rarely seen passion.

  • The Mikado The Mikado | DVD | (22/08/2011) from £11.63  |  Saving you £5.34 (31.40%)  |  RRP £16.99

    Based on the stage production by Anthony Besch.

  • Cavalleria Rusticana - Mascagni / Pagliacci - Leoncavallo [1983] Cavalleria Rusticana - Mascagni / Pagliacci - Leoncavallo | DVD | (09/05/2005) from £12.63  |  Saving you £1.36 (9.70%)  |  RRP £13.99

    The great Italian stage and screen director Franco Zeffirelli made these widely acclaimed films both starring Placido Domingo with Georges Pretre conducting the Orchestra and Chorus of La Scala. Pagliacci which co-stars the great singing actress Teresa Stratas brought Zeffirelli the coveted Emmy as Best Director in the category of Classical Music Programming. Cavalleria was filmed on location in Sicily which adds immeasurably to the power and atmosphere of this timeless story of love honour justice and violence.

  • Rigoletto - Verdi Rigoletto - Verdi | DVD | (09/08/2004) from £13.30  |  Saving you £3.69 (21.70%)  |  RRP £16.99

    Opera in three acts produced live at the Metropolitan Opera on 7 November 1977.

  • Puccini: La Boheme -- Royal Opera House/Gardelli Puccini: La Boheme -- Royal Opera House/Gardelli | DVD | (21/08/2000) from £10.59  |  Saving you £7.40 (41.10%)  |  RRP £17.99

    This full-blooded 1982 performance of Puccini's most-loved opera demonstrates just how much drive and powerful emotion can make up for a certain lack of subtlety. Cotrubas' Mimi is entirely moving in both joy and death, while never quite feeling as thoroughly frail as some of her quieter rivals; stronger tenor voices than Neil Shicoff's have recorded the role, and yet he has a Romantic passion and a dignity that many of his rivals fail to bring to the role. That under-rated singer Gwynne Howell is especially moving in Colline's farewell to his cloak--one of those perfect little showcase sections Puccini sometimes gives to minor parts. Marilyn Zschau's Musetta is broad and comic and yet somehow includes the audience in the glorious joke that her sexuality is for her; when Thomas Allen sings, to her waltz theme, of youth that is not yet dead, his ardour transcends realism. Gardelli knew this score in his bones--the production bounces along from comedy to tears to eroticism to tragedy and neither cast nor orchestra miss a single one of Puccini's wonderful touches of emotional exploitation. --Roz Kaveney

  • An Evening With The Royal Ballet [1960] An Evening With The Royal Ballet | DVD | (26/03/2007) from £6.80  |  Saving you £3.19 (31.90%)  |  RRP £9.99

    Filmed on stage in London featuring extracts from Swan Lake Ondine and The Firebird.

  • Verdi: La Traviata -- Royal Opera House Verdi: La Traviata -- Royal Opera House | DVD | (12/03/2001) from £7.97  |  Saving you £2.62 (18.70%)  |  RRP £13.99

    Angela Gheorghiu's stunning debut as Violetta from the Royal Opera House Covent Garden it was this performance that turned the Romanian soprano into an international sensation. The occasion also marked Sir George Solti's first performances of Verdi's ever-popular tragedy. World-class performances by opera's finest - Frank Lopardo (Alfredo) Leo Nucci (Germont) Leah-Marian Jones (Flora) and Gillian Knight (Annina). With Richard Eyre's dramatic staging Bob Crowley's elegant strik

  • Fonteyn And Nureyev - The Perfect Partnership [1985] Fonteyn And Nureyev - The Perfect Partnership | DVD | (02/07/2001) from £7.32  |  Saving you £8.67 (54.20%)  |  RRP £15.99

    Rudolf Nureyev and Margot Fonteyn created one of the most memorable partnerships in ballet history. This documentary features clips of the dynamic duo's most popular performances including the pas de deux from ""Le Corsaire"" and ""Swan Lake"" and excerpts from ""Romeo and Juliet"" and ""Les Sylphides"".

  • Puccini: Tosca -- 2002 Film Version Puccini: Tosca -- 2002 Film Version | DVD | (23/06/2003) from £8.99  |  Saving you £5.20 (20.80%)  |  RRP £24.99

    Benoit Jacquot's filmed Tosca treads a fine line between operatic staginess and cinematic contrivance. As per the libretto, each act takes place in a single setting, but with the singers here miming to a pre-recorded soundtrack. Jacquot freely reminds us of the conceit with cutaways to the recording session itself--revealing conductor, orchestra and soloists at work--thus a bridge is made between the on-screen action and the music-making itself, and the inherent duality of any opera production is laid refreshingly bare. The same cannot be said for the director's decision to interpolate spoken dialogue over the music in key places--a distraction not an enhancement. Angela Gheorghiu and Roberto Alagna are glamorous and attractive enough to make the most of their Hollywood-style close-ups; their singing easily bears similar close scrutiny--as anyone who owns the CD soundtrack album will surely already know. If Alagna lacks a little power as Cavaradossi on record, his charismatic screen presence happily compensates; Gheorghiu is both vocally and physically almost ideal as Tosca. Ruggero Raimondi's Scarpia completes an outstanding trio, and in the pit (or, rather, in the studio) conductor Antonio Pappano handles the drama of Puccini's score without missing a single nuance. Both musically and visually, then, this is a Tosca to treasure. On the DVD: Tosca on disc looks vibrant in this warm, widescreen picture accompanied by a DTS 5.1 soundtrack. Three filmed interviews--with Gheorghiu, Pappano and Jacquot--provide some insight into the making of this production. --Mark Walker

  • Otello Otello | DVD | (11/04/2005) from £5.99  |  Saving you £9.20 (57.50%)  |  RRP £15.99

    Internationally renowned director Franco Zeffirelli brings Verdi's masterpiece to the screen. Based on Shakespeare's enduring classic 'Otello' is an epic tragedy of jealousy and betrayal. When the scheming Iago (Diaz) believes Otello (Domingo) has overlooked him for promotion he wreaks a subtle and terrible revenge on his master convincing him that his young wife Desdemona (Katia Ricciarelli) is unfaithful. Otello realises the deception too late spiralling into madness and murd

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