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
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
Nederlands Dans Theater Celebrates Jiri Kylian.Bella Figura - Nederlands Dans Theater I.Sleepless - Nederlands Dans Theater II.Birth-day Nederlands Dans Theater III.
Stravinsky: Pulcinella (Neville Marriner)
The original version of Pulcinella was choreographed by Massine with designs by Picasso in 1920. Like the original Richard Alston's greatly-admired version of the complicated love-story has a Neapolitan setting and is based on traditional Commedia dell'Arte characters. British choreographer Ashley Page used the suite from Stravinsky's L'Histoire du Soldat for his ballet Soldat - the traditional folk tale of the soldier and the devil in a battle of wits for the soldier's soul.
The Paris Opera Ballet present an unforgettable performance of Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake.
Chloe's dream is coming true. The ballerina of her imagination has magically appeared and is going to introduce her to classical ballet. Chloe is going to start her training by taking part in a dance lesson. This programme is divided into four main parts: Barre Exercises Centre Work The Enchainement The Reverence (Acknowledgement) You will then find a retrospective - The development of classical ballet up to the neo-classical style. At the end of the DVD you will discove
A 1968 made for television version of The Nutcracker performed at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden choreographed and produced by as well as starring Rudolf Nureyev and the Royal Ballet. Music by Tchaikovsky.
America's leading ballet soloists display highlights from their repertoire.
Jose Limon (1908-1972) was a Mexican-American choreographer who continues to be regarded as one of the modern dance world's seminal creative artists known for his intense dramatic presence and the theatricality and musicality of his dances. Here for the first time on video are three of his most famous works with the original casts filmed in their entirety for the Canadian Broadcasting Company in the 1950s.THE MOORS PAVANE (1949) is generally considered to be one of the great masterworks in the modern repertory. In the form of a Renaissance dance Limon destills the legend of Othello into a taut one-act human drama with music by Henry Pucell. Joining Limon are his close collaborators Lucas Hoving Pauline Koner and Betty Jones. Telecast date: March 6 1955.THE TRAITOR (1954) was Limon's response to the McCarthy hearings and the climate of betrayal that haunted the arts and entertainment fields during this period. Against a music score of violence passion and tenderness (by Gunther Schuller) the tragedy of Judas is portrayed as if it were taking place in modern times. Telecast date: October 23 1955.THE EMPEROR JONES (1956) is based upon the play by Eugene O'Neill wherein a fugitive from a chain gang sets himself up as the ruler of an island domain. He becomes a tyrant and his mistreated subjects eventually rebel and hunt him down. For this dance Limon commissioned a musical score from Heitor Villa-Lobos. Telecast date: March 13 1957.
Narcissus features three of Norman McLaren's finest works. Narcissus: In Narcissus Norman McLaren's balletic interpretation of the Greek myth dancers enact the tragedy of the beautiful youth who condemns himself to a trapped existence through excessive self-love. Visually stunning the film is a compendium of McLaren techniques developed over a lifetime of experimentation. Film dance and music are skillfully merged to celebrate the ancient myth and its timeless significance
Strauss: La Chauve-Souris
Victor Hugo's beautiful story of love and death is here transformed into a stunning piece of choreography starring Paris National Opera etoiles Isabelle Guerin and Nicolas Le Riche. The ballet features a score by film composer Maurice Jarre and costumes designed by the legendary Yves Saint Laurent. The ballet created in 1965 at the Paris Opera has frequently been revived. Now thirty-six years later with its clear and incisive language its poetic pas de deux and passionate trios and the staging which makes the crowd scenes so intense Roland Petit's Notre-Dame de Paris has become a modern classic.
Recorded live at The Adelaide Festival Theatre this ballet tells the story of Manon a young woman who falls in love with Des Grieux a penniless student.
This DVD features a selection of stunning performances from one of the world's leading ballet companies. Extracts from four of The Royal Ballet's most popular works are featured here including Tchaikovsky's magical ballet The Nutcracker and the delightful comedy La Fille Mal Garde choreographed by Sir Frederick Ashton. There are also highlights from Prokofiev's Romeo and Juliet and from Manon two ballets choreographed by Sir Kenneth MacMillan who created so many powerful works
A compilation of the ballet from Russia. Includes the complete 'The Nutcracker' 'The Firebird' 'Petrushka' 'Scheherazade' and shorter ballet extracts.
This is a Nutcracker with a difference. Tchaikovsky's most popular ballet ("Dance of the sugar plum fairy", "Waltz of the flowers" etc.) undergoes a transformation, interpreted by the French choreographer Maurice Bejart, from Christmas fairy story into a tale of a boy who dreams he loves his dead mother. The boy erects an enormous statue to her that becomes the focus of the production in Act 1 rather than the traditional Christmas tree. Maurice Bejart's memoir of his early years includes Goethe's embodiment of evil, Mephisto, recalled from his father's books and the figure of Marius Petipa, the original choreographer of The Nutcracker (both are danced by Gil Roman). For in this interpretation the boy, after failing to bring the statue to life, decides to become a dancer. In Act 2 the Spanish dance becomes a vehicle for a toreador, another of Bejart's childhood passions, but most striking is the interpolation of a French dance in this sequence of national dances to the tune of "Under Paris Skies" played on the accordion by Yvette Horner. Bejart's new concept might seem a shade self indulgent on paper, but only in the scene where the boy hugs his mother's statue in an Oedipus-like embrace does a moment of excess intrude. His imaginative choreography, the superb dancing by his Ballet Lausanne and the rhythmically lilting playing of the Orchestra Colonne under Edmon Colomer all give undiluted pleasure. On the DVD: The picture quality from the Chatelet theatre in Paris is top-notch, catching the lighting effects and colourful costumes with excellent definition. Several high angle crane shots reveal the deft ensemble work of this company. In the accompanying special feature we go behind the scenes of the production to meet Bejart and his collaborators. The long service many of them have given offers testament to the corporate spirit manifested in the dancing. Those looking for an alternative view of the traditional rendition of Tchaikovsky's ballet will not be disappointed by the artistry on display here. --Adrian Edwards
Celebrate the lives of three of Australia's greatest ballerina's - Lucette Aldous Marilyn Rowe and Marilyn Jones - in this remarkable documentary. All three were prima ballerina's in the 1970s during the golden years of The Australian Ballet when Peggy Van Praagh was Artistic Director. Three Ballerinas uncovers the world inhabited by these extraordinary women as they discuss their careers their featured roles and the sacrifices required to make it to the top in the dance world.
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