This performance of George Balanchine's ballet A Midsummer Night's Dream was filmed live at Sadler's Wells Theatre, London, in February 1999 and won the award for "Best Television Realisation of a Stage Production" at IMZ Dance Screen. The music is from Mendelssohn's youthful overture plus later theatre music, and five other pieces by the composer all selected by the great Russian choreographer Balanchine in 1962. In a fine ensemble cast, Paul Gibson as Oberon and Patricia Barker as Titania are suitably aloof, at least until the latter dances with the ass Bottom (Timothy Lynch) in a highlight of touching comedy. After all the quarrelsome entanglements of the first act, the finale ensures celebration and richly deserved happy endings all round. The simple sets have a picturesque charm, the costumes a fairytale glamour and the large cast, including many children, dance with flair and enthusiasm; this is clearly one production where everyone was having a fine time. In fact it is rather more enjoyable than Hollywood's A Midsummer Night's Dream of the same year. Ballet aficionados may also want to explore the BBC's wonderful Coppélia (2000). On the DVD: There are no special features on the disc, but the 12-page booklet is entirely in English and is well presented, offering track and cast lists, a synopsis and notes on Balanchine, Mendelssohn and the creative talents and directors of the Pacific Northwest Ballet. The sound is atmospheric--Dolby Digital 5.0--and the anamorphically enhanced 16:9 image is good, though slightly soft, and does occasionally reveal some compression artefacting. In defiance of regional encoding regulations, not only is this DVD region free, but includes the normal PAL UK television system programme material on one side and on the reverse includes the same content in NTSC format, suitable for American playback. Anyone curious to see if one format is better will find that the UK PAL transfer contains just a little more picture detail. --Gary S Dalkin
A remarkable showcase of choreographic high points from some of the great ballets performed by members of Russia's famous Kirov Ballet. Many of the excerpts such as Petrushka and Brber's Adagio are choreographed by Oleg Vinogradov who has been Director of The Kirov Ballet since 1977.
'Giselle' is a beautiful and haunting ballet a romantic tale of innocent love and betrayal. Deceived by Prince Albrecht the peasant maid Giselle loses her reason and dies- only to become one of the wilis ghostly apparitions who lure unsuspecting wayfarers to dance until they die of exhaustion.
An innovative attempt to reconfigure dance for the digital age, Evidentia is a fantasy on the idea of movement put together by a number of directors and choreographers under the guidance of French ballerina Sylvie Guillem, consisting of five separate films. "Solo" is a study in improvised gesture, virtuosically danced by William Forsythe. "Blue Yellow" dwells on Guillem's poetic dance measures in a yellow studio, looking inward from the confines of a blue room. "Smoke" explores relationships in highly abstract terms, though the emotion-laden narrative unfolded by Guillem and Niklas Ek makes for truly "visceral visuals". "Movement" is even more oblique--indeed, its montage of documentary-cum-movie footage (everything from Paris riots to Buster Keaton) and studio trickery make for a film around rather than about movement. "In the Wind, There is Someone" is, again, a video composition rather than a dance work, the Paris Opera's scenery store providing an intriguing and characterful backdrop. The films are connected by Guillem's often fanciful narration, with rehearsal sequences evoking a Chanel commercial. On the DVD: Evidentia comes in Linear-PCM Stereo with English commentary only, while the 4:3 picture format switches between black and white and colour with vivid immediacy. The booklet contains a background feature in five European languages. --Richard Whitehouse
Herold: La Fille Mal Gardee (Lanchbery Wiener Symphoniker)
Every young girl loves ballet! It's every young girl's dream to be a ballet dancer and this magical DVD will show them how. Instructional and enjoyable this delightful production contains sections for those who want to practice ballet and home and for those who just wish to watch!
A performance of the Edouard Marie Ernest Delvedez and Ludwig Minkus ballet with the original choreography recreated by Pierre Lacotte.
This DVD realease features a fine quartet of ballets recorded live at the Metroplitan Opera House New York in June 1984. This mixed bill shows off both the lyrical and the virtuoso qualities of this famous comapny. Les Sylphides: Chopin's stunning one act 'romantic reverie' was premiered by Diaghilev's Ballet Russes in 1909 with a cast including Anna Pavlova and Vaslav Nijinsky. Choreographer Michael Fokine revived this productionfor American Ballet Theatre's opening perfor
Ballet in Three Acts and a Prologue.
The Royal Ballet performs a spellbinding version of the classic fairy tale about a handsome prince who awakens an enchanted princess with a kiss.
The Kirov Ballet Celebrates Nijinsky.Nikolai Rimski-Korsakov - SheherazadeCarl Maria von Weber - Le Spectre De La RoseAlexander Borodin - The Polovtsian DancesIgor Stravinsky - Firebird
Featuring The Sleeping Beauty Ballet performed by the Het National Ballet recorded at the Het Muziektheater in Amsterdam.
Frederick Ashton's The Dream at the American Ballet Theatre. Based on A Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare.
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.
A magical new version of a much loved classic. Filmed in The Mariinsky Theatre St.Petersburg where it was first performed in 1892. Following Decca's beautiful Swan Lake comes another outstanding production on DVD from the Mariinsky Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker yet a Nutcracker with a twist. The 'adult' Nutcracker. Worlds away from the traditional and warm versions popular at Christmas this unconventional production reinterpreted by Russian emigre and world-renowned avantgarde artist Mikhail Shemiakin is surreal and at times disturbing making this DVD an unusual but essential part of any ballet lover's collection. Shemiakin also designs the eye-catching costumes and startling staging. Two of the Mariinsky's young stars Leonid Sarafanov and Irina Golub dance the main roles. Despite the startling aspects of this production none of the spectacle and awe-inspiring quality of their dancing is lost. Valery Gergiev conducts a complete and un-cut version of Tchaikovsky's popular and much-loved score.
Jean-Christophe Maillot's version of the popular classical ballet The Nutcracker recorded in the Festival Tent of Fontvieille in 1999 is an innovative interpretation of the well-known subject. It was Maillot's brainchild to transpose the ballet into the world of circus while keeping the basic tenet where the real world blends with the fantasy world of childhood. Set in two acts the ballet reaches its climax in the second act: the world of circus then opens up to little Marie with a series of funny touching and poetic scenes that will delight and enchant both the young and old.
An enchanting performance of the ballet 'The Nutcracker'; music by Peter Tchaikovsky filmed at the Slovak National Theatre.
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