Prokofiev's last ballet and based on a fairy tale from the Urals thus mixing classical dance with folk choreography. This production was performed at the Maryinsky Theatre St Petersburg in 1991. With leading ballerinas Anna Polikarpova and Aleksandr Gulyaev. Choreographed by Yuri Grigorovich.
Do you dream of becoming a ballerina a star dancer or just beginning classical ballet? Make your dream come true! With the help of superb archive pictures and Chloe a nine year old girl you will discover that ballet has precise terms and that to practice it you must learn the basics. This programme is divided into four main parts: The Principal Positions of the different parts of the body The Essential Movements Alignments The four Arabesques You will then find a ret
Pugny / Lacotte: The Pharoah's Daughter
Coppélia is Delibes fairy-tale ballet of 1870, here presented in a production based on the Royal Ballet's 1954 version with designs by Osbert Lancaster and choreography by the company's founder Ninette de Valois. In a small European town Dr Coppélius (Luke Heydon) makes life-sized mechanical dolls. The whimsical tale unfolds as Swanilda (Leanne Benjamin) suspects that her fiancée Franz (Carlos Acosta) is falling in love with the enigmatic Coppélia (Leana Palmer). Everything is suitably magical, from the beautiful sets and costumes to the gorgeously melodic score. There is a sense of romantic playfulness throughout, and of course almost two hours of wonderful dancing, making this a treat to place beside Swan Lake and Giselle. Given live on 19 February 2000, this was the first live full-length ballet from Royal Opera House to be broadcast since 1968.On the DVD: Fortunately the DVD proves an object lesson in how to present ballet on the digital format. There is an introduction by Deborah Dull, principal ballerina with the Royal Ballet, a short but interesting profile of designer Osbert Lancaster, and a nine-minute film "Covent Garden Tales--The Ballet Moves" which gives a look behind the scenes at the Royal Ballet's new home. For a live production, the 16:9 anamorphically enhanced widescreen picture is simply superb, with excellent Dolby Digital 5.1 sound. With even the special features delivered with 16:9 anamorphic enhancement this is a high-quality production in every respect. Encoded for regions two and four. --Gary S Dalkin
Enjoy a full length performance of the world's favourite ballet performed by stars of the Bolshoi Ballet and the Kirov Ballet of St Petersburg. Set to the celbrated music of Tchaikovsky this enduring love story tells the tale of Prince Siegfried who falls in love with the enchanted swan princess Odette. Condemned by the evil sorcerer Von Rothbart the curse can be broken only by true love which would also destroy the evil magician. With the Grand Corps De Ballet from the Company of the National Ballet of St Petersburg dancing to the choreography of Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov.
This double bill from one of the world's leading choreographers offers two of his major works, danced by Paris Opera Ballet. The dreamlike Songe de Medee, with music by Mauro Lanza and freely based on the Greek myth of Medea, explores a woman's soul, portraying her, paradoxically, as a tender loving mother and a tormented victim who sacrifices everything, including her children, for love.
Danced here in the adaptation by the Russian composer Rodion Schtschhedrin, Georges Bizet's opera Carmen lasts some 50 minutes, only about one third of the original's playing time. The Swedish Cullberg Ballet Company, choreographed by Mats Ek, is a first-rate ensemble, the girls here dressed in colourful Latin style dresses, the men in fashionable dark grey. The set is penny plain with one chief ornament, a large ball that becomes the focus of some acrobatic dancing. Carmen, danced by a lady of greater age than her José, smokes a cigar: he carries the flowers. Escamillo (Yvan Auzely), dressed in traditional toreador's garb, caps them both in terms of dress, style and movement. Whether the choreographer was wise in creating one role in which the same dancer portrays three characters-José's mother, his girl back home Micaela and Muerte--is a moot point, particularly since the emphasis in his conception is on Don José having to make a decision between his dear old mother, his childhood sweetheart and the world outside. One would have trouble working out who's who without resort to the booklet. Ek's choreography, forged from a number of influences of whom the flying figures at one point suggest Bob Fosse, brings home José's inner conflict, by having him at one point going into spasm in a series of jerky movements. Other gyratory movements within the ensemble are characteristic of his style. The orchestra consists of strings and percussion, the latter over-amplified on the soundtrack to a point that would become wearisome on repeated showings. The lack of colour in the production will not suit all tastes but for those who enjoy a contemporary slant on an old story--such as Matthew Bourne offered in his modern-dress dance version The Car Man--Ek's production offers a valid alternative view. --Adrian Edwards
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
Enjoy a full length performance of one of the world's favourite ballets Swan Lake performed by stars of the Bolshoi Ballet. Set to the celbrated music of Tchaikovsky this enduring love story tells the tale of Prince Siegfried who falls in love with the enchanted swan princess Odette. Condemned by the evil sorcerer Von Rothbart the curse can be broken only by true love which would also destroy the evil magician.
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.
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
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.
Carmen was first set as a ballet by the famed Russian choreographer Petipa in 1845. It was based on the Merimee novella and premiered in Madrid some thirty years before Bizet's opera was first heard. Subsequent versions followed in the late 19th and early 20th centuries some using and some discarding Bizet's music. In 1949 Roland Petit created a successful vehicle for himself and his wife Zizi Jeanmaire using the Bizet score.Maya Plisetskaya always dreamed of dancing the role of Carmen and had approached Shostakovich for a score. He demurred out of respect for Bizet's celebrated opera. It was eventually Plisetskaya's husband Rodion Shchedrin who agreed to provide the music after seeing his wife and the choreographer Alberto Alonso working on some choreographic ideas. His Carmen Suite ballet based on Bizet and scored only for strings and percussion instruments was a perfect complement to Alonso's choreography and in its theatricality a showcase for Plisetskaya's considerable dramatic gifts. Shchedrin's Carmen Suite one of the darkest settings of Merimee's tragic story deeply symbolic and overtly sensual premiered at the Bolshoi Ballet on April 20 1967.
Visual Melodies is the dawn of a new era in Egyptian Dance Entertainment and Educational DVDs.- Clearly defined menus providing you with easy access to the parts of the DVD.- Giving you a special section where you can watch the three routines consecutively or one by one. Each dance routine is presented from three different camera angles: front left and right camera angles.
George Balanchine is regarded as one of ballet's greatest choregraphers and one of the great artists of the 20th Century. He had a huge impact on the cultural history of New York City. This DVD is the first half of a two disc set featuring Balanchine's best known works performed by New York City Ballet and released as part of this year's George Balanchine Cenetenary Celebrations. Features: Tzigane / The Four Temperaments / Emerald And Diamonds / Jewels / Stravinsky Violin Concerto
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