Filmed on stage in London featuring extracts from Swan Lake Ondine and The Firebird.
This latest dance version of Carmen comes courtesy of choreographer Matthew Bourne, who has devised his own scenario of Bizets 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 Bournes 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 neednt have had a qualm. This Car Man is destined to give much pleasure. --Adrian Edwards
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"".
Three features from choreographer Christopher Bruce including: 'Silence Is The End Of Our Song (1983)' 'Rooster (1994)' and 'Swansong (1989)'.
The is an essential visual reference of all classical ballet movements performed by some of the greatest names in Ballet. Teachers and students will find this the most innovative and dynamic tool ever developed for learning and studying the movements of ballet. 4 1/2 hours on two DVDs this set includes over 800 variations in Russian French and Cecchetti styles. Many of the movements are shown in slow motion with multiple camera angles and voice-over narrative description. This programme demonstrates the complete language of ballet: Positions and Directions Barre Linking Steps Center Practice Pirouettes Adage Allegro Batterie Pointe Musical Enchainements. For easy reference a printed index of all the movements and variations performed is included. This comprehensive guide features four of the most outstanding figures in American Ballet: Kevin McKenzie (Artistic Director of American Ballet Theatre former principal dancer ABT) Georgina Parkinson (Ballet Mistress of ABT; former principal dancer The Royal Ballet) Merrill Ashley (former principal dancer New York City Ballet) and Denise Jackson (former principal dancer The Joffrey Ballet).
Billed as an updating and retelling of an Irish folk legend, Lord of the Dance is less Erin Go Bragh than Hooray for Hollywood. Michael Flatley gives us the old razzle-dazzle, fashioning a Celtic-influenced spectacular that wanders far away from its Riverdance roots. The light-show presentation is closer kin to another contemporary Irish musical group, U2. Flatley himself has gone designer chic, too: with close-cropped haircut, earring, buffed abs and tight black pants he bears more than a passing resemblance to Bono. But you have to hand it to the guy--he works hard for the money, as does his attractive corps. The one maddening aspect of this glitzy, entertaining 90-minute festival is the overzealous editing. No image remains on screen for more than a few seconds. Neither Flatley nor his talented troupe deserves to have such craftsmanship sliced and diced like an MTV music video.--Richard Natale, Amazon.com
The Bolshoi Ballet 2 contains performances of:- Ivan The Terrible- The Stone Flower- Spartacus- RaymondaPerformances recorded at the Bolshoi Theatre, 1989, 1990.
Tap Dogs the all-male Australian dance troupe have taken the world by storm becoming an international sensation with their sell out tour..leaving packed audiences gasping and howling for more! Tap Dogs put power humour high velocity and raw energy into tap. This is a show that hypnotises audiences with the thunder of synchronised feet. Aussie guys stomp their way through a dynamic succession of pulsating routines. This is testosterone tap!
Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake, performed at the Mariinsky Theatre by the Artists of the Mariinsky Ballet and the Orchestra of the Mariinsky Theatre, and conducted by Valery Gergiev.
""Billy Elliot in Havana"" is how the Evening Standard described this sensational dance and music extravaganza featuring 19 dancers and a live Cuban band. The Daily Telegraph enthused ""Soaring sexy and spontaneous.."" and certainly Carlos Acosta the star and creator of this brilliant new production filmed live at London's Sadler's Wells is considered by many to be the greatest dancer in the world right now. Some even describe him as the new lord of dance! All the soul and passion o
Baryshnikov, Harvey and Don Quixote is a combination which could hardly fail to be a crowd-pleaser, but in an era when armchair ballet audiences have a huge selection of sure-fire winners to choose from it's worth reflecting on just why this production is so good. This is the 1983 Quixote from the New York Metropolitan Opera House, full-length and, indeed, full of merit. The staging is traditional and over-designed in the best possible way, with Brian Large's video direction capturing the whole apparatus with consummate skill (this is one of the few canned ballets which won't have you fretting over there being too many or not enough close-ups, tracking shots, wide-angle panoramas and so on--they're all there, and they're all uncannily where they should be) and with the cast seemingly having an enormous amount of fun, particularly Baryshnikov himself, whose twinkly eyed Basil is totally engaging. The most intriguing performance, however, falls to Richard Schafer as Quixote. Rather than allow the character to degenerate into buffoonery, Schafer depicts the elderly knight as mysterious and, indeed, almost mystical in his delusions; here, Quixote is not so much a clown but a seer, bearing a strange dignity which contrasts poignantly with the rumbustiousness around him--an elegant twist within an already very pleasing interpretation. --Roger Thomas
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
Recently widowed and seeking a new husband Hanna Glawari is one of Pontevedro's wealthiest women. If she marries a foreigner Pontevedro will be left bankrupt...so the bureaucats plot to ensure that Hanna marries a suitable national. The Merry Widow is sheer entertainment with lifting melodies breathtaking decor and glorious dancing!
The Irish hard-shoe sensation Riverdance underwent its second incarnation with Live from New York City, a 1996 performance filmed at Radio City Music Hall. The dazzling choreography and energetic score remain, but Michael Flatley was replaced by less-flamboyant Colin Dunne, a superb technician who works well with Flatley's former colead, Jean Butler. About half an hour longer than the 1995 original, Live from New York City expands upon the second act's theme of the Irish leaving their homeland for other parts of the world. In the most engaging new number, "Trading Taps", a trio of Irish dancers faces off against two urban American tappers. While much of this show will be familiar, it's different enough to be enjoyed on its own terms. It's also more stylishly shot, but that's also its biggest drawback--frenetic editing that allows only brief glimpses of the dancers and leaves the viewer dizzy. --David Horiuchi
Ten years ago the Spanish flamenco dancing sensation Joaqun Corts took the UK by storm with his famous show Gypsy Passion. Now after a two year absence from the UK Joaqun is back with a fabulous new reworking of his show 'Mi Soledad' (My Solitude) at the Royal Albert Hall. The show captured on this DVD sees the superstar returning to his roots as a solo performer a flamenco dancer par excellence. He is supported by 18 musicians representing the cream of contemporary talent in flamenco music. Through the vehicles of the music and of his unmistakable trademark 'zapateado' Corts takes us straight to the soul of his art using a rich palette full of the colours of flamenco. The DVD is presented for the first time in a limited tour edition (digipack with special effects)
Scintillating" is the word which comes to mind to describe this performance of Delibes' Coppélia. Both the story and music (here presented in 2.0 Dolby stereo only, which is a shame) are among the most robust in the tradition, and here Oleg Vinogradov's choreography gives us the most extrovert depiction of an already extrovert subject. Highlights abound, but Irina Shapchits's Swanilda and Petr Rusanov's Coppelius are particularly delightful. The former is a boisterous, tomboyish interpretation, providing an additional dimension of contrast with the soullessness of Coppelius' dolls, while the latter eschews the bumbling eccentricity sometimes imposed on the role and instead depicts the dollmaker as an almost wraith-like, Mephistophelian figure. The disc carries one multi-angle option plus a DVD-ROM article by Harlow Robinson which includes a Web link to the label's home page, which is just as well given the drab, parsimonious nature of the accompanying black-and-white booklet. However, just buy this disc for the spectacular performance--you'll be glad you did. --Roger Thomas
This Swan Lake was the unexpected popular hit of 1996, when radical choreographer Matthew Bourne took Tchaikovsky's traditional ballet by the scruff of the neck and reworked it with a myriad of modern influences and themes to astonishing effect. Seldom have the dark psychological riptides at the heart of so many classical ballets been so brilliantly exposed. The Prince (Scott Ambler) is a wretched and dissolute young man dominated by his mother, the Joan Collins-like Queen (Fiona Ambler). Shades of Tennessee Williams, indeed. Von Rothbart becomes a press secretary, more sinister éminence grise than hissable villain. Most startling of all, The Swan (Adam Cooper) is a muscular, emphatically masculine male. Bourne has stressed the universality of his interpretation, which proved such a success for his Adventures in Motion Pictures dance company. And indeed this is never an overtly "gay" Swan Lake, although the electricity of the pas de deux at the height of Act 2 delivers a palpably homoerotic charge. Its universal threads--as Bourne suggests, the need to be held and understood is common to us all--are synthesised in the utterly moving conclusion as the Swan cradles the lifeless Prince and raises him to a better place. Swan Lake becomes a human, rather than simply romantic, tragedy. On the DVD: Swan Lake is presented in full screen 4:3 video format and this version would certainly have benefited from widescreen to show off the dazzling court and night club scenes as well as the lake and the impact of the all-male swan corps de ballet. But the lush Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound serves the rich interpretation of Tchaikovsky's score from The New London Orchestra to handkerchief-wringing effect. Extras include menu-driven resumes and a synopsis. --Piers Ford
When Rudolf Nureyev created a new version of The Sleeping Beauty for the Paris Opera Ballet in 1989, Tchaikovsky's richest, most gem-studded score was about to celebrate its 100th birthday. He made some modifications to the original score and stagings, but basically took Marius Petipa's choreography and polished it with the greatest of respect for what he dubbed "the ballet of ballets". Ten years later, the Opera Bastille adopted his version in a sumptuous new production, and what a sensory experience it turns out to be. For one thing, the brilliance of the classical sets and costumes fills the huge stage of the Opera Bastille with extravagant glamour. For another, the quality of the dancing is superb at every level. Aurélie Dupont as Princess Aurore and Manuel Legris as her Prince Désiré trigger sublime romance in their ultimate pas de deux. Other highlights include Nathalie Aubin's sinuously evil Carabosse, finally managing to deliver the fateful needle in a bunch of flowers before meeting her match in the Lilac Fairy, and the parade of fairy-tale characters in Act III. This is a connoisseur's production, true. It celebrates one of the greatest classical ballets and the genius of one of the greatest dancers. But it is also a superb entertainment, certain to generate a festive thrill in the chilliest of hearts. On the DVD: Excellent sound quality (Dolby Digital 2.0) and the 16:9 picture format do proper justice to the sweeping, theatrical scale of the production. The disc also includes printable articles on Petipa's and Nureyev's choreography and a link to NVC Arts' Web site. The comprehensive booklet includes explanations of Nureyev's alterations, a brief history of the ballet and a plot synopsis. --Piers Ford
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