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Balanchine: Jewels [Blu-ray] [2010]

Price: £25.20 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Product details

  • Actors: Kader Belarbi, Aurélie Dupont, Agnès Letestu, Mathieu Ganio, Laëtitia Pujol
  • Format: Anamorphic, Classical, Colour, PAL, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English, Castilian
  • Subtitles: Dutch, English, French, Italian, Spanish
  • Region: All Regions (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: Exempt
  • Studio: Opus Arte
  • DVD Release Date: 1 Sep 2008
  • Run Time: 162 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001D068XO
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 84,661 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Paul Connelly conducts the Orchestra of the Opera National de Paris in this 2000 production of the ballet originally choreographed by George Balanchine. The ballet features the music of Gabriel Faure, Igor Stravinsky and Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky and performers in this production include Aurelie Dupont, Marie-Agnes Gillot, Agnes Letestu, Clairemarie Osta and Laetitia Pujol.

Customer Reviews

3.1 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Mr. John A. Coulson on 11 Aug 2009
This is a modern ballet of 3 pieces performed in classical style - 1. Emeralds, danced in green to music by Faure; 2. Ruby, danced in red to music by Stravinsky; 3. Diamonds, danced in white to music by Tchaikovsky.
It is abstract ballet with no particular story although, as the accompanying documentary relates, that does not mean the dancing lacks emotion. The staging is deliberately free of distractions so one concentrates on the exceptional dancing. The piece was inspired by jewels Balanchine noticed in the window and this is the first time it has been proudly presented by the Ballet of the Opera national de Paris which claims credit as being one of the founding ballet companies in the world. I feel this is a disc one will appreciate more and more on repeated viewing. The Faure music is instantly appealing although the Stravinsky requires more familiarisation and the Tchaikovsky is a selection from the lesser known 3rd Symphony. The video is up to the usual BD standards but I was less impressed with the audio and suspect the surround sound might be merely compressed DTS rather than the latest BD standards. It lacked the depth possible with the latest format.
So, bottom line of how this disc will appeal to you is how much you like ballet. The dancing is first class and that is the big plus for "Jewels". But if you are looking for spectacular staging with dramatic music and story then this might not appeal. That said it has a lot to offer and I suggest it is very helpful to look at the very good 1 hour documentary before viewing the work. So strongly recommended, but with a few cautions.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 22 July 2009
Balanchine: Jewels [Blu-ray] [2005]

This lovely abstract ballet choreographed by Balanchine is the finest fusion between dance and music I have so far discovered. There are three movements, centred on the quality of precious stones as follows:

EMERALDS - Faure provides the music for this gentle romantic movement staged in shades of green with a simple backdrop that focuses our attention on the dancers and their interactions.

RUBIES - Stravinsky is the catalyst for a sprightly movement based in Broadway musicals, a great display of dancing.

DIAMONDS - Tchaikovsky with ice white costumes and elaborate silver and diamond tunics and bodices against a pale blue background with an elaborate diamond motive, so effective there is applause before the dancing starts. I view this movement as homage to Tchaikovsky, but the documentary also views it as woman with a remote goddess like presence.

The excellent documentary on Jewels provides fascinating insights into the minds and thoughts of the dancers as they perform, and greatly enhanced my appreciation of the performance.

Although presented in 1080i format the high bit rate (33 to 34 Mbps) provides excellent colour depth.

Abstract ballets do not get better than this.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By I. Giles TOP 50 REVIEWER on 7 Nov 2011
There are now two versions of this ballet to choose from on Blu-ray. This one by the Paris Opera ballet and recorded in 2005 and the Mariinsky version recorded in 2006 although not released until 2011.

The ballet is a totally abstract creation by George Balanchine based on music by Faure, Stravinsky and Tchaikovsky. The steps danced in both versions are identical of course and are equally well performed. Both stage settings focus on the colour of the three featured jewels, my preference being for the slightly more sumptuous sets at the Mariinsky theatre. The music is equally well performed and recorded by both teams and both offer finely detailed camera work giving a nice combination of close and panoramic views. The sound in both cases offers good quality surround sound or stereo.

Although this is an abstract creation as mentioned above, it is nevertheless very traditional as regards movements and dress. It best rewards repeat viewing as some people might find the lack of narrative and drama a little dull at first. The target is actually to illustrate grace and abstract beauty as appropriate to the perceived characteristics of emeralds, rubies and diamonds. The music moves from gentle Faure to spikier but accessible Stravinsky and concluding with typical Tchaikovsky but un-typically using the conclusion of his less well-known 3rd symphony.

So which to buy? In this case there is no clear winner in my view although I have a personal preference for the Mariinsky version. Choice could well be based simply on price. I personally would wish to own both as the choices of camera angles and use of close-up and panoramic views vary throughout, sometimes favouring the Paris production and sometimes the Russians.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Peter Fennek 1912 on 19 Mar 2011
Bereits die DVD hatte mich wegen ihrer äußerst schlechten Bildqualität sehr enttäuscht und verärgert.

Nun diese Blu-ray: Erneut Bewegungsunschärfen, Nachziehen, Rastereffekt, Aufblitzen.

Ein Werk kann nur so gut gelingen wie das schwächste Glied der Mannschaft es zulässt. Dieses schwächste Glied ist hier die Kameraführung und insbesondere die Filmbearbeitung.

Die Verfremdung der Etoiles des Balletts der Pariser Nationaloper durch eine derart stümperhafte Filmbearbeitung ist nicht nur eine Schande sondern auch eine Frechheit!

Diese hervorragenden und weltweit bewunderten und geliebten Tänzerinnen und Tänzer strahlen durch sich selbst und durch ihr Können. Sie benötigen keinerlei Darstellungshilfen von drittklassigen Bearbeitungsstrategen, die wohl nur ein Ziel haben, nämlich sich selbst ein Denkmal zu setzen.

Ich wünsche mir sehr, dass das vorhandene Filmmaterial von dieser Aufführung für eine Blu-ray noch einmal von einem Spezialisten bearbeitet wird, der auch etwas von Ballett versteht. Dann werde ich diese Pariser Aufführung gerne ein 3. Mal kaufen, denn die tänzerische Leistung ist genial.
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