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
I wanted to do something big and wild and different. Something with water!' said choreographer Alexander Ekman
and filled the Main Stage at the Oslo Opera House with masses of water. In A Swan Lake, his new full-length work created for the Norwegian National Ballet, the dancers are joined on stage by actors, a soprano, musicians and 1,000 rubber ducks.
Alexander Ekman is an internationally acclaimed choreographer, recognised and sought after for his unique ability to pair wit and playfulness. With a score by Swedish composer Mikael Karlsson and costumes by Danish fashion designer Henrik Vibskov, A Swan Lake takes a fresh look at Tchaikovsky's ballet of all ballets.Sound Formats:
PCM Stereo, DD 5.1Picture Format:
DVD 9 / NTSCAudio Language:
98 mins + 7 mins (bonus clips) FSK: