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Ekman: A Swan Lake Ballet [Alexander Ekman] [DVD] [NTSC]

Jeff Tudor    Exempt   DVD
3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
Price: £17.75 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Ekman: A Swan Lake Ballet [Alexander Ekman] [DVD] [NTSC] + Adam: Giselle [Natalia Osipova, Carlos Acosta] [DVD] [NTSC]
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Product details

  • Actors: The Norwegian National Ballet, The Norwegian National Opera Orchestra
  • Directors: Jeff Tudor
  • Producers: Adrienne Liron
  • Format: Classical, Colour, DVD-Video, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: Exempt
  • Studio: Arthaus
  • DVD Release Date: 1 Sep 2014
  • Run Time: 98 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00KSHOQD2
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 18,147 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

From Amazon.co.uk

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

Product Description

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 5.1
Picture Format: 16:9
DVD Format:DVD 9 / NTSC
Audio Language: GB
Running Time: 98 mins + 7 mins (bonus clips)
FSK: 0

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Customer Reviews

3.2 out of 5 stars
3.2 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Attention please !!!!!!! 11 Aug 2014
Format:Blu-ray
All reviews you read here don`t describe this new Swan Lake presentation of the Norwegian National Ballet !
All of them are reviews of the Swan Lake presentation of the Ballet of the Deutsche Staatsoper Berlin in 1998 with Seffi Scherzer, Oliver Matz and conductor Daniel Barenboim!
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21 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The next best thing to being actually there! 20 Nov 2000
Format:DVD
A really enjoyable evening of ballet. I have seen this ballet performed in Australia, America, the UK and in the Netherlands and this gave me a real thrill - almost as much as the the 3D equivalent. The German Ballet Corps were wonderful and Steffi Scherzer magnificent. The musical score was well handled by Daniel Barenboim. Finally the reproduction from the tape to DVD was excellent - even on my very high resolution computer screen not a smudge was encountered. Real value for my money.
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5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Travesty 3 Nov 2009
By af
Format:DVD
The liberties taken with the plot and the score of this wonderful classical ballet are quite unforgiveable. This is a drastic reworking of Swan Lake and Patrice Bart is no doubt free to interpret the story in Freudian terms, and to chop up Tchaikovsky's score, but I found the overall result distasteful. The strange twisted relationship between Siegfried and his mother was painful to watch, and I don't know how the strange twisted yearnings of Benno for the Prince enhance the ballet in any way. A shame, because Mantz is a good Siegfried who should not have had to fend off a depraved and predatory mother, wasn't the evil magician of the original story enough for him to contend with? I would definitely not recommend this production.
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4 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Lives of Others 17 July 2010
Format:DVD
How do you tell the story of Swan Lake? The original production had a lot of pantomime which is to dancing what in opera the recitativo is to the aria. Soviet ballet almost completely eliminated the mime scenes in favour of pure dancing, leaving little room for acting. The Royal Ballet's current production tries to get as close to the 19th century original as possible. Narrative reduction or reconstruction? Maybe there is a third way.
The production on this DVD was made by Patrice Bart for the Deutsche Staatsoper Berlin. What sets it apart from other versions can best be explained through the secondary characters, because each of them has their own story and motivation:

1) Benno. Many Swan Lakes don't have a Benno anymore. He is Siegfried's best friend. In the past a Crown Prince would not speak about everything relating to his private life or political affairs to a woman: he needed a confidant. Benno here has more than friendly feelings towards Siegfried. This Benno is not just some nondescript figure dancing in the pas de trois (with his sisters?), but is a much more fleshed out character.

2) The Queen. She has incestuous feelings for her son Siegfried. (Similar to Erik Bruhn's version for Toronto Ballet (1967)). Conspiring with Rotbart, she does not want to let Siegfried lead his own life.

3) Rotbart (in German: red beard): He is a minister, probably the Prime Minister, and an intriguer. Corrupt and an opportunist, he takes part in the Queen's scheme to constrict her son, using her incestuous feelings for his own ascent to power. Rotbart in this production is charismatic (like in ABT's version), but glacial. He dances a duet with the Queen and a Czardas in the third act. A dangerous real-life monster.
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2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A newer version of SwanLake 17 Feb 2011
By BFJ
Format:DVD
It arrived today and it was money well spent It's a wonderful production Not the original scoring and choreography as danced by the Bolchoi which is truly brilliant. This is a good production -- Well played music and beautifully danced by all. I like it but it is not the best. It has some magnificent moments.

Mr Baremboim is just a fabulous musician and the prima ballerina is quite brilliant as good as any and better than most. The principal ballerino is also stunningly good -- I've seen this choreography before but in traditional costumes. It's a very wothwhile addition to any ballet collection.

The traditional version is very moving Baremboim gets more than most from the music. If you don't mind variation from tradition this is highly recommended. BFJ
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