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Tchaikovsky: Swan Lake (Teatro Degli Arcimboldi 2004) [DVD]  [NTSC]
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Swan Lake is the most successful of all ballets, in fact it has become the very epitome of classical dance. Together with The Nutcracker and The Sleeping Beauty, it makes up the great trio of classical ballets set to Tchaikovsky's music. Arthaus presents a DVD of the 2004 Teatro alla Scala production of Swan Lake. Two classical ballet world stars take the lead roles: The young prima ballerina Svetlana Zakharova the most sought-after representative of the Russian style - as Odette ; Odile and Roberto Bolle, the La Scala star dancer and most important ambassador of today's Italian Ballet. Directed by Florence Clerc from Paris and Frédéric Olivieri, Artistic Director with the La Scala Ballet, the Milan staging combines the best of both worlds in ballet: It brings the Russian classical school together with the history of choreographic adaptation in the West. The version presented on this DVD is based on the choreography of Swan Lake which in itself has become a classic: The Burmeister version of the 1953 production at the Moscow Academic Music Theater, which first came to the West as Lac des cygnes at the Opéra in Paris in the 50's, and has since been adapted numerous times.
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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
When Svetlana/Odette comes on in the second act it is just one of those jaw to the floor moments, she is exquisite, just seems to be from a different galaxy to any other dancer. Her technique and sheer presence has to be seen to be believed.
In addition I can't see why anyone would object to the close ups, they are relatively few and it is fascinating to see the dancers' expressions. And of course both Svetlana Zakharova and Roberto Bolle are outrageously beautiful.
Set in Seigfried's mother's palace, Act three has some extraordinary folk dances in it, all orchestrated by a glowering von Rothbart. Siegfried's bewilderment as he weaves among the dancers desperately looking for Odette is wonderful to watch, as is the Queen's bemused disapproval at all these weirdos who have rocked up and launched a massive party in her palace! At this point the energy is amazing, dancers and audience alike are having the time of their lives and for a few moments it's more like a festival than a classical ballet.Read more ›
She does not have the same emotional input as some other ballerinas but that could just be an interpretation. Somewhere along the line she seems to have decided that the brilliance of her technique and artistry are not to be overshadowed by character portrayal.
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!
I'm not a massive Roberto Bolle fan if I'm honest. His dancing is good, and he is gorgeous. However, sometimes I find him rather lacking in certain emotions, namely hysteria, grief E.T.C. This is more obvious in 'Giselle', also available on DVD (with Zakharova again), but it is sometimes noticeable on here. However, he is still perfectly agreeable to watch.
I much prefer the Bolshoi and Mariinsky Swan Lake's, mainly because of their use of Rothbart. Instead of a character role, he dances amongst the Swans and the Prince in Act 2 and 4, and I honestly feel this adds a lot to the story. It helps us to realise and understand his part in all of this, as well as his power over the Swans (and indeed the Prince in several Bolshoi versions).
The camera work is fine. It's not as great a quality as I was expecting to be honest. There are some less than perfect shots that are out of focus, but besides that it's fine.
The ending was somewhat different that the ones I am used to. It's a lot more happier, and I find it absolutely beautiful (even if I do prefer the somewhat tragic endings of others, this is a nice change).Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Magnificent in all respects!! Can be watched over and over again!!Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
Wonderful - could do with a better looking (coloured) booklet thoughPublished 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
Some great energetic dancing and amusing moments but the plot was very slight. Preferred Adventure In Motion Picture's retelling,Published 9 months ago by Tanith Panic
Nothing wrong with this product but it wasn't what we wanted.Published 11 months ago by Sacred Sparta.
This was for my daughter. We saw Matthew Bourne's modern version. She had never seen the classical ballet . Read morePublished on 10 Jan. 2014 by mar