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Sylphides/ Coppelia/ Giselle (Nadia Nerina/ Robert Helpmann/ Margot Fonteyn/ Rudolf Nureyev) (ICA Classics: ICAD 5058) [DVD] [2012] [NTSC]
Sylphides/ Coppelia/ Giselle (Nadia Nerina/ Robert Helpmann/ Margot Fonteyn/ Rudolf Nureyev) (ICA Classics: ICAD 5058) [DVD] [2012] [NTSC]
Dvd ~ Nadia Nerina
Price: £19.99

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Monochrome Delights, 14 Oct. 2012
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Another wonderful blast-from-the-past from the ICA Classics label. The Fonteyn/Nureyev Giselle Act 11 has been around on Youtube for some time now, but only in snippets. Terrific to have the full recorded version here - she all restrained elegance and warmth, he all burning ardour. One can see just how beautifully they went together. The Sylphides performance is a little anonymous but well danced and recorded. The revelation of the DVD, for me, is Nadia Nerina's Swanilda in a truncated performance of Coppleia. Her acting is vivacious and adorable; while her dancing is everything one has read about it: light, buoyant, precise with a lovely, floating jump. Her doll sequences are delightfully done with beautiful epaulement. Surely, she is one of the Royal Ballet's under-rated ballerinas? And surely the time has come for ICA Classics to release her performance in La Fille Mal Gardee? Can't wait for that. In the mean time, this DVD is highly recommended to those with an interest in English dancing in the 50s and 60s, or to anyone who values the technique and style of previous eras.


Frederick Ashton:  Les Patineurs/ Divertissments/ Scènes De Ballet [DVD] [2010] [NTSC]
Frederick Ashton: Les Patineurs/ Divertissments/ Scènes De Ballet [DVD] [2010] [NTSC]
Dvd ~ Carlos Acosta
Price: £19.00

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars And About Time Too!, 27 July 2012
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At last the Royal Ballet has published a decent swag of the works of Frederick Ashton. The whole DVD is a treat for Ashton fans, and for anyone who likes classical ballet. How wonderful to see Scenes de Ballet (and to be able to return to it time and again to study its marvels), not to mention Les Patineurs, Thais pas de deux and other treats.
The dancing is of a high standard, the camera work is straightforward and unfussy. Highly recommended.


Glazunov: Raymonda La Scala 2011 (Arthaus: 101630) [DVD] [2012]
Glazunov: Raymonda La Scala 2011 (Arthaus: 101630) [DVD] [2012]
Dvd ~ Olesia Novikova
Offered by MEGA Media FBA
Price: £9.70

6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Blast From the Past, 27 July 2012
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This is another of those historically reconstructed ballets that have emerged recently, and I looked forward to seeing it. Being used, as we are, to Nureyev's overwrought production of Raymonda, or the Bolshoi's all-dancing-no-narrative version, this reconstruction is meant to show Petipa's original intentions, I assume. Once over the truly ghastly set and costume design, there are some quaintly charming pieces for the corps de ballet, and many of the passages one recognises for the heroine. The overall effect, however, is heavy handed and unlovely, not helped by a cold, charmless heroine in Novikova. I can't imagine returning to this version of Raymonda too often.


Mackerras/ Cranko (The Lady And The Fool/ Pineapple Poll) [DVD] [2011] [NTSC]
Mackerras/ Cranko (The Lady And The Fool/ Pineapple Poll) [DVD] [2011] [NTSC]
Dvd ~ Svetlana Beriosova
Price: £16.62

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Something to treasure, 27 July 2012
For anyone who saw Svetlana Beriosova dance, or anyone who wants to see what Royal Ballet quality was like in earlier decades, this is a rewarding DVD. In Cranko's trite but effective piece, Beriosova brings warmth, grandeur and poignancy to her role. Her dancing is just luscious! Merle Park, before she became a leading ballerina, is a lot of fun in Pineapple Poll, too. But it's Beriosova in The Lady and the Fool who makes this disc a winner.


August [DVD]
August [DVD]
Dvd ~ Murray Bartlett
Price: £4.50

3.0 out of 5 stars Not very hot!, 27 July 2012
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This review is from: August [DVD] (DVD)
Set in LA during a blisteringly hot August, basically nothing happens in this bitter-sweet gay tale of a guy coming back to LA in an attempt to pick up where he left off with his ex-partner, who has moved on to greener pastures. The direction of the film is awkward and the pace is slow. Murray Bartlett, an Australian actor, gives the central character some charisma, otherwise the performances are, in my view, amateurish. I don't think I could sit through it again!


Neumeier: Death In Venice (Tod In Venedig 2004) (Arthaus: 101622) [DVD] [2012]
Neumeier: Death In Venice (Tod In Venedig 2004) (Arthaus: 101622) [DVD] [2012]
Dvd ~ John Neumeier
Price: £24.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly moving, 27 July 2012
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Although some of the narrative sequences are a little turgid, this Wagnerian take on what we tend to consider a 'Mahler' subject works surprisingly well. Neumeier is at his best when composing passages in neo-classical style, and there are many of these for Tadzio and his chums, as well as for the dancers in a studio. Llyod Riggins (an older American dancer new to me) is effective as the central character (changed, here, to a choreographer rather than an author)and he achieves true pathos at the end when he imagines embracing the boy just before his demise. Tadzio is a big-boned, healthy-looking Adonis type whose personal radiance goes a long way to explaining why Aschenbach becomes obsessed. Neumeier's company looks good. I looked up some reviews of the production when it was new, and the critics were generally a bit dismissive of it. I must say, I liked lots of it.


Treasures Of Russian Ballet (Ballet Extracts) (ICA Classics: ICAD 5074) [DVD] [2012]
Treasures Of Russian Ballet (Ballet Extracts) (ICA Classics: ICAD 5074) [DVD] [2012]
Dvd ~ Galina Ulanova
Price: £19.99

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Hits and Misses, 27 July 2012
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Although the picture quality - not to mention the choreography - is often basic, it is a joy to see the young Soloviev in action. He brings the heavy-handed Stone Flower to vivid life with his wonderful dance quality and his personal radiance. Elsewhere, Struchkova, Maximova and Liepa are also wonderful. Ulanova is better seen in other films of the period. This Swan Lake extract does little to enhance her legend.
Overall, a DVD for the cognoscenti rather than the general ballet fan. Many of the clips here are available elsewhere, filmed in much better quality.


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