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44 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quintessential Romantic ballet
DVD's featuring the Royal Danish Ballet don't come by the dozen and this re-release of August Bournonville's "La Sylphide", the quintessential Romantic ballet, is particularly welcome. Bournonville created his version of the ballet in Copenhagen in 1836, four years after the premiere of the original "Sylphide" from Filippo Taglioni at the Paris Opera. While the Paris...
Published on 28 Mar. 2006 by Marc Haegeman

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1 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Slavish Imitation Devoid of Originality.
This production of La Sylphide by the Royal Danish Ballet has all the appearances of being performed by well trained imitators going through the motions of how it should be done according to the laws of the Medes and the Persians, which must never be changed. There are missed opportunities all along the line. Just as the viewer is led to think that the action is about to...
Published on 26 Mar. 2013 by H. A. Weedon


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44 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quintessential Romantic ballet, 28 Mar. 2006
By 
Marc Haegeman "Marc Haegeman" (Gent, Belgium) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Bournonville: La Sylphide [DVD] [2011] (DVD)
DVD's featuring the Royal Danish Ballet don't come by the dozen and this re-release of August Bournonville's "La Sylphide", the quintessential Romantic ballet, is particularly welcome. Bournonville created his version of the ballet in Copenhagen in 1836, four years after the premiere of the original "Sylphide" from Filippo Taglioni at the Paris Opera. While the Paris "Sylphide" disappeared from the repertory the Danish version was miraculously kept in performance until the present day.
Recorded at the Royal Danish Theatre in Copenhagen in 1988, this famous film has been available on laserdisc some ten years ago and its release in the DVD-format was long overdue. The staging by Henning Kronstam and Arlette Weinreich, based on the authoritative production of Hans Brenaa is nothing short of ideal, while the cast led by Lis Jeppesen (the Sylph of her generation), a youngish Nikolaj Hübbe (in his debut as James) and Sorella Englund as Madge, is simply outstanding. Supporting roles include Morten Munksdorf as Gurn, Ann-Kristin Hauge as Effy and Silja Schandorff as the leading sylph in Act 2.

The video-transfer is excellent, the sound is simple stereo. "La Sylphide" is a short ballet (just over an hour) and some bonus features should have been included, such as a documentary on August Bournonville, the Royal Danish Ballet or its School.

But for the performance itself, nothing but the strongest recommendation.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars la sylphide, 22 Oct. 2007
By 
S. Smith (Wales) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Bournonville: La Sylphide [DVD] [2011] (DVD)
From the second you put this DVD on do not look away unless you want to miss a treat.From the first dance by Lis Jeppesen I guarantee you to be captivated,Sorella Englund as the old fortune teller is a stroke of genius.The costumes are spot on and I could not find fault with any of the performers.
It is a short ballet,with much crammed into it,sylphs that disappear up chimneys leading on to the entrance of the bride to be with her friends,a very merry party indeed,this being the point where the groom disappears into the forest to look for his sylph.
Act2 is the more moving as James ends up killing the sylph and dying his self,Im sure you havent seen many ballets where both the main characters die but if you miss this one you`ve missed a masterpiece,that will keep you glued to the set...
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28 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A lovely version of the Løvenskjold version of La Sylphide, 2 Jun. 2006
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Amazon Customer (Bournemouth UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Bournonville: La Sylphide [DVD] [2011] (DVD)
It was only after watching this DVD immediately following the DVD of La Sylphide (2004) that I realised this ballet is rather confusing. There are in fact three Sylphides, LES Sylphide adapted from Chopin's music (originally known as Chopiniana), and LA Sylphide that comes in two versions, the one on the DVD La Sylphide (2004) with music by Jean Schneitzhoeffer and this DVD with music by Herman Severin Løvenskjold.

The stories of the two LA Sylphides are the same but the music, dramatic presentation and choreography are very different.

The version with music by Løvenskjold is a much more folksy affair, with a great deal of mime, and the role of James (danced by Nikolaj Hübbe) is more supportive and gives the dancer little chance for virtuoso display. The role of Sylphide the tree fairy is a much warmer human role and is beautifully danced by Lis Jeppesen wonderfully projecting the helpless love of La Sylphide. This is a warm involving story that captures the imagination from beginning to end.

It is fascinating to compare the Schneitzhoeffer with this version, but for me Løvenskjold wins every time.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A well danced and acted ballet, 20 July 2014
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This review is from: Bournonville: La Sylphide [DVD] [2011] (DVD)
This is the Bournonville ballet and is beautifuuly danced by Lis Jeppesen and Nikolaj Hubbe in the role of James. Sorella Englund interprets Madge very well and Ann-kristin Hauge displays the deep frustration over being jilted on her wedding day. For a Dane,the role of James should be danced like an Englishman would act the role of Hamlet. This is the first Romantic ballet and shows clearly Jame's problem. He is not willing to settle down in a stable, middle class life with Effie and reaches out for the unattainable. In doing so he destroys it (in this case La Sylphide) and is damned in this world and the other world that he is seeking.
This is a more dramatic ballet that that of that danced by Ballet de L'Opera national de Paris with Pieree Lacotte's Reconstructed version.
As another reveiwer has commented this is a short ballet and the DVD would benifit from a documentary on the history of it.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Just what we needed, 29 Jun. 2013
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This review is from: Bournonville: La Sylphide [DVD] [2011] (DVD)
My teenage daughter and I were going to see Matthew Bourne's 'Romantic Wee Ballet' called Highland Fling - which is a modern Scottish reworking of La Sylphide - but hadn't seen the original ballet. This was a perfect way to introduce us to the music, setting and characters in La Sylphide beforehand and greatly added to our enjoyment of Highland Fling. I would not otherwise have known that the Scottish setting with tartan everywhere and characters with names like Effie were part of the original. This version is very pleasing. The recording was made originally in the 1980s, I think, so the titles and credits look a tiny bit dated but that would be my only (very minor) criticism.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars EAF Sylphide, 4 Jun. 2010
By 
Elisabeth Frewin "Leaf" (Andover UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Bournonville: La Sylphide [DVD] [2011] (DVD)
Shows the Royal Danish Ballet company off to its best advantage, crisp clear technique and a good musical recording.
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5.0 out of 5 stars delightful music and ensemble dancing, 17 Feb. 2014
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This review is from: Bournonville: La Sylphide [DVD] [2011] (DVD)
Delightful music and ensemble dancing in one of the oldest ballets of them all .
And set in scotland .This is about as pure and unshowy as ballet gets but is not at all dull
thanks to the lively score and tremendous acting by the woman who plays the witch.
The ending is superb .
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great for historical purposes, 23 Sept. 2013
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This review is from: Bournonville: La Sylphide [DVD] [2011] (DVD)
I use this as a teaching and training tool for my dance department as an accurate account of the Bournonville version of La Sylphide.
Used in conjunction with theTaglioni version the comparisons are great to see.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars romantic, 6 Feb. 2011
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This review is from: Bournonville: La Sylphide [DVD] [2011] (DVD)
This is one hour of happiness. The Danes are one of the happiest people in Europe and it shows. The ballet company is superb and perfect for this ballet classic. One sleeps so well after this beauty, cant wait to see it again. Thanks to Amazon's commentators I at last found the ballet I had been searching for where the men wore scottish kilts!! and didnt order another similarly named but very different.
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1 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Slavish Imitation Devoid of Originality., 26 Mar. 2013
By 
H. A. Weedon "Mouser" (North Somercotes, Lincolnshire, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Bournonville: La Sylphide [DVD] [2011] (DVD)
This production of La Sylphide by the Royal Danish Ballet has all the appearances of being performed by well trained imitators going through the motions of how it should be done according to the laws of the Medes and the Persians, which must never be changed. There are missed opportunities all along the line. Just as the viewer is led to think that the action is about to revitalise, it achieves the obvious by falling flat again.

The story behind this ballet is about a fairy creature in the form of a beautiful maiden who tempts a human away from his earthiness into an ephemeral realm. But what would a beautiful sylph be wanting with a man whose chief occupation seems to be that of blundering around dressed in a kilt? It has been my privilege to see quite a number of performances of La Sylphide both on stage and on DVDs and I have to say that this is the most lacklustre, uninspiring, unimaginative performance of it that I've ever seen. All right, it's a faultless performance that goes through all the correct motions, but where is the chemistry between the dancers and the raison d'etre for what they are performing?

I'm so happy that so many people seem to have enjoyed this performance so much, but I have to speak as I find. Not far from where I live is a magical area of woodland where one might very well expect to see sprites if such beings actually existed. If they do I'm pretty sure they would run for cover if they were danced at after the fashion of this blundering disfigurement of a dance routine. La Sylphide needs imaginative interpretation, not slavish imitation of past glories.
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Bournonville: La Sylphide [DVD] [2011]
Bournonville: La Sylphide [DVD] [2011] by Royal Danish Ballet - Nvc Arts (9320) (DVD - 2006)
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