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30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Absolutely Stunning DVD of Balanchine's 'Jewels'
I was prepared to write a long and glowing review of this DVD when I came onto the Amazon page at AmazonUS and discovered the wonderful review already written by Ignacio Martínez-Ybor and realized I couldn't add very much to his definitive review. (I urge you to stop right now and go read it at http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000FA577G . But I decided to add my...
Published on 21 July 2006 by J Scott Morrison

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars George Balanchine's Jewels
Beautiful costumes and dancing but somehow lacking in energy and emotion it comes over to me as curiously flat and 2-dimensional. It pleases the eye but does not feed the soul.
Published on 29 Mar 2011 by A.Tai


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30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Absolutely Stunning DVD of Balanchine's 'Jewels', 21 July 2006
By 
J Scott Morrison (Middlebury VT, USA) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: George Balanchine's Jewels [DVD] [2010] (DVD)
I was prepared to write a long and glowing review of this DVD when I came onto the Amazon page at AmazonUS and discovered the wonderful review already written by Ignacio Martínez-Ybor and realized I couldn't add very much to his definitive review. (I urge you to stop right now and go read it at http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000FA577G . But I decided to add my unqualified praise for this DVD if only to assert that his very positive response is not just one man's opinion. Everything about the performances, the production, the videography and sound is smashing.

I would add a couple of details. Like Martínez-Ybor, my favorite section is 'Emeralds' set to music of Fauré (primarily from his 'Pelléas et Mélisande' suite, with a couple of additions) and the two solos near its beginning by Laėtitia Pujol and Clairmarie Osta are so elegant that I immediately repeated them. The costumes by Christian LaCroix are particularly beautiful. The American spirit of 'Rubies' is perky, jazzy and fun. Its musical accompaniment featuring Stravinsky's 'Capriccio' with piano soloist Jean-Yves Sébillote is excellent as well. In fact, the entire evening's musical underscoring by the Paris Opéra Orchestra under Paul Connelly is superb.

'Diamonds', set to music from Tchaikovsky's Third Symphony takes us back to Tsarist Russia, but with a difference in that Balanchine makes homage to the choreography of Petipa but adds his own spicy reinterpretation of it. There is an old film of Suzanne Farrell and Peter Martins dancing excerpts from the ballet -- the only films of any of these three ballets -- and it is a treasure, but this new film of a complete performance of the ballet is definitely worth having.

If you love Balanchine, you must own this DVD. It is that simple.

Scott Morrison
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent alternative to Mariinsky, 21 Nov 2011
By 
I. Giles (Argyll, Scotland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: George Balanchine's Jewels [DVD] [2010] (DVD)
There are now two fine recent versions of this ballet to choose from. This one by the Paris Opera ballet and recorded in 2005 and the Mariinsky version recorded in 2006 although not released until 2011.

The ballet is a totally abstract creation by George Balanchine based on music by Faure, Stravinsky and Tchaikovsky. The steps danced in both versions are identical of course and are equally well performed. Both stage settings focus on the colour of the three featured jewels, my preference being for the slightly more sumptuous sets at the Mariinsky theatre. The music is equally well performed and recorded by both teams and both offer finely detailed camera work giving a nice combination of close and panoramic views. The sound in both cases offers good quality surround sound or stereo.

Although this is an abstract creation as mentioned above, it is nevertheless very traditional as regards movements and dress. It best rewards repeat viewing as some people might find the lack of narrative and drama a little dull at first. The target is actually to illustrate grace and abstract beauty as appropriate to the perceived characteristics of emeralds, rubies and diamonds. The music moves from gentle Faure to spikier but accessible Stravinsky and concluding with typical Tchaikovsky but un-typically using the conclusion of his less well-known 3rd symphony.

So which to buy? In this case there is no clear winner in my view and choice could well be based simply on price. I personally would wish to own both as the choices of camera angles and use of close-up and panoramic views vary throughout, sometimes favouring the Paris production and sometimes the Russians.

Prospective purchasers would be safe with either version despite my very slight preference for the Mariinsky recording. As that is an entirely personal preference others could easily choose the other way round and for similar subjective reasons. In my opinion therefore, both are worth the full 5 stars and will give much satisfaction.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars George Balanchine's Jewels, 29 Mar 2011
This review is from: George Balanchine's Jewels [DVD] [2010] (DVD)
Beautiful costumes and dancing but somehow lacking in energy and emotion it comes over to me as curiously flat and 2-dimensional. It pleases the eye but does not feed the soul.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An aesthetic miracle!, 14 Feb 2010
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This review is from: George Balanchine's Jewels [DVD] [2010] (DVD)
This video has deeply impressed me! I loved the dancers, very refined and very elegant, I adored the staging. The choreography is just marvellous. I have seen Jewels on stage some 5 years ago, but I suppose I was not aesthetically ready to perceive this ballet in all its beauty. This recording has produced of the strongest impressions in me over some years.
I would also like to recommend the Paris National Opera's version of Giselle starring Laetitia Pujol. The second act of this production is one of the best ballet performances I have ever seen. I adore it!
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1.0 out of 5 stars beware of whom you buy this from, 11 July 2012
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This review is from: George Balanchine's Jewels [DVD] [2010] (DVD)
It does not work on my DVD player, it doesn't work on any DVD player. I contacted Opus and they said they would get back to me. They didn't. Same with whom I bought it from. Beware of how you buy this.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 21 Nov 2014
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This review is from: George Balanchine's Jewels [DVD] [2010] (DVD)
Beautiful show, not well publicised enough. All ballet lovers should watch this
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 3 Oct 2014
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This review is from: George Balanchine's Jewels [DVD] [2010] (DVD)
A most beautiful ballet, exquisite choreopgraphy and beautifully danced.!
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George Balanchine's Jewels [DVD] [2010]
George Balanchine's Jewels [DVD] [2010] by Pierre Cavassilas (DVD - 2006)
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