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4.8 out of 5 stars
Delibes: Sylvia [DVD]  [2010] [NTSC]
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71 of 72 people found the following review helpful
on 19 March 2008
Ashton's brilliant choreography, revived by Christopher Newton and Delibes' expressive music combine to make a charming evening out at the Royal Opera House or in your own home if viewed on the excellet Opus Arte DVD. This homage to the 19th-century French ballet style is a light hearted mythological story of a nymph captured by huntsman and restored by Eros to her true lover. It is an excuse for some inventive, romantic and dazzling decorative dances, both solos and handsomely crafted groups. Peter Farmer tastefully developed the original attractive Second Empire designs of Robin and Christopher Ironside to provide sumptuous sets and costumes.

Some may claim that none quite match Fonteyn's playful musicality when the ballet was created on her in 1952. But it is wrong to compare artists with each other, which is why dance awards are invidious. Today's dancers provide a technical brilliance with a satisfying emotional appeal.

In the complex title role Darcey Bussell, is persuasive as the proud nymph as well as tenderly showing the first awakenings of love. With her thrilling long extended legs, flirty, flying elevation and speedy articulate footwork she is still in her prime. She dances with perfect precision in the pizzicato divertissement and is ravishingly radiant in the pas de deux powerfully partnered by Roberto Bolle who also displays some soaring elevation as the shepherd Aminta. Mara Galeazzi has developed into an accomplished performer and shines as Diana with Martin Harvey providing a superb and mischievous Eros. It is gorgeous.
Gavin Roebuck
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55 of 57 people found the following review helpful
on 29 December 2007
I have waiting for ages for this ballet production to appear on DVD after watching it on BBC2 several years ago and now its available.Its a wonderful production the dancers are superb not only the 'star' roles Bussel/Bolle but the entire cast,the orchestra of the Royal Ballet,the sets,costumes,lighting sound etc,and of course the Delibe score enchanting.This is a must have for any ballet fan and could convert the sceptical !So often DVD production are not of the best quality but this is super,go buy it you wont be let down in any way.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on 30 November 2011
This DVD is an essential acquisition for any fan of ballet. Darcey Bussell's performance as Sylvia is absolutely enchanting, technically brilliant and executed with such charming rapport with the audience. How she manages to maintain such a beautiful smile while straining every sinew of her body is beyond me! Roberto Bolle is the perfect complement in his role as Aminta, neither eclipsing Bussell nor being over-shadowed by her. His faultless performance exhibits great versatility and Ashton's choreography stretches both to the limit.The orchestration leaves nothing to be desired and the technical quality of this DVD is excellent in both sound and image. Camera angles and judicious use of zoom give good balance between scene and detail. I cannot fault this DVD in any way.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 11 February 2014
I liked this production a lot. A story that was easy to follow,lovely scenery,great dancing and lively music.
Some say the music was inspired by Wagenrs Ride of the Valkyries. It was certainly heavenly.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on 13 April 2011
A beautiful ballet and colourful production. Difficult to find fault - I just wish I could have seen it live. I have lent this DVD out to friends who also loved it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 23 February 2014
A beautifully presented and danced programme to be watched over and over, to be enjoyed and live the story line.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 29 November 2013
It's a Christmas present, arrived on time & in condition described,
If your a 7 year old girl and loves ballet then this is for you!!!!
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on 18 May 2014
Ashton's Sylvia has suffered a patchy performing history, so it's great that the ballet is now available on DVD. A shame it couldn't have been filmed in Fonteyn's day, but these modern performers manage reasonably well, though I doubt Ashton would have approved of the high kicks in Sylvia's first solo. Darcy Bussell certainly displays the athleticism of the mythical huntress, but her distorted line in places seemed to suggest that Ashton choreography isn't her forte. As her shepherd lover, Aminta, Roberto Bolle looks handsome but doesn't get a lot of dancing to do. The minor roles however are very well done and the orchestra does justice to Delibe's magnificent score.

I found the overall quality of this DVD less than perfect but for a true ballet lover it is an essential buy as a record of an often neglected work of Britain's greatest choreographer.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
I bought this DVD for my daughter and she loves it, she has just got into ballet.
Thank you,
Mrs Dawn Keeble
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on 17 June 2015
A ravishing production, beautifully danced. I wasn't familiar with the music, which is glorious.
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