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49 of 51 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pure Magic
One of the all time great performances of 'La Fille' - thankfully captured on film for us all to savour forever.
A perfect partnership for this ballet where both dancers share perfect chemistry. Carlos Acosta already an international ballet star is in perfect form - his sense of timing and comedy blends well with the complex Aston style. The beautiful, cheeky and...
Published on 8 Jun 2008 by T. PARTINGTON

versus
13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Acosta's far too butch for Ashton's Fille.
I've been a fan of this ballet ever since I was little. It's a remarkable piece of work - it never dates and never seems tired.

Until now, I thought ballet was more or less exempt from the modern curse of celebrity culture.

Watching this version of 'Fille' I find I'm wrong. Carlos Acosta (who is rightly acknowledged to be a superb dancer) is about as...
Published on 14 Dec 2009 by Green Knight


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49 of 51 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pure Magic, 8 Jun 2008
By 
T. PARTINGTON (London) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: La Fille Mal Gardée, [DVD] [2010] (DVD)
One of the all time great performances of 'La Fille' - thankfully captured on film for us all to savour forever.
A perfect partnership for this ballet where both dancers share perfect chemistry. Carlos Acosta already an international ballet star is in perfect form - his sense of timing and comedy blends well with the complex Aston style. The beautiful, cheeky and sunny Marinella Nunez shines gloriously as Lise - a role she was born to play. Make no mistake, Argentine born Nunez is one of the finest dancers of her generation. Covent Garden and the british ballet world has already fallen head over heals in love with this lovely lady - apart from her obvious elegance and talent she also possesses the likeability factor - her genuine warmth makes people smile.
Special credit should also be made to the genious who is Will Tuckett for his comic Widow Simone - he makes this larger than life character his own with histerical precision.
So if you are ever down and want chearing up - then put on the dvd - it will always do the trick and get you smiling. Somehow the world feels better! The Royal Ballet at their very finest - pure magic!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Totally enjoyable on any level and a truly inspirational disc, 21 Nov 2011
By 
I. Giles (Argyll, Scotland) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: La Fille Mal Gardée, [DVD] [2010] (DVD)
This wonderful Frederick Ashton confection from 1960 has remained a firm favourite for audiences ever since its first performance and this 2005 recording does it full justice. The ballet, with music by Hérold, skilfully arranged by John Lanchbery, has so many delights on offer that one hardly knows where to start.

The opening scene of the farmyard with the cockerel and hens is completely endearing and is the perfect example of Ashton's unerring sense of style where the humorous effect is achieved by no-compromise seriously good dancing which then frees the audience to enjoy the concept. Much the same can be said of the milk churn sequence, the various dances featuring ribbons, the maypole, the clog dance and everything to do with the hapless and clueless suitor, Alain. Nothing is overplayed and much is achieved by delicious under-statement and this informs every minute of this delightful ballet.

Of course, much depends on the abilities of the various dancers and the company to translate Ashton's choreography into the reality of a performance and this involves dancing of great skill. Again, the secret is to allow the charm of the choreography to come through unimpeded by any form of `humorous' exaggeration. All of this is achieved in every detail in this wonderful production.

Acosta and Nunez make an ideal pairing and achieve a real sense of mutual affection for each other. This comes over in every step they take in which there is not the slightest sense of competition but simply that of complete practical and emotional support. The essentially humorous roles of Widow Simone, performed by William Tuckett, and Alain, performed by Jonathan Howells, are further examples of tasteful and gentle humour underpinned with rock-steady technical skill. The corps de ballet maintain this pastoral idyll with dancing of equal quality and where the dancers' individual enjoyment of the ballet is plainly there to be seen on the recording.

The orchestra under the guidance of Anthony Twiner plays with precision and evident enthusiasm throughout. The staging and costuming are further examples of Ashton's perfect sense of understated but sure-footed style.

The bonuses are limited to an illustrated synopsis plus the cast gallery typical of Opus Arte. There is a very informative and interesting booklet supplied.

The whole production is blessed with a recording of good quality. The camera work is involving with crisp imaging giving an ideal blend of close and panoramic views as appropriate. The sound is excellent and is presented in 5.1 surround and stereo formats.
This is a dream production of a dream ballet given by a dream team and granted a totally sympathetic recording. It would be a Desert Island choice for me as it simply oozes happiness and a feel-good atmosphere that would enhance the gloomiest of days! For all of these reasons it is hard to imagine this fine disc failing to give future purchasers anything except considerable pleasure and so a 5 star rating seems the only reasonable option.

............................................

Some dialogue from the comments section that may offer further help:

I thought that you might like to know that before I buy a recording I now look through all the reviews to see if you have posted one. Your assessments and opinions are invaluable. Thank you. (US review)

I particularly like your format of review. They give the prospective purchaser an idea of the style of the playing and relevant comparisons. They are succinct. Keep up the good work! (UK review)

I'm sure there are many other serious collectors, besides myself, who wait for your synopsis and opinion before spending their hard-earned money on new releases...
Keep up the good work!
Thank you (UK review)

............................................
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous!, 9 Nov 2009
This review is from: La Fille Mal Gardée, [DVD] [2010] (DVD)
Its the closest you can get to a fairytale without computer graphics or animation. The beauty of this ballet with amazing dancers entraces everyone. I bought it for my little girls and even Daddy watched it with them. There's no indication of the story and a quick synopsis would have been good, but if you look it up before you start watching you can watch it unfold and understand it easily.
This ballet has a ribbon dance a clog dance and a may pole dance. There are no dark sections and lots of fun. Its perfect for younger viewers, especially those who long to play the lead one day!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An everyday story of country folk, 1 July 2010
By 
martin jones (Shropshire, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: La Fille Mal Gardée, [DVD] [2010] (DVD)
A fortnight before the storming of the Bastille in 1789 a new ballet was performed for the first time in Bordeaux. It was a simple story of a girl in a small village who wants to marry her sweetheart but her widowed mother wants her to marry the simple son of a rich local farmer. As you would expect, all ends happily.

The original music was largely made up from popular tunes of the day. Various bits were added and in 1818 the composer Ferdinand Hérold pulled the whole thing together, including original numbers which he composed. During the nineteenth century numbers were added: for example those who know their Rossini will recognise that the music accompanying the entrance of Lise (the heroine) is lifted straight from the first act of The Barber of Seville. There are also extracts from Donizetti. To complicate matters further one Johann Hertel composed a completely new score in 1864, and this was the one everyone used from the end of the nineteenth century till 1960.

In 1959 Frederick Ashton and John Lanchbery worked up a completely new version. The basis was Hérold's score, together with many of the later accretions. Lanchbery used only one number from the Hertel score: a dance in 4/4 which he recast in 12/4 as the well-known "Clog Dance". He also wrote some original music himself and adapted music from other composers.

The notes for this DVD record that the music is "By Hérold, freely adapted by John Lanchbery" but you will see that this is something of a simplification!

In my opinion Lanchbery has done a first-class job with the score. It all hangs together very convincingly and is full of delightful tunes.

As for the stage performance itself I found this, as a very occasional ballet spectator, to be wholly satisfying. I am not competent to pass judgement on the quality of the dancing but it seemed pretty good to me. In particular the characters are well drawn and the action is easy to follow, aided by plenty of close-ups where appropriate. The costumes and sets are traditional, and none the worse for that. The sound and picture quality are, as one would hope to get in a recent recording, of good quality.

There is much to enjoy in this performance of La Fille. Not very demanding fare, perhaps, but we all need high quality relaxation sometimes, and this DVD provides it in spades.

If, like me, you find the score irresistible do also seek out the CD of this charming music as well. It's available from Amazon (advert.) and I strongly recommend you to get the more expensive version which is coupled with "Ma'mselle Angot". It is excellent for helping the time to pass on long, tedious car journeys
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Charmed All the Way, 8 Dec 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: La Fille Mal Gardée, [DVD] [2010] (DVD)
This is the most delightful production of La Fille Mal Gardee. It is not only beautifully danced but is very funny and the cast is well chosen. I laughed out loud at times. The scenery, the costumes and all that goes to make a wonderful and entertaining time are there. I thoroughily enjoyed it and will watch it again and again.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Delightful!, 9 Feb 2010
This review is from: La Fille Mal Gardée, [DVD] [2010] (DVD)
I am quickly becoming a huge Ashton fan and 'La fille' completely brightened up my day. This production was nothing short of delightful. The sets, the orchestra, and of course the dancers. Marianela Nunez was absolutely perfect in this role!! It is difficult to pick a favourite out of the Royal ballet dancers, but she is just so radiant on stage, and I could not keep my eyes off her. Carlos Acosta has often been framed as being too 'manly' for this ballet, but I thought he was fantastic too. Since I cannot afford to actually go to the Ballet, this dvd has become one of my most precious possessions. Fabulous!!!!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely, 8 May 2009
This review is from: La Fille Mal Gardée, [DVD] [2010] (DVD)
This is a great and funny performance of "La Fille Mal Gardee." Carlos Acosta's dancing is powerful and incredible, as always, and he is cheeky and charming as Colas. Marianela Nuñez is also perfect as Lise, with her sunny smile and her soft, graceful dancing. I especially loved the grand pas-de-deux with all the ribbons. I was not sure about William Tuckett as the mother, just because his performance seemed a little overdone and his acting too exaggerated, but he was still great and his clog dance was good. It's still another great performance from the Royal Ballet.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Totally enjoyable on any level and a truly inspirational disc, 7 Nov 2011
By 
I. Giles (Argyll, Scotland) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This wonderful Frederick Ashton confection from 1960 has remained a firm favourite for audiences ever since its first performance and this 2005 recording does it full justice. The ballet, with music by Hérold, skilfully arranged by John Lanchbery, has so many delights on offer that one hardly knows where to start.

The opening scene of the farmyard with the cockerel and hens is completely endearing and is the perfect example of Ashton's unerring sense of style where the humorous effect is achieved by no-compromise seriously good dancing which then frees the audience to enjoy the concept. Much the same can be said of the milk churn sequence, the various dances featuring ribbons, the maypole, the clog dance and everything to do with the hapless and clueless suitor, Alain. Nothing is overplayed and much is achieved by delicious under-statement and this informs every minute of this delightful ballet.

Of course, much depends on the abilities of the various dancers and the company to translate Ashton's choreography into the reality of a performance and this involves dancing of great skill. Again, the secret is to allow the charm of the choreography to come through unimpeded by any form of `humorous' exaggeration. All of this is achieved in every detail in this wonderful production.

Acosta and Nunez make an ideal pairing and achieve a real sense of mutual affection for each other. This comes over in every step they take in which there is not the slightest sense of competition but simply that of complete practical and emotional support. The essentially humorous roles of Widow Simone, performed by William Tuckett, and Alain, performed by Jonathan Howells, are further examples of tasteful and gentle humour underpinned with rock-steady technical skill. The corps de ballet maintain this pastoral idyll with dancing of equal quality and where the dancers' individual enjoyment of the ballet is plainly there to be seen on the recording.

The orchestra under the guidance of Anthony Twiner plays with precision and evident enthusiasm throughout. The staging and costuming are further examples of Ashton's perfect sense of understated but sure-footed style.

The bonuses are limited to an illustrated synopsis plus the cast gallery typical of Opus Arte. There is a very informative and interesting booklet supplied.

The whole production is blessed with a recording of good quality. The camera work is involving with crisp imaging giving an ideal blend of close and panoramic views as appropriate. The sound is excellent and is presented in 5.1 surround and stereo formats.
This is a dream production of a dream ballet given by a dream team and granted a totally sympathetic recording. It would be a Desert Island choice for me as it simply oozes happiness and a feel-good atmosphere that would enhance the gloomiest of days! For all of these reasons it is hard to imagine this fine disc failing to give future purchasers anything except considerable pleasure and so a 5 star rating seems the only reasonable option.

............................................

Some dialogue from the comments section that may offer further help:

I thought that you might like to know that before I buy a recording I now look through all the reviews to see if you have posted one. Your assessments and opinions are invaluable. Thank you. (US review)

I particularly like your format of review. They give the prospective purchaser an idea of the style of the playing and relevant comparisons. They are succinct. Keep up the good work! (UK review)

I'm sure there are many other serious collectors, besides myself, who wait for your synopsis and opinion before spending their hard-earned money on new releases...
Keep up the good work!
Thank you (UK review)

............................................
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Acosta's far too butch for Ashton's Fille., 14 Dec 2009
By 
This review is from: La Fille Mal Gardée, [DVD] [2010] (DVD)
I've been a fan of this ballet ever since I was little. It's a remarkable piece of work - it never dates and never seems tired.

Until now, I thought ballet was more or less exempt from the modern curse of celebrity culture.

Watching this version of 'Fille' I find I'm wrong. Carlos Acosta (who is rightly acknowledged to be a superb dancer) is about as wrong for the principal role of Colas as it is possible for anyone to be. He is simply miscast, and even his most ardent fans should not be ashamed to admit it.

I have seen him dance the role on stage, live, and for me he lacks a certain something that Ashton's choreography requires: I hardly dare use the word 'vulnerability', but it seems the only choice here.

Nobody in their wildest moments could ever accuse Carlos Acosta of appearing to be vulnerable. Or even particularly subtle. He is macho with a capital M - which might be OK for 'Le Corsaire', and for those bravura ballets where the male dancers do little else but show off their prowess - but this is not 'Le Corsaire', and Carlos Acosta has an air of conceited arrogance about him which sits most unhappily with the role of a tender-hearted young farm worker. Added to which, Acosta looks ill at ease playing with lengths of ribbon - and in 'Fille', as in a lot of Ashton ballets, quite a lot of ribbon gets played with quite a lot of the time. (A review of a recent revival - April 2012 - notes that Acosta's efforts with ribbons are still far from perfect.)

If anything, the whole performance suffers because of its miscast star. The balance of the original is upset, and I can't help wondering if Ashton would have been wholly pleased with Acosta's rather charmless interpretation. I suspect not.

Be careful watching this version, because while we might applaud the twirls and leaps, and ooh and aah as if we were at the circus, we are also in danger of forgetting the tender heart of this great and enduring work, and the genius of the choreographer who created it. It was surely never intended to be a convenient vehicle for ballet's vainest sex symbol.

NB - if you want a glorious dvd of 'La Fille Mal Gardee' as it should be performed, have the earlier version with Lesley Collier and Michael Coleman. It looks superb, they do it par excellence, and there really is no contest.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A joyful ballet, 31 Jan 2014
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This review is from: La Fille Mal Gardée, [DVD] [2010] (DVD)
Exquisite dancing. Inspired casting. A gentle amble through Suffolk countryside. William Tuckett as Widow Simone is outstanding. His clog dance is one of the best I've ever seen. This ballet is a joy to watch.
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La Fille Mal Gardée, [DVD] [2010]
La Fille Mal Gardée, [DVD] [2010] by Anthony Twiner (Conductor) (DVD - 2008)
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