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on 6 September 2014
I thought it would be more classical but it's very modern ballet or dance. I wasn't loving it but that's personal taste.
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on 15 June 2017
A great DVD. What an inspiring dancer!
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on 23 May 2004
You have to buy this. This is supposed to be one of the great documentaries - never mind great ballet documentaries - of television history, a television classic. It is indeed one of those DVDs it is really worth buying because you can watch it over and over again, just favourite sections or the whole thing, and each time you notice slightly different things. I already loved Balanchine so it was wonderful just to watch him in action and to see good long clips of his choreography which is so hard to get hold of. He is a very extraordinary character, austere and classical on the one hand, a (vulgar) showman at other times; actually it's the vulgar bits (Souza and union jack) that repay re-watching most of all. But a number of things make this especially special: the clips of the same ballet as it changes over the years and as itis performed in different eras, the bakcground story of ballet in the twentieth century, Diaghilev, baby ballerinas, ballet Society etc. but above all the mixture of the ballet and Balanchine himself with his amazing eclat, his comments about perfume and Apollo's knees and saying how do you do to Stravinsky. He is a really remarkable kind of artist, incredibly businesslike and yet completely serious. Obviously he is a performer but he seems incredibly genuine. What you see is what you get. And it is above all the way the producers matched the interviuews of this remarkable man to the clips of his remarkable dances that makes this documentary so resonant and memorable.
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on 22 October 2006
Originally a documentary film for a TV broadcast in the US, this DVD depicts Balanchine's amazingly wide range of choreography in a chronological order. His works include classical ballet in the Imperial Russian tradition, modern works based on classical ballet's style, and popular American dance choreography for Hollywood and Broadway, etc. Having been trained in both dance and music in Russia, he could produce original choreography based on any type of music.

The film traces his training in St. Petersburg, his early works for Ballets Russes of Diaghilev, and his long creative career in America. It has many commentaries by Balanchine himself about his creative process, with many archive film clips of his works and rehearsal scenes. His collaboration with Stravinsky is also depicted. He collaborated with the composer on thirty-nine works out of the total of over four hundred works he choreographed.

This is a fascinating documentary about this great and prolific choreographer. However, my regret is that there are only a small number of his works currently available on DVD, e.g. "Jewels" (danced splendidly by the Paris Opera Ballet and issued by Opus Arte), "Balanchine" (2 separate DVDs of his works from Warner Music Vision) and "A Midsummer Night's Dream" (BBC/Opus Arte).
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on 28 October 2010
I ordered this at the same time as Ballets Russes [2005] [DVD] having seen the V&A Diaghilev exhibition and thirsting for my own DVD covering this era of ballet. Though the Balanchine DVD, understandably, concentrates more on the ballets he choreographed and the later years spent in America...it is a rewarding experience in that it shows more of the ballets than the snippets that one gets to see in the other DVD. However, I am very glad I ordered both; though they cover and, at times, overlap common ground, they do so without being tedious or repetitive.
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on 26 May 2011
A brief overview of George Balanchine's background and his journey to bring Ballet to America. Lots of footage from his Ballet's and choreography are included. A little light on depth but it's not bad for an introduction.
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