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Ballet Spectacular [Acosta; Benjamin; Cojocaru] [OPUS ARTE: DVD]  [NTSC]
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Works: Adam: Giselle (2006)
Alina Cojocaru (Giselle); Johan Kobborg (Count Albrecht); Marianela Nuñez (Myrtha (Queen of the Wilis)); Martin Harvey (Hilarion); The Orchestra of the Royal Opera House; Boris Gruzin
Hérold: La fille mal gardée (2005)
Marianela Nuñez (Lise); Carlos Acosta (Colas); William Tuckett (Simone); Jonathan Howells (Alain); The Orchestra of the Royal Opera House; Anthony Twiner
Delibes: Coppélia (2000)
Leanne Benjamin (Swanilda); Carlos Acosta (Franz); Luke Heydon (Doctor Coppélius); Leana Palmer (Coppélia); The Orchestra of the Royal Opera House; Nicolae Moldaveano
"Leanne Benjamin's Swanhilda has much charm and the Cuban, Carlos Acosta, brings the appropriate ardour, grace and virtuosity to the role of Franz, while Luke Heydon's Dr. Coppélius is exemplary. There is first-class dancing from the Corps and lively, well-paced orchestral playing under Nicolae Moldoveaunu." (The Penguin Guide - Coppelia)
"Now we have this sparkling Ballet on DVD, beautifully filmed and with first class orchestral sound, richly played …fabulously entertaining...Bouyant performances." (San Francisco Chronicle - Coppelia)
"Cojocaru's interpretation, everyone seems to agree, is one of the greatest of all time, and she continues to refine it with every performance...One of the things which makes Cojocaru so poignant in this role is a quality that one senses in the dancer herself. Something in the emotional charge of her performances, some fragility beneath the ballerina steel, emphasises the ephemeral nature of the art form. It reminds us that we must seize the day." (The Observer - Giselle)
"The Royal Ballet's recent triumphs continue with this exquisite Giselle. Beguiling actress-dancer Alina Cojocaru embraces both Act I's sweet rural girl and the tragic ghost of Act II." (BBC Music Magazine - Giselle ★★★★)
"La fille mal gardée is sheer perfection. Nuñez and Acosta are unsurpassable respectively in the feminine grace and masculine confidence of Ashton's Lise and Colas, and their mimetic skills are delicious." (BBC Music Magazine - La fille mal gardee ★★★★)
"The Royal Ballet's present revival makes much of its vigorous characters, its brilliantly virtuosic solos and duets...[Marianela Nuñez] gives the swift, intricate footwork as gorgeously as I have ever seen it...Nunez is an excellent match for Carlos Acosta's whizzing solos and his cheerful eagerness as her admirer Colas..Altogether, a terrific show." (The Stage - La fille mal gardee)
CastCarlos Acosta (Colas [La fille]; Franz [Coppelia])Alina Cojocaru (Giselle [Giselle])Marianela Nuñez (Queen of the Wilis [Giselle]; Lise [La fille])Johan Kobborg (Count Albrecht [Giselle])Leanne Benjamin (Swanilda [Coppelia])William Tuckett (Widow Simone [La fille])
Orchestra of the Royal Opera House; Boris Gruzin; Anthony Twiner; Nicolae MoldoveanuTelevision Director: Ross MacGibbonChoreographer: Peter Wright; Dame Ninette de Valois; Frederick Ashton
Catalogue Number: OA1182BDDate of Performance: 2000, 2005, 2006Running Time: 377 minutesSound: Coppelia (Dolby Surround; Dolby Stereo); La fille mal gardee (LPCM Stereo; 5.1 Surround Sound); Giselle (2.0 PCM & 5.0 DTS)Aspect Ratio: 16:9 Anamorphic Subtitles: Extra features only: Giselle (French, German, Spanish, Italian); La fille (French, German, Spanish, Italian)Label: Opus Arte
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Anyway, this is excellent value for money though sadly not available in a blu-ray. For individual reviews of the ballets themselves I suggest you check the individual DVD pages.
But to briefly summarise - Cojocaru and Kobborg's (real life partners) chemistry in Giselle is sublime. And the Royal Ballet production (Peter Wright choreography) is one of the best out there, very faithful and classical. Coppelia is a delightful ballet with a good score and Benjamin is excellent in the role of Swanhilda. La Fille has the excellent Nunez/Acosta casting. Overall a good mix of different ballet styles/choreography (from the tragic romantic ballet of Giselle, to the more classical but lighthearted Coppelia, to the slightly silly and very 'British' style of Ashton) it makes for a good counterpoint to the Tchaikovsky classics for the ballet fan.
As an aside the picture on the front of the box is actually from the old Royal Ballet version of Swan Lake which isn't in this box set so is a bit misleading.
I think if you want only one of these ballets it's probably worth investing in the blu ray version of that (apart from Coppelia which is currently unavailable as a blu-ray, but a new 2019 recording from the Royal Ballet should be available in the next year or so as blu-ray, which is the same production). However if you are happy with only DVD quality this is excellent value for money as it's the same price as buying one DVD nearly.