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Bournonville: La Sylphide [DVD] [2011] [NTSC]

4.4 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Lis Jeppesen, Nikolaj Hubbe, Sorella Englund, Morten Munksdorf, Ann-Kristin Hauge
  • Format: NTSC, Colour, Full Screen, HiFi Sound
  • Language: English
  • Dubbed: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: Exempt
  • Studio: Warner Music Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: 27 Mar. 2006
  • Run Time: 62 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000E97ZY6
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 82,869 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

'La Sylphide', which first appeared in the 1830s, was the world's first Romantic ballet. The story of James, a young Scottish farmer enchanted by a sylph, or tree fairy, on the eve of his wedding, combines reality and fantasy. This production, recorded at the Royal Theatre, Copenhagen, in 1988, features Lis Jeppesen as La Sylphide and Nikolaj Hubbe as James.

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

DVD's featuring the Royal Danish Ballet don't come by the dozen and this re-release of August Bournonville's "La Sylphide", the quintessential Romantic ballet, is particularly welcome. Bournonville created his version of the ballet in Copenhagen in 1836, four years after the premiere of the original "Sylphide" from Filippo Taglioni at the Paris Opera. While the Paris "Sylphide" disappeared from the repertory the Danish version was miraculously kept in performance until the present day.
Recorded at the Royal Danish Theatre in Copenhagen in 1988, this famous film has been available on laserdisc some ten years ago and its release in the DVD-format was long overdue. The staging by Henning Kronstam and Arlette Weinreich, based on the authoritative production of Hans Brenaa is nothing short of ideal, while the cast led by Lis Jeppesen (the Sylph of her generation), a youngish Nikolaj Hübbe (in his debut as James) and Sorella Englund as Madge, is simply outstanding. Supporting roles include Morten Munksdorf as Gurn, Ann-Kristin Hauge as Effy and Silja Schandorff as the leading sylph in Act 2.

The video-transfer is excellent, the sound is simple stereo. "La Sylphide" is a short ballet (just over an hour) and some bonus features should have been included, such as a documentary on August Bournonville, the Royal Danish Ballet or its School.

But for the performance itself, nothing but the strongest recommendation.
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It was only after watching this DVD immediately following the DVD of La Sylphide (2004) that I realised this ballet is rather confusing. There are in fact three Sylphides, LES Sylphide adapted from Chopin's music (originally known as Chopiniana), and LA Sylphide that comes in two versions, the one on the DVD La Sylphide (2004) with music by Jean Schneitzhoeffer and this DVD with music by Herman Severin Løvenskjold.

The stories of the two LA Sylphides are the same but the music, dramatic presentation and choreography are very different.

The version with music by Løvenskjold is a much more folksy affair, with a great deal of mime, and the role of James (danced by Nikolaj Hübbe) is more supportive and gives the dancer little chance for virtuoso display. The role of Sylphide the tree fairy is a much warmer human role and is beautifully danced by Lis Jeppesen wonderfully projecting the helpless love of La Sylphide. This is a warm involving story that captures the imagination from beginning to end.

It is fascinating to compare the Schneitzhoeffer with this version, but for me Løvenskjold wins every time.
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From the second you put this DVD on do not look away unless you want to miss a treat.From the first dance by Lis Jeppesen I guarantee you to be captivated,Sorella Englund as the old fortune teller is a stroke of genius.The costumes are spot on and I could not find fault with any of the performers.
It is a short ballet,with much crammed into it,sylphs that disappear up chimneys leading on to the entrance of the bride to be with her friends,a very merry party indeed,this being the point where the groom disappears into the forest to look for his sylph.
Act2 is the more moving as James ends up killing the sylph and dying his self,Im sure you havent seen many ballets where both the main characters die but if you miss this one you`ve missed a masterpiece,that will keep you glued to the set...
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This is the Bournonville ballet and is beautifuuly danced by Lis Jeppesen and Nikolaj Hubbe in the role of James. Sorella Englund interprets Madge very well and Ann-kristin Hauge displays the deep frustration over being jilted on her wedding day. For a Dane,the role of James should be danced like an Englishman would act the role of Hamlet. This is the first Romantic ballet and shows clearly Jame's problem. He is not willing to settle down in a stable, middle class life with Effie and reaches out for the unattainable. In doing so he destroys it (in this case La Sylphide) and is damned in this world and the other world that he is seeking.
This is a more dramatic ballet that that of that danced by Ballet de L'Opera national de Paris with Pieree Lacotte's Reconstructed version.
As another reveiwer has commented this is a short ballet and the DVD would benifit from a documentary on the history of it.
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I can remember reading a magazine - maybe Bunty or Judy when I was about 10 years old and one of the stories/pictures was about La Sylphide. I have often spoke of this story to my daughter and then decided to see if I could get this dvd. I have sat and watched, and watched it over and over again. Love it, it brought me straight back to my childhood. I don't think the quality of the dvd is all that good but once you start to watch it you get lost in the ballet.
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