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Ekman: A Swan Lake Ballet [Alexander Ekman] [Blu-ray] 
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I wanted to do something big and wild and different. Something with water!' said choreographer Alexander Ekman and filled the Main Stage at the Oslo Opera House with masses of water. In A Swan Lake, his new full-length work created for the Norwegian National Ballet, the dancers are joined on stage by actors, a soprano, musicians and 1,000 rubber ducks.
Alexander Ekman is an internationally acclaimed choreographer, recognised and sought after for his unique ability to pair wit and playfulness. With a score by Swedish composer Mikael Karlsson and costumes by Danish fashion designer Henrik Vibskov, A Swan Lake takes a fresh look at Tchaikovsky's ballet of all ballets.
Sound Formats: PCM Stereo, dts-HD Master Audio 5.1
Picture Format: 16:9
Blu-ray Disc: 25 GB (Single Layer)
Resolution: 1080i High Definition
Audio Language: GB
Running Time: 98 mins + 7 mins (bonus clips)
A disaster at its 1877 premiere, the fantastical Swan Lake was revived in 1895 and has since established itself as the most popular ballet ever. Daniel Barenboim, conductor of this sumptuous performance at Berlin's Staatsoper Unter den Linden (of which he is Artistic Director and General Musical Director) says "Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake is a masterpiece that transcends its time!". The production uses choreography adapted and subtly modernised by Patrice Bart from the 1895 staging, which combined with elegant costume and set design results in a very traditional and thoroughly engaging evening's entertainment. Barenboim ensures that Tchaikovsky's score is a romantic delight, the ensemble dancing is highly polished, Oliver Matz passionately intense as Prince Siegfried, Steffi Scherzer making an enchanting fairytale heroine.
On the DVD: The generally excellent anamorphically enhanced picture is almost completely free of grain, a slight soft focus in mid and long shots probably more attributable to the live production being shot on video rather than any fault in the transfer. Mastered in Dolby Digital 5.1, the sound mix is sensibly tied to the screen, the rear channels used to enhance live ambience, subtly establishing an effective sense of "being there". The only "special feature" is a plot synopsis, however, the superior booklet also provides a synopsis, notes on Tchaikovsky and the writing of the ballet, the performance and the performers. --Gary S. Dalkin --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
All of them are reviews of the Swan Lake presentation of the Ballet of the Deutsche Staatsoper Berlin in 1998 with Seffi Scherzer, Oliver Matz and conductor Daniel Barenboim!
I certainly prefer the wit and charm of Mats Ek's Cullberg Ballet presentation of Swan Lake to the original score and so much appreciate his choreography (also his Carmen and Sleeping Beauty). So much was made of Matthew Bourne's male swans yet Mats Ek was there first!
For me there were few moments of beauty in this overlong production whose objective was to create a shallow lake on stage for the dancers to experiment with interesting new moves - sometimes almost a cross over to ice skating and body boarding water sport!
Sorry I found the first act overlong, the music and dancing repetitive but perhaps the complex lighting and scenery together with so much action made it difficult to understand.
I longed for some effective cutting as the lake scene was brilliant in places but became repetitive.
This is the only version Swan Lake that I would not wish to view again!
When Svetlana/Odette comes on in the second act it is just one of those jaw to the floor moments, she is exquisite, just seems to be from a different galaxy to any other dancer. Her technique and sheer presence has to be seen to be believed.
In addition I can't see why anyone would object to the close ups, they are relatively few and it is fascinating to see the dancers' expressions. And of course both Svetlana Zakharova and Roberto Bolle are outrageously beautiful.
Set in Seigfried's mother's palace, Act three has some extraordinary folk dances in it, all orchestrated by a glowering von Rothbart. Siegfried's bewilderment as he weaves among the dancers desperately looking for Odette is wonderful to watch, as is the Queen's bemused disapproval at all these weirdos who have rocked up and launched a massive party in her palace! At this point the energy is amazing, dancers and audience alike are having the time of their lives and for a few moments it's more like a festival than a classical ballet.Read more ›
She does not have the same emotional input as some other ballerinas but that could just be an interpretation. Somewhere along the line she seems to have decided that the brilliance of her technique and artistry are not to be overshadowed by character portrayal.
I'm not a massive Roberto Bolle fan if I'm honest. His dancing is good, and he is gorgeous. However, sometimes I find him rather lacking in certain emotions, namely hysteria, grief E.T.C. This is more obvious in 'Giselle', also available on DVD (with Zakharova again), but it is sometimes noticeable on here. However, he is still perfectly agreeable to watch.
I much prefer the Bolshoi and Mariinsky Swan Lake's, mainly because of their use of Rothbart. Instead of a character role, he dances amongst the Swans and the Prince in Act 2 and 4, and I honestly feel this adds a lot to the story. It helps us to realise and understand his part in all of this, as well as his power over the Swans (and indeed the Prince in several Bolshoi versions).
The camera work is fine. It's not as great a quality as I was expecting to be honest. There are some less than perfect shots that are out of focus, but besides that it's fine.
The ending was somewhat different that the ones I am used to. It's a lot more happier, and I find it absolutely beautiful (even if I do prefer the somewhat tragic endings of others, this is a nice change).Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Magnificent in all respects!! Can be watched over and over again!!Published 7 months ago by Amazon Customer
Wonderful - could do with a better looking (coloured) booklet thoughPublished 9 months ago by Amazon Customer
Some great energetic dancing and amusing moments but the plot was very slight. Preferred Adventure In Motion Picture's retelling,Published 16 months ago by Tanith Panic
Nothing wrong with this product but it wasn't what we wanted.Published 18 months ago by Sacred Sparta.
This was for my daughter. We saw Matthew Bourne's modern version. She had never seen the classical ballet . Read morePublished on 10 Jan. 2014 by mar