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Nutcracker [DVD] [2000] [NTSC] [2010]

5.0 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Anthony Dowell, Alina Cojocaru, Ivan Putrov, Miyako Yoshida, Jonathan Cope
  • Directors: Roger M. Sherman, Ross MacGibbon
  • Format: Classical, Colour, DVD-Video, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: German, French
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: Exempt
  • Studio: Opus Arte
  • DVD Release Date: 17 Dec. 2001
  • Run Time: 133 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005S6KS
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 61,312 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

Tchaikovsky's unforgettable score combines with the magical choreography inspired by Lev Ivanov in an atmosphere of fantasy and the supernatural. Hoffman's Christmas story unfolds with breathtaking splendour and beauty in the most festive and enduring of all ballets.

Press Reviews

"Peter Wright's production is gloriously traditional, brilliantly choreographed, lavishly spectacular...The camera is always in the right place and Tchaikovsky's miraculously inspired score, of which one never tires, is marvellously played..." (The Penguin Guide)
"...a sure-fire house filler and the perfect introduction to someone coming to the art form for the first time. There is the marvellous music of Tchaikovsky's inspired score – with tunes that anyone can whistle – colourful dances, lush costumes and lashings of stage magic. The arrival of the mouse king and the Christmas tree transformation are dazzling and the Royal Ballet's production is superb..." (Birmingham Evening Mail)
Awards Penguin Guide Rosette
Cast
Anthony Dowell (Drosselmeyer)
Alina Cojocaru (Clara Stahlbaum)
Ivan Putrov (Nutcracker/Hans-Peter)
Miyako Yoshida (Sugar Plum Fairy)
Jonathon Cope (Sugar Plum Fairy's Prince)
The Orchestra of the Royal Opera House; Evgenii Svetlanov

Stage Director: Peter Wright
Choreographer: Lev Ivanov
Catalogue Number: OA0828D
Date of Performance: 2001
Running Time: 133 minutes
Sound: Dolby Surround; Dolby Stereo
Aspect Ratio: 16:9 Anamorphic
Subtitles: EN, DE, FR
Label: Opus Arte

From Amazon.co.uk

Tchaikovsky's The Nutcracker ballet has had many facelifts over the years. Peter Wright's Royal Ballet production is among the most imaginative, bringing together the narrative and fantasy aspects with relish. The first half of Act 1 is made busy but low-key, moving up a gear with the majestic Christmas tree "Transformation Scene", and ending with a gorgeous "Waltz of the Snowflakes". Act 2 decks out the lengthy sequence of character dances with vivid stage sets, culminating in a moving reconciliation between the magician Drosselmeyer and his nephew. Anthony Dowell brings authority, Ivan Putrov enthusiasm to their respective roles; Alina Cojocaru is sympathetic as Clara, and Miyako Yoshida steals the show as the Sugar-Plum Fairy. The Royal Opera House Orchestra take time to adjust to Evgeny Svetlanov's spacious tempos, but the showpieces have real emotional force. A Nutcracker for today, and a Christmas treat for all ages.

On the DVD: The 16:9 anamorphic picture reproduces superbly, though rapid switches of camera angles in the ensemble scenes causes some blurring of focus. The PCM Stereo sound is equally realistic in its reproducing of the orchestra from the pit. Special features include insightful interviews with Dowell and Wright--with trilingual subtitles--a behind-the-scenes look at the "Transformation Scene", and alternative fixed wide shots of both that and the "Snowflakes" scenes. The 28 access points are given in the booklet's detailed synopsis. --Richard Whitehouse --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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I saw this when it was first broadcast on the BBC at christmas time and loved it, so to own it on dvd is truly wonderful. It'll make you feel like an awe filled child again, it does with me anyway. I cannot begin to imagine the work and effort that is required from everybody involved to produce a ballet of this quality but I'm full of admiration. This production of The Nutcracker is completely faultless, everything is so splendid, the costumes, the stage, the music, everything, and all the dancers are amazing. Well, this is The Royal Ballet at The Royal Opera House, so the perfection is no surprise. The special features are very impressive too, short interviews with Sir Peter Wright and Sir Anthony Dowell and a behind the scenes piece, which shows that putting on a ballet is as complicated as you'd imagine, and a couple of scenes with fixed wide shot, these are good because you get a feel of watching from one of the seats, however that's not to say the regular filming feels like the opposite, rather you feel like you've got the best seat in the house. Indeed, the camera work is outstanding, all the action is viewed well without the camera being brought to your attention, very clever.
A classic, I'm so glad I own it.
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Anthony Dowell is a supreme Drosselmeyer and the rest of the cast do him full justice. Alina Cojocaru as Clara, in particular, is on stage for most of the performance and is enchanting throughout, although all the performers give of their best. In spite of its age, this magical Peter Wright/Julia Trevelyan Oman production is still dazzling in its presentation and technical skill. The Royal Opera House Orchestra under Svetlanov give a beautiful account of Tchaikovsky's ravishing music. The DVD also provides as good a view of the stage and dancers as the best seat in the House. Highly recommended and worth every penny.
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This is a restaging of my favourite production - Peter Wrights 1985 Nutcracker. Lovely to see Anthony Dowell, who danced the Prince in 1985, as Herr Drosselmeyer - complete with conjuring tricks! And Myako Yoshida's Sugar Plum Fairy is a real highlight: her dancing manages to have a soft, romantic edge without losing any precision. A Christmas treat to be enjoyed at any time of year.
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This is a magical and the most lavishing production of Nutcracker, performed by world class dancers and presented in grandest scale both musically and theatrically. Svetlanov's choice of tempo is too slow in some of the scenes, but he brings out almost Wagnerian grandeur and emotional intensity in crucial scenes and climaxes. Few productions could capture the other-worldly atmosphere and the richness of the music with such taste and style.

My only disappointment is Miyako Yoshida's stiff and rather sedate rendition of Pas de deux, which does not match the greatness of the music - maybe choreographer's fault? But Alina Cojocaru's graceful performance as Clara more than compensates that. This is filmmed live in such a cleaver way that you feel as if watching the performance with the audience, sharing the dreamlike atmosphere together.

If you prefer the music only, Svetlanov's Melodiya recording is even greater than this version - Tchaikovsky - The Nutcracker - Svetlanov (2 CDs), you are bound to be moved to tears.

It is a miracle that Tchaikovsky could pack so many memorable and inspired melodies into a ballet. He could have written a few more symphonies out of the wonderful themes and motives! While Pathetique Symphony's underlying theme is death, Nutcracker is all about the wonder of life - or more appropriately the life after.
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I remember this version of The Nutcracker being broadcast live on BBC television. It was a gala production to mark Anthony Dowell's retirement in, I think, 2001, which explains why he has such an unusually prominent part as Herr Drosselmeyer. He uses his glittering blue and silver cape to full effect in Act 1 when he does his magic tricks, and in Act 2 he accompanies Clara and the Nutcracker Prince to the Land of Sweets and introduces each dance with a matador-like swirl of his cloak, as though he is magic-ing the dancers on to the stage.
Alina Cojocaru is a beautiful dancer and an ideal Clara, and she steals the show in Act 1, but instead of sitting in a box at the side of stage to watch the dances in Act 2, as usually happens, she joins in most of them. She and the Nutcracker also weave in and out in the snowflakes waltz which, I felt, distracted attention from this exquisite interlude. Clara is also encouraged by Drosselmeyer to join in the Dance of the Flutes which I found rather irritating because it focussed attention on her rather than on the four 'flautists' and spoilt the symmetry of the dance. She dances superbly, of course, but I still think she was surplus to requirements in some of the dances. Miyako Yoshida is a brilliant Sugar Plum Fairy ably supported by Jonathan Cope as her Prince, and there is much to enjoy in this excellent DVD.
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Format: DVD
I have 2 dvd versions of this wonderful ballet, but this is by far the better one.

I love all the magic trickery & the second half, the 'disvertissment', is a lot more interesting, as the young lovers take part in it - rather than just sitting watching.

The dvd extras are good too, especially how the transformation scene was created.

Not cheap - but worth the price!
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