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Chopin / Adam: Les Sylphides/ Giselle [DVD] [NTSC] [2011]

4.3 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Svetlana Beriosova, Violetta Elvin, Alicia Markova, John Field, Nadia Nerina
  • Format: Classical, Colour, DVD-Video, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: French, German
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: Exempt
  • Studio: ICA Classics
  • DVD Release Date: 31 May 2011
  • Run Time: 92 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004TWOWUE
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 102,853 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)
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Product description

Product Description

These two valuable studio performances comprise rare archive material featuring internationally renowned dancers released for the first time on DVD. Les Sylphides, introduced by one of the founders of modern British ballet, Tamara Karsavina, is one of the earliest examples of a complete filmed ballet in the BBC archives. The production boasts a stellar cast, including Alicia Markova, Prima Ballerina Assoluta and Founder and President of English National Ballet. Markova, invited by Diaghilev to join his Ballet Russes at just fourteen, was the first British dancer to become the principal dancer of a ballet company. Svetlana Beriosova became a prima ballerina at Sadlers Wells in 1955, and Violetta Elvin, one of the Bolshois most promising talents was often seen as Fonteyns closest rival. Giselle, one of the most popular ballets from the Romantic era, features Nadia Nerina in the title role. Renowned as the best technician at Covent Garden in the 1950s and 1960s, Nerina was famous for her acrobatic lifts. New York Times critic on Nerina: She is as pretty as a picture, has great charm and can dance like a million dollars.....we shall all be fighting to drink champagne out of her slippers!

Review

Here is a Giselle to treasure. This Les Sylphides is essential viewing. --Clement Crisp, Financial Times, 25 June, 2011

Several ballet legends make rare appearances on film in a DVD of outstanding recordings of Giselle & Les Syphides from the BBC archives. --Rupert Christiansen, The Mail on Sunday, 17 July, 2011

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

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The find on this was the refined and well executed dancing of Alicia Markova in Les Sulphides, Someone that I have only heard about as a legend. From this performance I can understand why people that saw her dance had that opinion. Svetlana Beriosova in this ballet dances extremely well.
The disappoinment on this DVD was the second act of Giselle that had lost for me some of its emotion by cutting out important dance sequences due to trying to fit the ballet into a television time-slot. The very good and brilliantly executed dancing of Nadia Nerina could not compensate for this and for. this reason I regrettably took off a star from this rating. However, I found the ending very moving with Nikolai Fedeyechev being able to show deep regret for his earlier actions in the ballet.
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This is long overdue but thanks to ICA CLASSICS we can go back in time to a magical performance of Les Sylphides with the great Alicia Markova, light as thistledown. The performance also brings together the very young Svetlana Beriosova, only twenty at the time and at the beginning of a great career as a ballerina of the Royal ballet. Beriosova's elegant arms and wonderful back are already in evidence when this film was made. Also sharing the spotlight is the Russian born ballerina Violetta Elvin exquisite in the Mazurka. The performance opens with the magnificent Tamara Karsavina remeniscing about her own great career.The camera work is very much in its infancy but when you have dancing of this calibre you soon forget and are transported into the magic of dance not always seen today!!!
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There is so little on film of Svetlana Beriosova and Violetta Elvin that this DVD is worth buying for that alone. Even in the confines of a very tight BBC studio you get the essence of why they were rated as highly as they were. Markova has all the style and mystery that made her the prima ballerina she was.

You also have the added attraction of the LES SYLPHIDE being introduced by Tamara Karsavina, who created the piece for Michel Fokine (dancing with Anna Pavlova and Vaslav Nijinsky, no less)., with a wonderful cast. The GISELLE is another archival document, with a wonderful cast.

If you are interesting in ballet you should have this in your collection.
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I would only recommend this DVD to those ballet-lovers who have already seen Giselle and are buying it for the dancers. For those who haven't seen Giselle I would recommend a more modern production for first time viewing. This is simply because the filming style is quite poor, the cameras don't move with the unfortunate results of the screen showing only a dancer's skirt as she is carried off-stage past the camera. Giselle also seems more like a film with dancing than dancing being filmed as it is filmed in a studio rather than on stage. Other than that I have no problem with this DVD as the dancing is wonderful and is something to treasure.
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