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4.4 out of 5 stars
11
4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 6 November 2006
This recording was made at a live performance in 1999 in London when The Pacific Northwest Ballet (of Seattle, USA) was on tour. It is an enjoyable version choreographed by George Balanchine. Whereas Frederick Ashton's version ("The Dream") has only one act, this version has two acts. Since Mendelssohn's incidental music is not long enough for a full-length ballet, other music by the same composer is used. Not only additions were made, but also the original music has been arranged, which may not be to everyone's taste.

The entire action of the story takes place in the first act. The dancing and acting by all the soloists are good. The role of Tatiana is danced by Patricia Barker sensitively. The humourous Puck's role is acted well. The four lovers show tenderness and humour. The children who act as fairies are charming. The second act has no narrative and is pure classical dance. It celebrates the three weddings: of Theseus to Hippolyta, of Hermia to Lysander, and of Helena to Demetrius.

If you are a purist and want to see a version which uses only the original incidental music, then "The Dream" by Ashton (danced by The American Ballet Theatre, and on the DVD issued by Arthaus Musik) will be for you. However, if you don't mind about the purity of music used, and if you like Balanchine's classical choreography, then this version under review will be very enjoyable. The picture quality is very good, and the digital sound clear.
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on 19 July 2007
This ballet has the story in the first half. There is great dancing, great music, Great Camera work by Ross McGibbon Close ups at correct times and distance shots all done as it should be. The lovers is one of my favourite pieces in all of ballet where the lovers get all mixed up aided by Pucks errors. Lisa Apple is perfect for the part and lets her emotions all out in her dance in that section. Great stuff.
The BBC even got an award for it. Children form the ballet school join in too.

Tatania has a pa deux de with a donkey to Mendelssohns beautiful music. Finally in thes secnd half you have treble wedding celebrations!

The second half is pure dance with famouse wedding music.

It has just about everything.
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on 12 July 2012
full stars for the ballet! patricia barker gives a hypnotically beautiful performance! my little three-year old girl is addicted to it. i just don't understand why the recording of a theatre performance has to be so costly. 28 ukp! for weeks i hesitated and then bought a copy for 16 ukp on the amazon marketplace.
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on 3 February 2016
This presentation is such a joy. The Pacific Northwest Ballet company dancers are simply outstanding. Every dance movement and every note harmonized together to present the spirit of the story. Nothing was out of place. The skill of the dancers and musicians made for a happy experience. My only concern (very minor really) was the applause at certain spots which interrupted the mood. If you enjoy ballet, you need to see this.
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on 24 June 2009
i'm so glad that this beautiful version by pacific northwest is part of my ballet dvd collection,especially as the filming,lighting and costumes are so good. this really allows the performance to come across well on tv.
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on 26 December 2013
True to the style of an Opus Arte recording, this is not a DVD of a Balanchine ballet, but an assemblage of rapidly changing shots of ballet dancers. The scene changes from a full-stage view to one of the principal ballerina's left ear, then another dancer's upper body, then back to the full stage ... and so on. One never sees the full choreography. Poor Balanchine worked so hard to choreograph the whole stage, and the poor corps de ballet worked so hard to learn their steps, yet the production shows neither. With each new phrase of the music, the scene flits. One never has the impression of watching a fully-integrated Balanchine-choreographed work, but of dancers performing seconds-long separate movements. I really do not want to see the upper-half only of the dancers: they dance with their legs. It is perfectly clear that those whom Opus Arte choose to direct their productions have no understanding at all of what a ballet is. I watched the first act and then gave up.
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on 29 January 2008
Balanchine produced a ballet which for once was superior to the Ashton version of bthe same subject. His use of Symphonies for Strings and more sensitive choreography make this a winner., great in all respects
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on 24 April 2013
Bought this for the theme, but wound up enjoying the entire performance.
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on 22 September 2014
Very happy with this. Beautiful production. Splendidly danced and played.
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on 21 August 2016
Lovely ballet
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