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Ballet

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Stravinsky - Le Sacre du Printemps

Stravinsky - Le Sacre du Printemps

+bonus documentary: Soulscapes


Stravinsky:

The Rite of Spring


Giovanni di Palma & Kiyoko Kimura (soloists) & Wolfgang Manz, Rolf Plagge (pianos)

Gewandhausorchester Leipzig & Leipzig Ballet, Henrik Schaefer

Staging, Choreography, Sets, Costumes, Lighting Design & Film by Uwe Scholz

Uwe Scholz, former director of the Leipzig Ballet, was hailed as one of the most brilliant choreographic minds of his generation and one of the most important German choreographers at the time of his untimely death in November 2004 at the age of 45. Scholz took up his first position as a choreographer with Marcia Haydée in Stuttgart when he was 22. He saw himself as a mixture between his teacher John Cranko and the influential George Balanchine, and the magically beautiful and extraordinarily musical choreographies that he created for houses such as the Opera in Vienna, La Scala, Zurich and Leipzig owe much to neoclassicism.This DVD recording focuses on the two interpretations of Le Sacre du Printemps that he created for 'his' Leipzig Ballet, the company that he led to international fame from 1991. The evening opens with a legendary solo interpretation, danced by Giovanni di Palma to Stravinsky's own adaptation for two pianos of the ‘Rite’. Often seen as Scholz's autobiographical legacy, this choreography shows a dancer's loneliness and despair in heartbreaking images.An emotive ensemble interpretation to the original orchestral version of the same piece forms the second half of the evening. Here Kiyoko Kimura takes the leading role among the 56 dancers on the stage.The staging proves the ensemble to be one of the best contemporary ballet companies worldwide. Günter Atteln's insightful documentary Soulscapes is a full-length homage to Uwe Scholz showing excerpts of his most important works.The film offers a warm and detailed account of a thoroughly fascinating life and includes some very personal interviews with a man consumed by his art until his last breath.

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Medici Arts - 2055728

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$33.50

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Carmen & Purim - Ballets

Carmen & Purim - Ballets

Robert North & Istvan Juhos


 

Carmen

Christopher Benstead

Purim

Ferenc Javori


Gyori Ballet Company

British choreographer Robert North presents this passionate ballet setting of the famous story of “Carmen” for the Gyori Ballet Company, to music by Christopher Benstead. Also featured is the ballet “Purim” (The Casting of Fate) by Hungarian choreographer Istvan Juhos, to music by Ferenc Javori. This is an excellent DVD of contemporary dance by this Hungarian company formed in 1979.

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Videoland - VLD141

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Mediterranea

Mediterranea

Music ranges from Mozart, Ligeti, Palestrina and music of the Mediterranean cultures.


Massimo Murru, Antonino Sutera, Francesca Podini, Gabriele Corrado

Orchestra and Corps de Ballet of Teatro alla Scala Milan

Subtitles: English, Frenchy, Italian

Recorded live at the Arcimboldi in Milan March 2008.

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Hardy - HCD4035

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Zero Degrees

Zero Degrees


Zero Degrees is a remarkable collaboration between four of today's most respected artists.

Moroccan-Flemish SIDI LARBI CHERKAOUI is best known for his work with Les Ballets C. de la B. while AKRAM KHAN is world renowned for developing his own 'contemporary Kathak' style, winning numerous awards. For Zero Degrees they bring their unique styles together in this spellbinding piece of dance.

Mercury Award winning composer/producer NITIN SAWHNEY adds his own East-meets-West sound with a specially commissioned score played live by four musicians, and Turner Prize winner ANTONY GORMLEY has contributed the staging - two life-size casts of the dancers.

Zero Degrees explores borders - between countries, cultures and, most importantly, between life and death. It challenges, prompts and inspires, in a seamless fusion of dance styles, music and contemporary art.

Unique and exclusive recording at Sadler’s Wells of this worldwide box office hit;

Exclusive DVD bonus features: in-depth interviews with Akram Khan and Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, two of the world’s most successful and inventive choreographers, stills gallery and limited edition collector’s booklet;

Excerpts featured in BBC1’s Imagine programme;

“zero degrees is a thing of strange, sweet, brutal beauty… a devastating must-see” Evening Standard

“Transfixing, not only because they are superb dancers but because their performance is given such strange and potent definition by its staging.” The Guardian

“Hugely moving and visionary” The Daily Telegraph

“Sawhney’s exciting score takes a journey of its own, from visceral, sensuous rhythms that burst with life, to beautiful plangent melodies that linger in the air like the spectre of death” The Times

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Axiom Films - AXM59

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Nureyev

Nureyev


Rudolf Nureyev

Patricia Foy (director)

Duration: 90’

English commentary with French and German subtitles

No performer on the world stage received so much acclaim and publicity as Rudolf Nureyev, and no one gave away so little about their private life and thinking. In this television biography, made some twelve months before his death in 1993, Nureyev tells his own story in his own words and recalls turning points in his career.

The programme traces Nureyev’s life, starting out from his home town of Ufa in the shadow of the Ural Mountains, half way between Moscow and Siberia. When filming took place there, Ufa had changed very little since his departure thirty years before. The school was still there and so was the modest wooden house, which his family shared with two others. The green curtains still hung at the old theatre, where he saw the ballet performance which changed the course of his life.

Nureyev’s sister, his head mistress and the dance teacher who first discovered him (101 years old at the time this programme was made), all recall the solitary rebel. At the Kirov Theatre, the prima ballerina who was his first partner remembers the student who emerged as the most brilliant dancer of his generation.

The cameras were also allowed to film Nureyev on his Mediterranean island of Li Galli, which once belonged to another Russian dancer, Massine.

Nureyev’s dancing career has been extensively chronicled on film and television. This definitive biography incorporates extensive archive material and documents Nureyev’s career with footage of his greatest roles and the most important events in his life.

Ninette de Valois, mentor; Margot Fonteyn, partner; Roland Petit, choreographer; and Sylvie Guillem, dancer, are among those who comment on the life and legend of this fiery Tartar. There are extracts from the following ballets: Le Corsaire, The Sleeping Beauty, Marguerite and Armand, Apollo, Aureole, Don Quixote, Cinderella and Pierrot Lunaire.

THE STORY

This is the story of a dancer. It describes the struggle of an impoverished and misunderstood boy against his environment, enfolds a dramatic and romantic success story and reveals unexplored scenes of Russian life. Above all, it traces the development of an exceptional artist who totally changed the face of ballet.

Nureyev was born on a train, in the vicinity of Irkutsk, on 17 March 1938. His mother and three sisters were on their way to Vladivostock to join his father who was a political instructor with the Red Army. Both parents were Moslem Tartars and Nureyev never regarded himself as Russian. His early years were spent in a poverty-stricken village near Ufa. The farnily of five shared one room with an old couple and existed on an irregular diet of potatoes. He was permanently hungry and inadequately clothed. On his first day at kindergarten, he wore his sister’s dress and had no shoes. His mother carried him to school and all the children laughed and called him “the beggar”.

Shortly before hs sixth birthday, his whole world changed. His mother smuggled him into a ballet performance at the local theatre. The impact of the experience had such a magical effect that, from that moment, he resolved to become a dancer. He joined the folk dance class at school and could think of nothing else. At home he danced and sang continuously. His father planned a military career for his only son and found these artistic inclinations frivolous and unmanly. He beat him for dancing. Nureyev was always frightened of his father and, even in his teens, could never look him in the eye.

Nureyev was always a loner. About tlvs time he discovered a small hill near hs home fkom which he could observe the people of Ufa going about their daily lives. It had a good view of the Bath House, which was the social centre on a Saturday morning, but, more important, it dominated the railway station. He was magnetised by the trains and, throughout his childhood, spent hours each day watching them and imagining himself aboard.

It was not until he was 17 that Nureyev took one of those trains. He saved up and bought the cheapest ticket to Leningrad (St Petersbwg). He made his way to the Kirov Theatre and asked for an audition with the Ballet. He was 18 years of age with almost no classical training but was accepted. Within three years, he had become the most outstanding dancer of his generation.

There were constant collisions with authority. He rehsed to become a Party member and in other ways maintained his independence. Matters reached a climax during the visit of the Kirov Ballet to Paris in June 1961. As the Company were waiting at Le Bourget

Airport to board the plane for London, Nureyev was told he would be returning immediately to Moscow. Eluding his two Russian guards, he gave a balletic leap over the barrier to freedom. Overnight, he became the most famous dancer in the world. He was 23.

The following season he made his dkbut with the Royal Ballet, in Giselle, with Margot Fonteyn. This legendary partnership generated international acclaim and they danced all over the world. They were ‘superstars’, bringing ballet to a new and wider audience. Nureyev was equally at home in the classics or modem dance styles, with a repertoire of more than 90 roles.Averaging 200 performances a year, he re-established the importance of the male dancer and his image was comparable with that of a pop idol.

With so much creative energy, Nureyev’s talents expanded beyond dancing. He choreographed five original ballets and remounted 20 more classical productions. He CO-directed films and appeared as an actor. He starred in a stage revival of The King andI. In 1983, he became Artistic Director of the Paris Opera Ballet, transforming it into one of the finest companies in the world, remaining, until his death, their Resident Choreographer.

Nureyev’s life-style was exotic but he never put down roots. He had a wardrobe of designer clothes, but invariably wore well-worn garments. He had homes in Paris, Cannes, London, New York and a farm in Maryland, as well as an island between Capri and Positano. The island had previously belonged to the dancer and choreographer Massine and, in a Saracen’s tower, there is a fully equipped dance studio. The island had been unoccupied for ten years and, with a concentration of energy and involvement, Rudolf set about making it habitable. A helicopter pad was made and building materials and furniture began to arrive. A gilded bath was ordered from Paris. Its perilous delivery by helicopter, swinging and glinting in the sun, was for Nureyev a moment of sheer delight. The Bath House at Ufa was far, far away.

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EMI - 2165729

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$16.00

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Tchaikovsky: The Nutcracker, Op. 71

Tchaikovsky: The Nutcracker, Op. 71


Damaas Thijs, Elisabeth Ros, Gil Roman, Juichi Kobayashi & Yvette Horne

Orchestre Colonne & Béjart Ballet Lausanne, Edmon Colomer

Directed by Ross MacGibbon

English commentary with French and German subtitles

Christmas Night. A little boy sits alone by a small, feeble Christmas tree from the branches of which sadly hang garlands salvaged from Christmases past. His mother is dead. Suddenly, in a dream, or by magic, she is there, next to him, and places a small gift at the foot of the tree. The enchanted night begins: the gift grows bigger and becomes a miraculous icon, fiends flood in, the mother appears, alive, followed by two Angels of Light created by Marius-Mephisto. The whole room is dancing and the child begins to laugh. Is it a dream? Reality is that which we feel to be real. Reality is the moment, here and now. Freed from his fear, the boy watches the Pas de Deux from The Nutcracker directed by Marius, his master, and danced by the Prince and Princess.

“I remember! Christmas.. .. Marseille, the tree, the Nativity scene, the presents, the thirteen desserts -among them my favourite -the NUTS! Above all, I loved cracking nuts. My father had shown me that the insides were like a little human brain. I remember.. . My mother. I was seven years old. One evening she said to me, ‘your mother is going on a long journey. Promise me you will be good. I remember. Christmas.’ ”

So wrote Maurice Béjart in his programme notes for his version of the well-loved Christmas ballet The Nutcracker (Casse-Noisette). Béjart’s magical staging transforms the piece into an enchanting and enchanted autobiography and a loving homage to the choreographer’s mother and to his creative hero, Marius Petipa. The first part of the performance is punctuated by Béjart, on a huge video screen, telling something of his childhood. Summing up his approach to creating this ballet, Béjart remarked, “You live a life and you dream a life. When you come to write your own life you tell a lie to build the truth.”

Using Tchaikovsky‘s score in its entirety, augmented with popular waltz and accordion music performed on-stage by the legendary Yvette Homer, Béjart takes the original St Petersburg story as a springboard from which to evoke the memories, emotions and feelings of his own life’s journey: from a Marseille childhood, dominated by the memory of his mother to the passionate commitment to dance, inspired by the father of classical ballet, Petipa. The stage is flooded with allusions to Béjart’s actual and imaginary history: characters both real and symbolic, forests, scouting, bull-fighting, bicycles, old songs and much more, create a universe of feeling reaching its apotheosis in a faithful recreation of the original Pas de Deux -a true declaration of love. The only character in his Nutcracker that relates to the original is Mephisto, who replaces Drosselmeyer as the facilitator of fantastical dreams and happenings. Goethe’s Faust fascinated Béjart when he was still very young and the choreographer’s Mephisto is at the same time his creative hero Marius Petipa. Marius-Mephisto opens up a world to the boy Bim (Béjart) in which his dream life and his desire to dance are intertwined.

Three performances of Béjart’s Nutcracker were recorded live fiom the Theatre du Chatelet in Paris for the purposes of this television presentation.

The showman of modem dance, Maurice Béjart’s work has been provocative, influential and popular in equal measure. His choreography has always been physically thrilling, setting up an immediate emotional combustion between audience and performer, and he attracted huge new audiences for dance with the Ballet of the Twentieth Century productions he mounted in sports stadia, public squares and circus tents. Since founding the Béjart Ballet Lausanne in 1987, he has been working on a more intimate scale but his style has remained just as electric, vivid and direct in its appeal as ever.

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EMI - 2165869

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Tchaikovsky Gala

Tchaikovsky Gala


Tchaikovsky:

Swan Lake, Op. 20 (excerpts)

Vladimir Bourmeister (Choreography & staging) & Roberta Guidi di Bagno (Sets & costumes)

Polina Semionova, Roberto Bolle, Maurizio Licitra, Gianni Ghisleni & Flavia Vallone

Sleeping Beauty, Op. 66 (excerpts)

Marius Petipa (Choreography) & Franca Squarciapino (Costumes)

Marta Romagna, Antonino Sutera & Daniela Cavalleri

The Nutcracker Ballet, Op. 71 (Excerpts)

Patrice Bart (Choreography and staging) & Luisa Spinatelli (Costumes)

Nadja Saidakova & Ronald Savkovic


Corpo di Ballo ed Orchestra del Teatro alla Scala, David Coleman

This Tchaikovsky Gala is a must for ballet fans, showcasing Roberto Bolle, resident star of La Scala, and Polina Semionova, Nadja Saidakova and Ronald Savkovic, all Berlin State Ballet principals, in their very first appearances on the Scala stage. Some of the most exacting and demanding moments from Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty and The Nutcracker are presented, showing to great effect the prowess of the corps de ballet and stars alike. David Coleman conducts musical highlights from the three ballets all set in the Act III décor of Swan Lake: Prince Siegfried's birthday festivities are being held in the castle hall, a veritable tourbillon of dances, from Czardas to Spanish, Neapolitan to Mazurka all of which leads into the celebrated 'Black Swan' pas de deux, starring Roberto Bolle and Polina Semionova. As if by magic, another homage to Tchaikovsky appears:Aurora and her four princes in the immortal 'Rose Adagio', encompassing both dreamy sweetness and technical strength, being one of the most difficult choreographic passages of Sleeping Beauty alongside the 'Blue Bird' pas de deux and the Act II pas de deux from The Nutcracker performed here by Nadja Saidakova and Ronald Savkovic.This perfect gift for any ballet lover is also available in Blu-Ray HD format for the best quality video and audio available.

Bonus: " Etoiles et petits pas" by Liliane de Kermadec.

Backstage at La Scala with the artists in rehearsals (31 minutes)

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Bel Air Classiques - BAC037

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$34.00

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Bill T. Jones - Solos

Bill T. Jones - Solos

A film by Don Kent & Christian Dumais-Lvowski


A major figure on the contemporary choreography scene, Billy T. Jones is also a remarkable dancer and a performer with an electrifying stage presence. Jones choreographed and performed worldwide as a soloist and duet company with his late partner, Arnie Zane before forming the Bill T. Jones /Arnie Zane Dance Company in 1982. Creating more than 100 works for his own company, Jones has also choreographed for American Dance Theater, Boston Ballet, Lyon Opera Ballet and Berlin Opera Ballet among others. In 1990, Jones choreographed Sir Michael Tippett's New Year under the direction of Sir Peter Hall for the Houston Grand Opera and the Glyndebourne Opera Festival. He conceived, co-directed and choreographed Mother of Three Sons, which was performed at the Munich Biennale, New York City Opera, and the Houston Grand Opera. He also directed Lost in the Stars for the Boston Lyric Opera. Here, alone in a studio and filmed from a totally cinematic point of view, he speaks to us of violence, gentleness and emotion in three short pieces: Ionization to music by Edgar Varèse; Chaconne, from Bach's Partita for solo Violin in D minor; and Tea for Two, the famous classic song. Bonuses on the The dancing man include interviews with the choreographer, master classes and dance excerpts.

"We will either dance or die" Bill T. Jones

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Bel Air Classiques - BAC039

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Tchaikovsky: The Nutcracker, Op. 71

Tchaikovsky: The Nutcracker, Op. 71

Recorded live at the War Memorial Opera House, San Francisco, California, on 19th & 20th December 2007


Damian Smith (Uncle Drosselmeyer), Elizabeth Powell (Clara), Davit Karapetyan (Nutcracker Prince), David Arce (King of the Mice), Yuan Yuan Tan (Queen of Snow), Pierre-François Vilanoba (King of Snow), Vanessa Zahorian (Sugar Plum Fairy)

San Francisco Ballet & San Francisco Ballet Orchestra, Martin West

Choreographer: Helgi Tomasson

This visually stunning, all-new production of Nutcracker, choreographed by Helgi Tomasson (artistic director of the San Francisco Ballet) is a graceful and timeless adventure on a grand scale. The scenic design by Michael Yeargan, setting the tale at the time of the 1915 San Francisco World Fair, is sensational. From the lovely Waltz of the Flowers to the crystalline beauty of the stunning Snowflake Waltz, each scene is more breathtaking than the last, bringing to life all the well-known and beloved characters with fresh sparkle and compelling originality. Recorded in High Definition video and true surround sound, this age-transcending production offers a dazzling magical journey which is garnering critical acclaim throughout the world.

Bonus material:

Illustrated synopsis & cast gallery.

Interviews with Helgi Tomasson, Michael Yeargan and Martin Pakledinaz.

Documentary: 1915 World's Fair.

‘The opulent new version of the seasonal classic, launched spectacularly by the San Francisco Ballet, is every parent’s dream of a holiday treat. It looks scrumptious, tastes delicious, offers substantial nourishment and won’t cause cavities.’ San Francisco Examiner

PICTURE FORMAT: 16:9
LENGTH: 132 Mins
SOUND: DTS SURROUND 5.0 / LPCM 2.0 STEREO
SUBTITLES: FR/DE/ES/IT

“This sumptuous production of Nutcracker updates the scenario to San Francisco during the 1915 International Exposition. With ravishing sets, superb dancing and stunning sound, it is an absolute delight.” BBC Music Magazine, September 2009 *****

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Opus Arte - OA1002D

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$33.50

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Khachaturian: Spartacus

Khachaturian: Spartacus


Choreography: Yuri Grigorovich

Scenario: Nikolai Volkov

Scenography, Set and Costume Design: Simon Virsaladz

Lighting Design: Mikhail Sokolov

A production of State Academic Bolshoi Theatre of Russia

Co-produced by Bel Air Media, Bolshoi Theatre of Russia In association with France 2, BBC and Decca Music Group with the support of Centre National de la Cinematographie

The world's greatest male dancer, Carlos Acosta, dances the greatest male ballet lead Spartacus, in Grigorovich's famous Soviet ballet, created for the Bolshoi to Khachaturian's famous score. Following sensational performances in Moscow and London in 2007, the Bolshoi's production was re-staged and filmed in January 2008 in the Paris Opera's Palais Garnier, especially for Carlos.

Captured in HD widescreen, this is the first major DVD/video of Spartacus since the Bolshoi's own performances from the 70s.

This is the first DVD marking the signing of Carlos Acosta to the Decca label as an exclusive artist, and the next DVD release is expected to be the Royal Ballet's production of Romeo & Juliet, starring Acosta and Tamara Rojo.

Extras: The DVD will also include a 30 min extra film, featuring interviews with Carlos and choreographer Yuri Grigorovich.

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Decca - 0743303

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