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Cristina

Recommendations, please

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Over the years we have managed to collect a few video tapes and dvd's of excellent performances of classic ballets. At this point we would like to add a few things to our collection. Any recommendations for a good recording of Giselle, Coppelia, Swan Lake?

Thank you in advance.

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at the risk of sounding self-referential etc. my book, BALLET 101 has a number of tapes described for the ballets you name here. (GISELLE & SWAN LAKE even have separate chapters given over to the two specific performances, which i deemed the time, useful and recommended.)

since the shorter videography in the back of the back of the book was finalized, a number of other performances have come out, including:

COPPELIA by the Royal Ballet, for instance, w/ Acosta and Benjamin(?)

GISELLE w/ Ferri and Murra

SWAN LAKE w/ a cast of dancers from the Berlin Opera House

as well as w/ the Birmingham Royal Ballet, in D.Bintley production.

readers of this site more familiar w/these versions might chime, but feel free to ask me any questions regarding anything said in my book on this subject.

or just wait for all the free advice likely to pour forth in any case.

good luck.

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I suppose the Swan Lake by the Berlin Opera House is the one by Patrice Bart and it's with Steffi Scherzer and Oliver Matz if it helps.

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I am very interested in acquiring The Royal Ballet's Coppelia with Acosta and Benjamin - would you know of where I could find it?

TheRedShoe

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OK, video help. I know other countires, ie: UK has different video configurations, we have VHS and they have PAL? But the DVD's are formatted differently as well?

I purchased 2 DVD's a few weeks ago in London and they will not work on my DVD player:( Boo Hiss!

Any ideas?:confused:

Karen

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i haven't seen the RB coppelia recording, but i would say that the australian ballet's recording of this ballet, with lisa pavane and greg horsman in the main roles, is excellent and very watchable.

(p.s. i have just recovered from gasping, as i realised who 'rg' is. :) :rolleyes: )

karen: australia and the UK have PAL VHS, while in america you have NTSC VHS. (i.e. BOTH are VHS systems.) these days, newer or 'better' models of VTRs (or VCRs) will often play both types of VHS tapes.

about DVDs: the numbering system was explained to me, but i've forgotten it. i'm sure someone else here will help out...

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OK - DVD help! The world has been split into DVD regions - US is region 1, UK and Europe is region 2, the Far East is region 3 etc etc. Over here in the UK we can get what we call 'multi-region' DVD players, which basically have a chip inside so we can watch DVDs from all over the world. Alternatively, you can buy a DVD player and get it 'chipped' (I'm not sure how legal chipping is - you can also do this with PlayStations). The main reason that this has been done is so that the big movie-makers can control who gets what film and when. I have noticed that some ballet DVDs have not been 'regioned' so you can play them anywhere (see www.dancebooks.com).

So, if you don't have a multi-region DVD player make sure you check what region the DVD is issued in before you buy it :) .

Hope that helps,

Tracey

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tracey, i seem to recall something about a 0 (DVD) code, which is for multiple areas...or am i imagining that?

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Not that I know of, grace. The only other one is 'uncoded' which means it can be played anywhere on any player - it may be that someone has decided to call it region 0 but it's not an 'official' coding. Here's a link to list of the regions.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/tg/bro...3286176-4522233

There is also a region 7 which has been reserved (not in use yet - ready for space stations maybe ;) ), and region 8 for special international venues (airplanes, cruise ships, etc.).

Tracey

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Now this DVD stuff is way confusing. When I inserted the DVD into my player it said on the screen "Not NTSC", what ever that means?

I looked on the back cover of my DVD's from here and it has alot of intials & other jargon I don't understand. On mine it does list NTSC.

On the UK ones one says Disc format "DVD-9", and the DVD "ALL". I will also try them in my car and computer to see if they work there.:confused:

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Karen, sorry you've stumped me there. I thought they'd done away with all this NTSC and PAL nonsense with DVDs. For an era where 'globalisation' is the corporate buzzword, they make a mess of these things sometimes :confused:

Tracey

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certain 'chipped' DVD players need to be 'told' via the remote control wand about out-of-usual-region dvds, meaning a certain number code needs to be input after turning the player off & then they are SUPPOSED to play the 'foreign' discs. but each case is likely different. so, unless you know you've got a multi-machine it's important to acquire only those dvd's of the region of the player, the US is region 1/NTSC. if your player is not multi-system prepared or 'chipped,' it's best to steer clear of any discs not marked 1/ntsc.

as for the royal ballet's COPPELIA w/ acosta & benjamin, i think that's only in region2/PAL at the moment. but i could be wrong.

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thanks rg, I think you are right!

Thanks for the help!

Karen

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Thanks for the suggestions, and for the insight on format differences. This is not something we have encountered, but as I delve into this more deeply, I am happy to know there are issues of which to be aware.

:)

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Like Cristina, I have also been thinking that I would buy some dvd versions of the classical ballets. Could anyone recommend a good version of Nutcracker?

Also, does anyone know any classical ballet dvd which includes good extras? I think I'd be happy to watch anything which includes both the ballet itself and a good "making of" documentary.

Thank you,

Minna

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probably the best all-round NUTCRACKER is the less-than-ideal transfer that balanchine's landmark production made to film, then video, and now, dvd.

ironically, the most interesting extra i've found is on the Barbie NUTCRACKER, which of course is an animation, however that disc has a charming little documentary about some female pupils of school of american ballet. one is already a dancer in the co. another if mem. serves is an apprentice and the other two are still in the school. this is a nicely done documentary film, not an animation.

the royal ballet's version of NUTCRACKER includes especially memorable performances of drosselmeier by anthony dowell and of clara by alina cojocaru.

hope this helps.

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[misclicked here - please ignore]

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There are two versions of the Nutcracker that I know are available on DVD:

-the one by the Royal Ballet, choreography by Peter Wright with Leslie Collier, Anthony Dowell, Michael Coleman, Julie Rose and Guy Niblett, it dates from 1985. It is the same version that is still danced by the Royal ballet.

-the one by the Staatsoper of Berlin, choreography by Patrice Bart, with Vladimir Malakhov, Oliver Matz, and Nadja Sajdakova (? I can't remember her name), which is much more recent.

The only one I know with an extra is Illusionen wie Schwanensee by Neumeier, in which Neumeier explains how he did the ballet, how the idea came etc, but it's not that long (maybe about 10 minutes).

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i now see that the 'nutcracker' post comes from europe. i didn't read carefully enough. probably then european advice would be more apt to this post than replies from a different dvd region.

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Personally, I wouldn't bother so much about the regions when giving DVD advice. A lot of the DVDs are available in all regions, and even when this is not the case it's is perfectly arrangable (at least in here) to see a "wrong region" DVD too.

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Yes, my dvd player can play any dvds, so regions are not an issue. Actually it is cheaper to buy region 1 dvds - sometimes region 2 discs cost much more than the r1 version of the same dvd!

Anyway, thank you for you recommendations and suggestions! I ended up ordering two ballet dvd's for now - Royal Ballet's version of Coppelia (2000) and Nutcracker also by Royal Ballet (1985 version featuring Anthony Dowell etc.). Knowing myself, I think that my new obsession to collect ballet dvd's does not end here. :)

I'm looking forward watching those with my ballet dancing friends... And oh, I'm still interested in hearing what you consider especially interesting or good ballet performances available on vhs/dvd, to put them on my wish list for the future :)

Thanks,

Minna

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I hope you enjoy these!

If you like the Paris Opera Ballet, there is a thread about its videos and DVDs. La Bayadère is a good one. Paquita has also been filmed recently, but it's not available commercially yet.

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Originally posted by Cristina

Over the years we have managed to collect a few video tapes and dvd's of excellent performances of classic ballets.  At this point we would like to add a few things to our collection.  Any recommendations for a good recording of Giselle, Coppelia, Swan Lake?

Thank you in advance.

It's not Swan Lake, but for a combination of good video and a great performance, you can't beat the ABT DVD of Le Corsaire. Ethan Steifel headlines a bunch of great male performances, and the way they deal with the convoluted plot is a hoot! Get it!

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