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Question--Your List of "Essential" Ballet VideosDaughter wants to start a collection

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#46 jbtlse



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Posted 18 January 2004 - 01:55 PM

Rather late in the game I realize, I'd like to recommend The Dancer. It may only be available on video--but Katja Bjorner is breathtaking.

#47 KarenAG


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Posted 08 September 2012 - 07:56 AM

I don't own a huge collection of videos and DVDs but my collection is a lot of fun and growing. I especially value the documentaries and selections of historical performances and want to expand my library in this regard.

I own and love (and highly recommend) the outstanding documentary ballet DVDs by Dominique DeLouche (Katia et Volodia, Portrait of Maya Pliestskaya, Violette et Mr B, Yvette Chauvire: France's Prima Ballerina Assoluta); Dance in America's Balanchine and Bringing Balanchine Back; Born to Be Wild, which is great fun (love Mark Morris' Non Troppo at the end); Anne Belle's Dancing for Mr B; Also, Ballets Russes, which currently is my favorite ballet DVD (how I enjoyed Irina Baronova and the others recount their stories! = what a world it was back then for ballet), Bertrand Norman's Ballerina and a gem of a DVD by Virginia Brooks on Felia Doubrovska which I found delightful and poignant. These testimonials are bittersweet - they are illuminating, inspiring and the dancing is great but they are also sad because so many are now gone. Oh, yes,almost forgot: Tony Palmer's Margot.

I don't have a lot of DVDs of performances: I have the two-set DVD Choreography by Balanchine, which I consider essential; One DVD of the Stars of the Russian Ballet series which I recommend; ABT's 2005 Swan Lake; Bolshoi's 1976 Swan Lake with Maya and Fonteyn and Nureyev's Swan Lake from the early 50's (Vienna State Opera Ballet, I think) - IMO a rather unsatisfying performance because of Nureyev's bizarre makeup and the sloppy corps de ballet but interesting nonetheless. Also, I would recommend the Royal's Sleeping Beauty from 2006 - it's gorgeous and Marianela Nunez and Alina Cojocaru dance beautifully.

I would welcome DVD suggestions for Giselle performances.

#48 California


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Posted 08 September 2012 - 08:34 AM

I would welcome DVD suggestions for Giselle performances.

  • Royal Ballet with Cojocaru, Kobborg, Nunez, Harvey (released 2008; taped 2006)
  • Teatro alla Scalla with Zakharova and Bolle (released 2011; taped 2005)
  • Ballet Nacional de Cuba with Alonso and Vasiliev (released 2007; taped 1980 in Havana)
  • out-of-print, but shows up on eBay from time to time: ABT Live from Lincoln Center with Baryshnikov, Makarova, van Hamel (released on VHS 1988; recorded 1977; I don't believe this was ever released on DVD)

#49 KarenAG


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Posted 08 September 2012 - 08:46 AM

Thank you, California, for the suggestions.

#50 KarenAG


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Posted 08 September 2012 - 03:11 PM

Re my earlier post today and above on the Nureyev/Vienna Opera Ballet Swan Lake: That's early 1960s not 1950s. Sorry for any confusion.

#51 pherank


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Posted 11 September 2012 - 07:05 PM

My list of worthwhile DVDs...
(*** indicates my desert island, must-have collection)

Aurélie Dupont - Danse l'espace d'un instant (2010)
American Masters - Balanchine (documentary for PBS) ***
Coppelia (Australian Ballet, 1993)
Dance in America's The Balanchine Celebration (sadly, VHS only) ***
Degas and the Dance (documentary, 2004)
Bringing Balanchine Back (NYCB, documentary 2009)
Ballerina (documentary by Bertrand Normand, 2006) ***
Ballet Russes (documentary by Goldfine and Geller, 2006) ***
Choreography by Balanchine, both Volumes 1 and 2 on DVD ***
Dancing for Mr. B: Six Ballerinas (documentary, 1989)
Jacques D'Amboise - Portrait of a Great American Dancer (2006) ***
Jerome Robbins: Something To Dance About - The Definitive Biography of an American Dance Master (2009)
Essential Ballet: Kirov Ballet at Covent Garden, London and Gala Performance from Red Square, Moscow (1968)
Etoiles - Dancers of the Paris Opera Ballet ***
Jewels - Paris Opera Ballet (2006) ***
Kirov Ballet: The Magic of Russian Ballet (2004)
La Bayadere - Paris Opera Ballet
La Danse - Le Ballet de l'Opéra de Paris (documentary by Frederick Wiseman)
Maya Plisetskaya - Diva of Dance (2006) - this contains her performance of Bolero, missing from the other DVDs ***
La Sylphide (Paris Opera Ballet, 2004)
The Little Humpbacked Horse (with Maya Plisetskaya)
The Nutcracker - San Francisco Ballet (2008), NYCB (1997), Royal Ballet (2001)
Return of the Firebird [The Firebird, Petrushka and Scheherazade] (2002) ***
Sleeping Beauty - POB, Legris and Dupont (2006)
Stravinsky and the Ballets Russes: Le Sacre Du Printemps / The Firebird (2008)
Tchaikovsky Swan Lake - Mariinsky, Uliana Lopatkina, Danila Korsuntsev (2007)
The Children of Theatre Street (1997)
The Dancer (Swedish, 1994)
The Little Mermaid (San Francsico Ballet, John Neumeier choreography)
The Red Shoes (1948) ***
Sylvia (Ballet de L'Opera National de Paris) by John Neumeier (2005)
Sylvie Guillem - On the Edge (documentary 2009)
Tribute to Jerome Robbins (Ballet de L'Opera National de Paris) (2011)
Violette et Mr B (2008)
World's Young Ballet / Moscow International Competition 1969, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Ludmila Semenyaka, Anna Pavlova (2007)

There are films out there somewhere in the world - but not officially in release - that are a must see, such as Baryshnikov and Kirkland dancing Balanchine's "Theme and Variations" (1978), or "Apollo" with Peter Martins and Suzanne Farrell. But finding them in good condition is very difficult and pricey.

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