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POB videosdiscussion about Paris Opera Ballet videos


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#1 Guest_Rosmarinus_*

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Posted 11 June 2004 - 06:37 AM

Excuse me, does anyone know about making DVD of La Syphide this season? I've heard the TV team will take not a pair of Dupont and Legris but Letestu and Martinez. There's no news I could find on the official site of POB....

#2 Estelle

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Posted 11 June 2004 - 01:58 PM

I've heard that it will be indeed filmed with Legris and Dupont (on July 10th, 12th and 13th- the POB web site lists Martinez for the 13th, but it must be a mistake as Martinez is not supposed to dance with Dupont and Hurel), but it was not official news, so I don't know how reliable it is.

But in general the direction seems to like to film Dupont and Legris, as they already were filmed in "Don Quixote" and "The Sleeping Beauty" (and they were supposed to be filmed too in "Paquita", but Dupont got injured and couldn't dance it, and they filmed Letestu and Martinez instead). They're wonderful dancers, but I wish they would film some other dancers too and not always the same ones (and what a pity there were so few films with the dancers of the previous generation of principals, for example I'd have loved to see a video of Loudières in "Giselle" or "La Sylphide"...)

#3 Naoko S

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Posted 11 June 2004 - 02:18 PM

>>(and what a pity there were so few films with the dancers of the previous generation of principals, for example I'd have loved to see a video of Loudières in "Giselle" or "La Sylphide"...)

And how about Elisabeth Platel - isn't it scandalous we have no filmed performance of a full lengh ballet in which she took a lead? It's never too late, if only they decided to release something out of their archives - Raymonda, Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake.... they would surely make my day!!

#4 sylphide

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Posted 11 June 2004 - 02:40 PM

I could not agree more Naoko :yes:

#5 Guest_Rosmarinus_*

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Posted 12 June 2004 - 03:52 AM

>I've heard that it will be indeed filmed with Legris and Dupont but it was not official news, so I don't know how reliable it is.

Estelle
It is very kind of you to let me know that above!! As a couple for la Sylphide, I prefer Dupont and Legris. Otherwise I wonder if there' s no indication for such programme, I mean Film making, on the offical site.

>They're wonderful dancers, but I wish they would film some other dancers too and not always the same ones

I agree with Estelle and Naoko S as well. I really want to have films, Swan Lake with Letestu and Martinez ( I wonder why POB doesn't make this film with Noureev version...a popular Ballet classic! ) and as for Giselle with Maurin. But are there any chances for us to see the films with retired dancers, like Platel and Guerin... I really hope so!!

Edited by Rosmarinus, 12 June 2004 - 04:04 AM.


#6 Marc Haegeman

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Posted 12 June 2004 - 04:46 AM

From a purely commercial viewpoint (and that’s - like it or not - the only one that really counts for the distributing houses), producing ballet videos/DVDs is a very risky business. It remains a fact that the market for those items is extremely limited and it’s not because ballet X is popular in the theatre that it will sell when released on home video.

The Paris Opera Ballet is for that matter doing great. We had several of their current productions in the last years on DVD – something which cannot be said of all major ballet companies – and of course there will always be somebody who prefers this or that cast to the one featured on the DVD, but there is really no such thing as a wishing list in this racket.

(Platel can be seen as Gamzatti alongside Guérin and Hilaire in the POB's Bayadère.)

#7 Estelle

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Posted 12 June 2004 - 06:43 AM

Oh yes, it's a pity there are so few videos of Platel- only Gamzatti in "La Bayadère" and the bride in "Les Noces" (but that's not a big role). But the POB didn't released many videos in quite a long period, unfortunately (and also some ballets were films and shown on TV, like for example "Le Tricorne" and "Le train bleu", but never available on tape and on DVD). They seem to film more ballets now, but still not enough...

[Edited to add that I posted that message before seeing Marc's message.]

#8 rg

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Posted 12 June 2004 - 07:05 AM

if memory serves, i think platel is featured in some of dominque delouche's films, in particular i believe she is the dancer being coached by chauvire in aurora and perhaps in other roles too. but i don't think delouche's films are available commercially.

#9 Naoko S

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Posted 13 June 2004 - 06:40 AM

rq, there's indeed a video/dvd nearer to what you described which has been sold in Japan for many years. It's titled "Une Etoile pour l'Exemple", directed by D. Delouche, Mme Chauvire coaching the then rising stars of POB: Guillem, Loudière, Pietragalla, etc. But in the detailed description Platel's name is not listed - perhaps what you had seen was a slightly different version from this? (I myself have not seen the video so cannot confirm the descriptions are correct or not.) For those who are interested, here's a link to a Japanese retailer's website (although it's only in Japanese I'm afraid):

http://www.fairynet....v/dv980706.html

Fortunately they have left for us many a documentary films in which we are able to see Platel dancing for rehearsals/real things alike, making comments. In particular in their wonderful "Dancer's Dream" series she is featured in more episodes than anybody else as a "Nureyev's muse" (that's how Mme Lefèvre described her, I seem to recall). But this is not the same thing for seeing her in an entire full-lengh ballet, I must say (although I'm immensely grateful to her appearance as the second role in "La Bayadère" - it's better than nothing at all!). Sadly no one can disregard commercial aspects of this ballet video business, but what about moral obligations? Too strong a word, perhaps, but particularly in her case I cannot but feel that people responsible for the decisions should think really hard on what's genuinely worth filiming and being left for future audience. In a decade or so people would know her only by name; some might have more luck than others to catch a glimpse of her in those documentary films - but it's never enough, and I'd call this a tragedy........

#10 Estelle

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Posted 14 June 2004 - 03:02 AM

Naoko, I agree with what you wrote about videos being useful for the next generation- and I'd also add that they also are very useful for the people who live in places with few opportunities to see some live ballet (when I started being interested in ballet as a teen-ager, I lived in Grenoble, where very little ballet was performed, and became interested in ballet thanks to a TV program about Nijinsky and some books. I remember how envious I was of the people who were lucky enough to see real performances, especially in Paris!)

From that point of view, it's extremely sad that the French TV isn't as interested in culture (that's an euphemism) as it used to be in the 1970s and 1980s: quite a lot of ballets were filmed and shown on TV, they were not available as tapes but at least some people could see it (and record it)... Françoise knows more than me about it, and it always makes me a bit envious (and angry about the present TV programmers) when I read about some wonderful videos which were shown on TV in the early 1980s! Well, in that time the French TV channels were public, and less concerned with audience figures and advertisement...

Well, I realize that discussion has gone a bit away from the POB Sylphide. So perhaps we should create a new discussion about POB videos and stay on topic in this one.

#11 Guest_Rosmarinus_*

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Posted 14 June 2004 - 06:15 AM

I saw that video "Une Etoile pour l'Exemple" yesterday. Unfortunately, Pallatel is not included. But there I re-encountered the beautiful performances by Guerin, Loudiere, Khalfouni and of course Mme Chauvire. Even though she just shows some samples, her arms are so real like a swan... After that I strongly agree to what Naoko S said. Films are not only treasures for Ballet viewers but useful materials for next generation.

As a topick of POB videos, I could understand what Haegeman said. Ballet video doesn't pay for business. It's a niche market. But isn't it possible for the company to make Video/DVD as a project when anniversary, like Noureev, Balanchine or special event like the retirement of Bessy? If there are many films with ex-etoiles, it's pity not to put on view to the general public.

#12 Françoise

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Posted 14 June 2004 - 08:10 AM

Concerning Claude Bessy, they made a special documentary about her career called "Claude Bessy ou la Force d'un destin". We saw her when she was rehearsing Béjart's Concours where she was Miss Maud, the ballet teacher who discovered the young Ada. But it's sure that they should record the gala with all the "pupils" as well the Nureyev's one. I think the French video market is not hungry about these kind of documents.

We must recognize that they make several recording since some years, as Hurlevent, Clavigo, le Parc for the contemporary works. Signes by Carlson should be issue very soon I suppose as it was recorded with Marie-Agnès Gillot and Kader Belarbi, Ivan le Terrible was also recorded with Eleonora Abbagnato, Nicolas Le Riche and Karl Paquette, they must recorded Sylphide with Aurélie Dupont, Manuel Legris, Mélanie Hurel as Effie and Isabelle Ciaravola and Mathieu Ganio as scottish pdd. Next year they must record Neumeier's Sylvia with the cast which must be film next year (Eleonora Abbagnato, Manuel Legris, Nicolas Le Riche, Delphine Moussin and Wilfried Romoli),, they must also record Jeune homme et la mort with Nicolas Le Riche and I presume Marie-Agnès Gillot and Carmen with Clairemarie Osta, against we don't know who must dance Don José with her !

#13 Marc Haegeman

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Posted 14 June 2004 - 08:18 AM

I'm with you on this, videos of ballet performances have their value for various reasons and we can never have enough of them, but it remains a fact that they are really hard and expensive to produce nowadays. Galas and one-time events are filmed and commercially released only in exceptional cases. As we can see from the performance videos that are available - they prefer to shoot them on several occasions and edit them afterwards (or in the case of the "Bolshoi at the Bolshoi" videos film the performances without a public and then add the sound of applause for the atmosphere). Yet, I can only repeat, the POB is doing real great with filming in the last years.

Estelle, true about the French TV channels where there is very little happening re ballet - just as little as on the other major European channels - and maybe the situation was better ten or more years ago (although we are considering the harvest of several years together there), yet now we have the pay channels which sometimes specialize in "culture" and bring ballet at regular times.

Finally, it's true that the TV archives are loaded with ballet material they once broadcasted, but then shelved. And I fear that's where they will remain for the remainder of their existence. I know several cases of people trying to obtain copies from certain programs broadcasted not even such a long time ago (they are public domain, at least in certain countries), but the TV archives couldn't already locate them anymore - or they couldn't be bothered.

#14 rg

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Posted 14 June 2004 - 08:25 AM

my sometimes vague memory was trying to retrieve the following delouche film that included platel, as you can see, & as i now see, i was mistaken, the coach is hightower not chauvire in the session with platel for aurora.
so i was off the mark but not out out the ballpark, as the saying might go.

Le spectre de la danse 1961-85.
90 min. : sd. color with b&w. sequences.
Notes: Series of short films on dance by Dominique Delouche of Les Films du Prieuré from 1961 to 1985, given the overall title Le spectre de la danse. Distributed in the U.S. by Nicole Jouve of INTERAMA.
CONTENTS. - : Le spectre de la danse (1961) b&w., 21 min.: with dancers Nina Vyroubova, Attilio Labis, Serge Golovine and Youly Algaroff; choreography by Serge Lifar. L'adage (1964), b&w., 14 min.: with Vyroubova and Labis; text by Heinrich Heine. Aurore (1982), color, 16 min.: Rosella Hightower coaches Elisabeth Platel for the role of Aurora in The sleeping beauty. - Pas à pas (1982), color, 10 min: John Neumeier and Patrick Dupond rehearse Neumeier's Petrouchka. Leçon de ténèbres, 1985, color, 5 min.: Maiia Plisetskaia improvises to a Couperin composition sung by countertenor Alfred Deller. Le cygne (1983), color, 11 min.: Yvette Chauviré coaches Dominique Khalfouni in Saint-Saëns' Le cygne. Autour de La sylphide (1984), color, 10 min.: Ghislaine Thesmar, Yannick Stéphant, Michael Denard rehearse parts of Pierre Lacotte's La sylphide.

hope this makes more sense.

#15 Françoise

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Posted 14 June 2004 - 01:45 PM

Without make commercial video, they can broadcast gala on TV as they do for the Royal Ballet cloture or opening Gala of Royal Opera House of Covent Garden or some other galas. It's not because they broadcast it, they will not fill the show room :shrug: !


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