chrisk217

Ballet DVD wish list

77 posts in this topic

"Mayerling" with Rojo and Cope.

In the last couple Mayerling runs in London, my friends and I would joke/wish that a dvd package of all three casts (Rojo-Cope, Cojocaru-Kobborg, Galeazzi-Tewlsey) should be released! Not only that, if you didn't, say, care for the Bratfish in the C&K version, you'd be able to automatically splice the footage and pick your cast. ;) And if studios can release huge dvd packs with hours of behind-the-scenes footage, ballet dvds should come with rehearsals, masterclasses, interviews, production info. Not to mention available footage of first casts and documentaries. And running commentaries too! A big expensive dream I'm sure! But I do feel a bit short-changed when, given the extortionate prices charged, all we get are simple transfers from video as most ballet dvds seem to be.

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That film "ABT: a close-up in time" is available on VHS at the NY Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center. Here is the info from the NYPL online card catalog:

American Ballet Theatre a close-up in time /

New York, N.Y. : Arthur Cantor Films, 1973.

Call #: VC 793.3 A

Subjects American Ballet Theatre -- Video recordings.

Ballet companies -- United States -- Video recordings.

Ballet -- Video recordings.

Ballets -- Excerpts -- Video recordings

Format: [videorecording] :

Responsibility: produced by Jac Venza ; produced in association with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and the British Broadcasting Corporation ; directed by Jerome Schnur.

Language: English

Description: 1 videocassette (90 min.) : sd., col. ; 1/2 in.

Other Title: Close-up in time

Notes: VHS.

Summary: A documentary on the American Ballet Theatre, including excerpts of performances from the company's repertoire.

Performers: American Ballet Theatre ; Akira Endo, conductor ; unidentified narrator.

Additional Authors: Schnur, Jerome.

Endo, Akira.

American Ballet Theatre.

Dynix #: 1697602

Holdings: Reservable Copies: 3 Number of Holds: 0

There were three copies but two seem to be lost...

Didn't ABT broadcast a "Sleeping Beauty" with Cynthia Gregory circa 1979 on PBS?

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And what about all the ballets that are in the Russian Vaults -- you see bits of old film on those wonderful Glory/History/Magic of tapes, but where are the full versions?

Hope the DVD makers are reading this!

I'm right there with you! Some old videos are unlikely to exist of the whole performance, but what about those snippets that seem to have decent quality? Such as the Nutcracker with Lezhnina and Zelensky. Was there an entire performance? Where is it?? Also, the snippet from Giselle with Asylmuratova and Ruzimatov? Where? I could find so performances that I'd like to see entirely... Oh well if the quality isn't too good... :D Sorry, I got a little excited there... :beg:

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I know there is a full Nutcracker available with Lezhnina and Baranov...I would just about kill to see one with her and Zelensky as well as the Giselle you mention (although it's difficult to imagine Ruzimatov as Albrecht).

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Kultur Video has a bunch of "Glory of the Bolshoi" and "Magic of the Bolshoi" tapes that seem to have snippets of Vasiliev and Maximova in complete performances of "Sleeping Beauty" and "Don Quixote" and I think "Giselle" that were shown on Soviet TV in the late 1970's. It would be fascinating to see the complete tapes of these Bolshoi telecasts. The picture quality seems only fair though but if the orginal master could be found and a digital transfer made to DVD, then the quality could be greatly improved. I believe Gostelradio is the source of this material. The only generally available video of Maximova and Vasiliev is of course "The Nutcracker" in the Grigorovich production.

Also I have seen snippets of what seems to be a complete Kirov "Sleeping Beauty" with Irina Kolpakova and Yuri Soloviev from 1975 or 1976. Soloviev is looking rather thickened in the snippet I saw from Aurora's second act vision scene. It would be nice to have a memento of Kolpakova's Aurora that is closer to her prime than the 1983 performance with Berezhnoi as her Prince.

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Didn't ABT broadcast a "Sleeping Beauty" with Cynthia Gregory circa 1979 on PBS?

Yes they did. Bujones was Florimund .

Richard

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I've seen all those snippets and full performances that Hans and FauxPas are mentioning... I wonder where the actual whole performances that the snippets are taken from exist. In archives? Can the public gain access?

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Call me cynical, but I'm wondering if overall excellent performances are being snipped apart, so the snippets can be used in "Glory of . . . ", "Magic of . . .", etc., videos, diluted with less interesting things that would not otherwise sell.

Another explanation may be that they were the best moments of whole performances.

But yes, it would be great to have whole performances available. Excerpts don't have the impact that whole ballets do, no matter how well danced.

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Another thing: the Museum of Television and Radio in NYC has a bunch of Bell Telephone Hour and other programs where the New York City Ballet did guest spots in the 1950's and 1960's. Patricia McBride, Jacques D'Amboise and Edward Villella were on a slew of them. There is a complete "Nutcracker" from Playhouse 90 from 1958 with Diana Adams as the Sugarplum and Allegra Kent as the Dewdrop. I also remember watching a "Square Dance" with a very young Farrell and I think Patricia Wilde at the MTR. The ballets aren't complete but it would be nice to see them strung together in a compilation as they did for the opera singers on the Bell Telephone Hour. There also seems to exist a 6 minute clip of Tanaquil LeClerc dancing "La Valse" in 1951 with Nicholas Magallanes directed by one Carol Lynn. That would be nice to see complete in a compilation. There is also Balanchine excerpts from Canadian TV from which only the Maria Tallchief material has been released.

http://mtr.inet7.com/PressRoom/pressRelease/11182003.htm

Margot Fonteyn and Rudolf Nureyev danced the Black Swan PDD in the original Petipa choreography and music (with 32 fouettes from Dame Margot) on an episode of the TV program "The Hollywood Palace" hosted by Fred Astaire. There also seems to be a complete "Nutcracker" from a 1958 TV telecast with Fonteyn and Michael Somes that might originate from the BBC. As far back as 1937 Margot Fonteyn did a "Swan Lake" telecast that was 40 minutes long (Second Act complete?) with Robert Helpmann as Siegfried. That would be fascinating to see.

I remember watching a video of the Copenhagen Ballet doing "Napoli" on Homevision VHS released in 1986 with Linda Hidberg and Arne Villumsen - that would be nice to have on DVD.

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I thought Balanchine's estate wouldn't allow the filming of his ballets. Is this the same with Cranko? Because I would really like to see Cranko's Onegin on DVD.

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I'd adding my list of ballets I hope will find their way onto DVD someday.

*Bournonville’s La Ventana and A Folk Tale

*ABT’s Swan Lake with Gomes/Part

*Bolshoi Ballet’s Cinderella

*Pennsylvania Ballet’s Swan Lake

*RB’s Sylvia with Bolle/Bussell

*RB’s Cinderella with Kobborg/Cojocaru

*Rodeo

*Pillar of Fire

*Theme & Variations with Baryshnikov/Kirkland (Was their Giselle ever tapped?)

*La Sonnambula

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An incomplete list:

Peter Schaufuss' Dancer series

Natalia Makarova's Ballerina series

Any and all Balanchine from the Dance in America and Live from Lincoln Center vaults

Ashton performed by the Royal Ballet, especially A Month in the Country with Lynn Seymour and Anthony Dowell

Tudor performed by ABT

Ballets Russes repertoire performed by the Joffrey Ballet, especially The Search for Nijinsky's Rite of Spring

Hollywood's The Gay Parisian (Gaîté Parisienne)

Cranko performed by the Stuttgart Ballet

London Festival Ballet's La Sylphide (Bournonville; w/Eva Evdokimova, Peter Schaufuss, Niels Bjorn Larsen)

Paris Dances Diaghilev (Petrushka, Le Spectre de la rose, L'Après-midi d'un faune, Les Noces)

National Ballet of Canada's Onegin (Cranko; w/Sabina Allemann, Frank Augustyn, Jeremy Ransom, Cynthia Lucas)

Ballet National de Marseille's Les intermittences du coeur (Petit; w/Dominique Khalfouni, Denys Ganio, Jean-Charles Gil, Patrick Dupond, Maya Plisetskaya)

Ballet National de Marseille's Coppélia (Petit; w/Altynai Asylmuratova, Cyril Pierre, Roland Petit)

Paris Opera Ballet's Cinderella (Nureyev; w/Sylvie Guillem, Charles Jude, Rudolf Nureyev)

Royal Winnipeg Ballet's Romeo & Juliet (Dantzig; w/Evelyn Hart, David Peregrine)

National Ballet of Canada's Alice (Tetley; w/Kimberly Glasco, Karen Kain, Rex Harrington, Peter Ottmann)

Nederlands Dans Theater's Symphony of Psalms and Cathédrale engloutie (Kylián)

A really good Swan Lake. I have more recordings of Swan Lake on my shelf than any other ballet, none of them entirely satisfactory.

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Sorry Volcanohunter, but there seems to be no hope for a POB Cinderella DVD with Guillem/Jude, although it used to be available on VHS. The POB will be recording a new cast in April for future DVD release, including Aurélie Dupont (Cinderella), Hervé Moreau (Prince), Laëtitia Pujol & Stéphanie Romberg (The Two Sisters), José Martinez (The Mother), Wilfried Romoli, etc.

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Thanks for the info, Azulynn. Now I know to not get rid of my VHS of the Guillem/Jude Cinderella. I wonder why nearly all the POB's releases star Dupont.

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It would be a great pity to keep the Guillem/Jude Cinderella and Maurin/Hilaire Nutcracker unreleased because the POB is planning new telecasts of them. I realize that Dupont's face is more beautiful than Guillem's, but Guillem has the more fabulous physique and, I think, more glamour. The ballet was clearly designed for her particular talents. Since there's so little film of her available on the market, I am still hoping that this telecast will be re-issued someday. The film also captures the fabulous nastiness of Isabelle Guérin's stepsister.

Does anyone know who owns the rights to NVC Arts programs? Kultur has been releasing them steadily, and I wonder whether the POB would be in a position to prevent the release of these two telecasts.

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Lots and lots of wishes, but among the top of my list are the recent Royal Ballet telecasts: Sleeping Beauty, Giselle, Sylvia, Cinderella. All were telecast within the past few years, all beautifully filmed and cast.

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Yes, the absence of a Royal Ballet Giselle on the market is pretty glaring, and it's beyond me why Sylvia hasn't been released.

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Yes, Volcanohunter, I have both the Shaufuss and Makarova series, they are very good.

In my opinion mass scenes do not work well on TV, on example here being the new Swedish Swan Lake, it was far too dark and I found it useless on a screen. But I have not seen it live, so I refrain from judgement.

As I have now gone through all my ballet videos and transferred them to DVD, I was surprised to note one thing. I owned very few commercially made videos, just some Highlights of this and Glories of that. So the rest of my ballet library was taped from the national Swedish networks. Looking at the dates, very few were later than about 1995. Before that, masses of stuff, Shaufuss, Makarova, Ustinov and Fonteyn series, in addition some rather intellectual and genuine stuff about flamenco. That glorious program "Backstage at the Kirov" was broadcast at prime time, 20 hours a Saturday night! The mind boggles... I also have several other Soviet tapes about the Vaganova, Perm Ballet School and the Bolshoi and what have you. Note that I used the word "Soviet" which means all videos were pre 1991.

Now I am sad to say that Swedish TV has become all fun and games and silly contests - the times they are achanging. It is very rarely one sees any ballet these days. It seems it is the trend all over. :blush: :clapping:

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In my opinion mass scenes do not work well on TV, on example here being the new Swedish Swan Lake, it was far too dark and I found it useless on a screen.

It's unfortunate that DVD is so dark. The Dutch National Ballet's Sleeping Beauty is also dark and grainy. This needn't be the case. Lighting can be adjusted for television cameras, and you'll notice that the Royal Ballet's Swan Lake from the early 1980s is perfectly visible throughout.

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It would be a great pity to keep the Guillem/Jude Cinderella and Maurin/Hilaire Nutcracker unreleased

Keep your eye on EBay and Amazon for these. After months of diligence I acquired The Nutcracker and I love it. A fantastic young Maurin (she was made Etoile on the set of this taping) and an equally amazing Hilaire.

Good luck.

B

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There's a whole bunch of Russian telecasts too that are sitting in vaults. A few examples: Giselle with Lunkina and Tsiskaridze, the Bright Stream, the Bolt, as well as some older telecasts. Lucky them.

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As I have now gone through all my ballet videos and transferred them to DVD, I was surprised to note one thing. I owned very few commercially made videos, just some Highlights of this and Glories of that. So the rest of my ballet library was taped from the national Swedish networks. Looking at the dates, very few were later than about 1995. Before that, masses of stuff, Shaufuss, Makarova, Ustinov and Fonteyn series, in addition some rather intellectual and genuine stuff about flamenco. That glorious program "Backstage at the Kirov" was broadcast at prime time, 20 hours a Saturday night! The mind boggles... I also have several other Soviet tapes about the Vaganova, Perm Ballet School and the Bolshoi and what have you. Note that I used the word "Soviet" which means all videos were pre 1991.

Now I am sad to say that Swedish TV has become all fun and games and silly contests - the times they are achanging. It is very rarely one sees any ballet these days. It seems it is the trend all over. :(:wallbash:

It's the trend in Greece too.

This makes me very sad. Except for classes, everything I knew about ballet till age 18 I got from tv. I did not own a vcr at the time but a friend did and when we sat down last year to transfer the tapes to dvd we were amazed at the things we've been exposed to as children.

So much for pluralism and choice... There were only two channels in the 80s here, yet there was at least an hour of ballet every 2-3 weeks. Now with more channels than I can count there only seems to be time for celebrity gossip, reality or game shows. This year the only ballet on tv was a rerun of a second rate Swan Lake at Christmas (and even that, in a small channel, at 2.00am, lest someone should actually see it)

For a while recently there seemed to be some hope for arts programming - a new Parliament channel was created, broadcasting Parliament proceedings during the day and documentaries, art-house films, opera and ballet from 6pm on. But they figured the audience is small soon enough. Now it's just parliament, documentaries and films.

At least in some places ballet appreciation is still strong. Russian and Korean sat channels frequently broadcast ballet news or performances.

Sorry for the off-topic ramblings but this topic makes me very very sad....

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An incomplete list:

Hollywood's The Gay Parisian (Gaîté Parisienne)

"The Gay Parisian" is on DVD now on a bonus disc of the new three disc collector's edition re-release of "The Maltese Falcon" with Humphrey Bogart. It is added on one of the bonus discs as part of a simulated double feature or Saturday afternoon at the movies circa 1941.

The one that is still underground is "Spanish Fiesta" (1942) which is Massine's "Capriccio Espagnole" and has Danilova in it as well as Toumanova, Massine, Eglevsky, Franklin and Krassovska.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0165957/

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0033651/

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Also, needless to say, I find the policy of not releasing LFLC telecasts one of monumental frustration. For us balletomanes, there was Coppelia with McBride (will there ever be a better Coppelia?), Giselle with Makarova/Baryshnikov, Swan Lake with Makarova/Nagy, Sleeping Beauty with Gregory and Bujones, Apollo/Orpheus, Who Cares/Mozartiana/Vienna Waltzes, Midsummer's Night Dream, Theme&Variations/Firebird ...

In the case of many of the above listed ballets, I can't imagine if more perfect casts will ever be assembled. Particularly the Apollo, Swan Lake, Giselle, WhoCares/Mozartina/Vienna Waltzes, and Coppelia.

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