Ballet DVD wish listIs there hope for any of these?
Posted 19 March 2007 - 04:44 AM
Posted 19 March 2007 - 10:46 PM
It's the trend in Greece too.
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.
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....
Posted 20 March 2007 - 08:45 AM
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.
Posted 20 March 2007 - 09:43 AM
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.
Posted 20 March 2007 - 10:45 AM
"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.
Posted 20 March 2007 - 11:13 AM
Posted 21 March 2007 - 04:34 PM
Posted 28 March 2007 - 03:08 PM
There must of course be law and order in everything, so I check the DVD against the video to make sure that nothing is missing. My videos could be very mixed, but now I have put all American stuff together, all Russian together and I find myself with a most wonderful box full of ballet history. And properly catalogued.
Tonight I have just been checking out the Makarova "Ballerina" - in three almost hour long parts. What heavenly stuff! What heavenly clips of old dancers! Things I have never seen live or in film, f.ex. bits of Markova in Giselle.
Is this video commercially available? It really ought to be - it is very educational and beautiful in every way.
Take a person who claims to know nothing at all of ballet and sit him/her down in front of this film and I really think you have a convert. People usually say that they dont like ballet because they dont understand it. Here is the chance.
Well, here is everything nicely explained and one doesnt get the feeling that she is talking down to people and regarding the viewers as idiots. Well, armed with this series one ought to go out on a crusade and convert people to the proper cause, dont you think!
Just a great pity, IMO that all the Russian stuff I have is not color compatible with our system, everything Russian looks very bleak and washed out colorwise.
Posted 28 March 2007 - 05:56 PM
1. I'd like more complete ballets to be released. Yes snippets are great, in many cases snippets are priceless (Maya Plisetskaya's Don Quixote Act 1, for example), but often behind the snippets there is a complete video, and I'd like to see the complete video.
2. A wider variety of dancers to be filmed. Svetlana Zakharova leaps to mind as a ballerina who is being filmed for DVD release a lot in the past few years, while many of the other stars of her generation are not being recorded for posterity. I think I mentioned this in another thread that I love Galina Ulanova, but wish there was more film of Alla Shelest. Natalia Bessmertnova IMO was another overly-filmed ballerina. Ekaterina Maximova was criminally underfilmed.
3. More complete Balanchine. I know there are so many issues tied up with the Balanchine Trustees and it seems as if even complete Live From Lincoln Center telecasts of Balanchine ballets are a thing of the past.
4. Better transfers of older footage. The Romeo and Juliet from the Royal Ballet is an example. Would it have killed Kultur to try to make a better transfer of the 1966 film, which is grainy and at times fuzzy?
Posted 28 March 2007 - 06:02 PM
Posted 29 March 2007 - 03:19 PM
2) In the very early days of the A&E channel, a full length broadcast of what I think was Grigorovich's "Swan Lake" starring Plisetskaya with Maris Liepa as Von Rothbart was shown. I remember it vividly. It was a live performance from the late '70's if I'm not mistaken. Unforgettable!
3) A "Live from Lincoln Center" broadcast of "Vienna Waltzes" starring a glorious Suzanne Farrell in Der Rosenkavalier. I think it was filmed shortly before she retired.
4) Grigorovich's "Age of Gold" with Bessmertnova, Mukhemedov and the marvelous Gedminas Taranda.
Posted 21 May 2007 - 09:31 PM
The Bolt will be released in North America on June 12
Posted 21 May 2007 - 09:53 PM
Posted 28 June 2007 - 10:58 AM
And I would love to see a recording of Royal Swedish Ballet's production of Swan Lake by Nathalie Conus!!
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