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Great dancers and dvds.An impossible marriage?


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#1 87Sigfried87

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Posted 28 August 2007 - 11:43 PM

I am very puzzled to see that in the majority of cases,at least here in Italy,there are many ballets on dvd danced by almost unknown dancers,or by old big names of ballet like Fracci or Plisetskaya,which I really can't stand as too far from my idea of aesthetics in ballet nowadays.And on the other hand,It is impossible to find dvds of ballets danced by for example Malakhov,Semionova,Diana Vishneva and only one or two cases of ballets with great dancers like Corella,Stiefel if not in a Gala...And what about Sylvie Guillem?I haven't seen any sign of dvd with her dancing something,if not on the net;and It's not so easy to see her live on stage round here....I think this a missing occasion for everybody and I really can't understand the reason why the situation is so....any ideas?Maybe It's only an italian problem and maybe in the US or somewhere else It is different...

#2 rg

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Posted 29 August 2007 - 05:16 AM

these things vary from country to country and remain simply various in any case.
re: guillem, it would seem she regularly keeps a tight control on her images, still and video, so that further complicates matters.
i know there are a number of malakhov dvds, esp. on the market in japan where he is quite popular.
w/ the internet, there are ways to get foreign-marketed dvds. one needs of course to be certain of the ability to play such items on one's home non-japanese players. natalia here has recently made note of a web site w/ an array of somewhat unusual dvds in japan.
this site, located in the US, includes numerous expressions of frustration of videos made for and telecast on US tv and then not released commercially. the sad truth is that the video market doesn't see dance vids, now as dvds, as big sellers so the efforts needed to acquire rights and to market such efforts aren't made with any frequency or urgency.

#3 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 29 August 2007 - 07:04 AM

I've always been frustrated about the DVD situation related with ballet, specially with my idol Mme. Alonso :) . From her super extended career, there's only an awfully recorded 1965 "Giselle", and some excerpts in "Prima Ballerina Assoluta"...I usually wonder if ballet companies make sure that the original TV recordings are kept safe for possible future DVD releases.

#4 bart

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Posted 29 August 2007 - 07:41 AM

As rg suggests, the market seems to be relatively small as well as quite fragmented around the globe (as his example of the specialized Japanese market shows). The problem is compounded by different formatting systems, and the need for multiple language packaging and support material.

My impression is that a few video companies, working on a shoestring, pick up what they can -- possibly working only from a list of what is offered to them -- without much systematic planning. (I'm not talking about operations like the Paris Opera Ballet franchise, which appears to be very wel- financed and has very effective production and marketing skills, and which can handle the difficult issue of contracts and copyright in-house.)

For those of us who do want to see dancers of previous generations, we need something analogous to Random House's "Modern Library" project or the even older "Everyman's Library" (currently published by Knopf in the US): a broad, well-thought-ought collection of classic performances in a standard, no-frills format

Anyone have any ideas about how to encourage more of this -- or any -- kind of expansion of ballet video availability? Who knows? An entrepreneurial balletomane might be reading and be stimulated to get to work. :)

#5 Mme. Hermine

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Posted 29 August 2007 - 07:52 AM

maybe what we need is a kind of ballet napster, where we could pay to download things, have them on our computers, pay a fee, and get rid of the need for companies to issue the dvd's. then it would be on demand and we wouldn't have to worry about something going out of print because enough copies didnt' sell. and whoever held the copyrights could make a few shekels?

#6 papeetepatrick

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Posted 29 August 2007 - 09:29 AM

There's a Sylvie Guillem 'Cinderella' VHS from POB with Nureyev from the 80s. I imagine this is on DVD too. NYPL lists 2 more VHS's with Guillem: 7 Ballets, from POB, with Guillem in something with music by Auber, I was hurrying. Also a VHS from 1988 all about Guillem, called 'Sylvie Guillem at Work'. These ought to be available on eBay, if not now then later, if not somewhere else and not yet on DVD (I'd think they were.)

#7 Alexandra

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Posted 29 August 2007 - 09:54 AM

papeetpatrick, I think they are available, but only on PAL (as far as I know).

#8 87Sigfried87

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Posted 29 August 2007 - 10:00 AM

There's a Sylvie Guillem 'Cinderella' VHS from POB with Nureyev from the 80s. I imagine this is on DVD too.


Normally not.Many of the beautiful and rare things that were recorded on VHS do not have a correspondant in dvd.Unfortunately I'd say.And It's impossible now to find them on VHS.An example?
Roland Petit's "Carmen" with Baryshnikov and Zizi Jeanmaire.It was sold years ago on VHS and no more on DVD,at least not here in Italy.And then I'd say that POB is too publicized and I do not find these DVDs very interesting....always the same dancers and a part from some of them,almost unknown or not great,in my opinion.And Sylvie Guillem maybe is not part of these.
I hope to get the chance to travel a little bit and to buy some dvds abroad,hoping they work with my player;-)

#9 carbro

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Posted 29 August 2007 - 11:14 AM

Many of the beautiful and rare things that were recorded on VHS do not have a correspondant in dvd.

I don't know whether this means they will not, in time, be available in the newer format. When audiotapes (in audiocassette and short-lived eight-track formats), it took a while before many parts of the LP catalogue were made available. Same as when CDs were introduced. The distributors probably find it easier to market by releasing the catalogue gradually.

I'm less frustrated by the dearth of relatively recent dancers than I am by some of the greats of the past.

#10 4mrdncr

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Posted 09 September 2007 - 03:39 PM

There's a Sylvie Guillem 'Cinderella' VHS from POB with Nureyev from the 80s. I imagine this is on DVD too.


Normally not.Many of the beautiful and rare things that were recorded on VHS do not have a correspondant in dvd.Unfortunately I'd say.And It's impossible now to find them on VHS.An example?
Roland Petit's "Carmen" with Baryshnikov and Zizi Jeanmaire.It was sold years ago on VHS and no more on DVD,at least not here in Italy.And then I'd say that POB is too publicized and I do not find these DVDs very interesting....always the same dancers and a part from some of them,almost unknown or not great,in my opinion.And Sylvie Guillem maybe is not part of these.
I hope to get the chance to travel a little bit and to buy some dvds abroad,hoping they work with my player;-)



The Baryshnikov-Jeanmaire "Carmen" is available on DVD. I know because I own it, and was just as surprised as to see it available. I think I got it from amazon.com (US). Just be sure your player can handle multi-zone formats. FYI: dual (and some triple) format players have recently become more available to home viewers to purchase without recourse to professional equipment catalogues.


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