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Japanese Raymonda on DVDstarring Zakharova


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#1 Natalia

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Posted 21 May 2009 - 04:24 AM

Amazon-Japan has just listed two intriguing new ballet DVDs ("DVD-ROMs"?) with Tokyo's New National Theater Ballet -- the troupe that caused such a sensation a year ago in Washington, DC. The DVDs appear to be of their producitons of SWAN LAKE and Asami Maki's version of RAYMONDA. I am particularly interested in the RAYMONDA:

http://www.amazon.co...pd_bxgy_b_img_b

...and here is the SWAN LAKE:

http://www.amazon.co...;pf_rd_i=489986

Could somebody who is fluent in Japanese please help us with a few details? I've ordered many things from amazon.co.jp before but am not sure if this "DVD ROM" or "DVD Book" is the same thing as a DVD. Does it include a complete performance of the ballet or is it just highlights and/or a teaching guide of some sort?

#2 naomikage

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Posted 21 May 2009 - 05:26 AM

Could somebody who is fluent in Japanese please help us with a few details? I've ordered many things from amazon.co.jp before but am not sure if this "DVD ROM" or "DVD Book" is the same thing as a DVD. Does it include a complete performance of the ballet or is it just highlights and/or a teaching guide of some sort?



Natalia,

I have mentioned a couple of months before about this DVD, and it has just arrived.

This Raymonda and Swan Lake are both full performances of the whole ballet, with some extra clips such as reheasal and behind the scenes, and an interview of Svetlana Zakharova, along with some clips of PDDs from Don Quixote, Sleeping Beauty of the New National Theater.

The DVD-Book term means that this DVD is published by a bookseller so it is a DVD with an illustrious book with the synopsis (in Japanese) and photographs of the performance.

If you want to see Zakharova's Raymonda, this is a good choice I think.

#3 Natalia

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Posted 21 May 2009 - 05:56 AM

Many thanks for this, Naomikage. This sounds wonderful!

One more thing: Could you please mention who dances Jean de Briene in the Raymonda and who are the leads of the Swan Lake? Sorry that I forgot your earlier post. Thanks again.

#4 naomikage

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Posted 21 May 2009 - 06:43 AM

Natalia,
You don't have to apologize!

Jean de Brienne is danced by Denis Matvienko, and the leads in Swan Lake are Hana Sakai and Ryuji Yamamoto.

And the conductor of Raymonda is Ormsby Wilkins, from ABT.

I saw the DVD of Raymonda right now and I think it is a very good one. I saw the actual performance filmed anyway. Maybe the filming is not too good enough (because when it was shot it was not intened for commercial release) but it is enough to capture the beauty of Zakharova.

#5 3minuteswest

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Posted 21 May 2009 - 06:59 AM

Naomikage,
I was interested when you said that the film was not intended for commercial release. Can you explain more? I am a producer of ballet programmes and so I am always interested in how these projects happen!

May I also ask you, have the DVDs been released by the New National Theatre itself? And have these ballets been shown on Japanese television?

Sorry for so many questions!

#6 naomikage

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Posted 21 May 2009 - 07:15 AM

Naomikage,
I was interested when you said that the film was not intended for commercial release. Can you explain more? I am a producer of ballet programmes and so I am always interested in how these projects happen!

May I also ask you, have the DVDs been released by the New National Theatre itself? And have these ballets been shown on Japanese television?

Sorry for so many questions!


So New National Ballet Tokyo has been filming most of the performances and those recordings are in the archive of the opera house, so you can see almost all of the previous performances if you go there. There are some which are quite valuable.
This Raymonda release was one of those recordings, but luckily this recording was commercially released after it has been filmed.

This is the first release of the DVDs of this theatre, and if this sells well, I think there will be more to follow.

And there are some footage of full performances that has been broadcasted on Japanese television, such as Sleeping Beauty by Miyako Yoshida and Tetsuya Kumakawa, Paquita by Vishneva and Kolb, Don Quixote by Zakharova and Uvarov, and La Bayadere by Zakharova and Matvienko. I wish those broadcasts be commercially released too.

#7 Natalia

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Posted 21 May 2009 - 07:31 AM

Thank you once again, Naomikage. I made of point of going to those archives during my trip to Tokyo back in '07 to see the ultra-rare film of Daria Pavlenko as Raymonda. Ditto the film of Vishneva/Kolb's Paquita, which was extraordinary, not to mention the first-rate NNTB corps de ballet and soloists.

The Swan Lake offered here will be a precious record of Sakai & Yamamoto, who I fondly remember in Orfeo & Euridice from that trip.

In short, this is all great news.

#8 3minuteswest

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Posted 21 May 2009 - 07:31 AM

How interesting. Japanese TV is one of the few broadcasters still committed to showing ballet. You are lucky!

Thanks for the links to the DVDs, I'd like to order them, could I just ask you one more question - are they Region 2?

thanks naomikage!

#9 naomikage

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Posted 22 May 2009 - 09:38 AM

How interesting. Japanese TV is one of the few broadcasters still committed to showing ballet. You are lucky!

Thanks for the links to the DVDs, I'd like to order them, could I just ask you one more question - are they Region 2?

thanks naomikage!


These DVDs are region 2. NTSC format.

And Natalia, a clip of Orfeo & Euridice by Sakai and Yamamoto is included as a bonus to the Swan Lake DVD. Other bonuses for SL are,
Don Quixote by Hiromi Terashima and Naoya Kojima
Sleeping Beauty Aurora variation by Maki Kawamura
Carmen by Miwa Motojima
(42 minutes)

#10 Natalia

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Posted 22 May 2009 - 10:02 AM

....And Natalia, a clip of Orfeo & Euridice by Sakai and Yamamoto is included as a bonus to the Swan Lake DVD. ....


Whoa! It's a win-win situation, naomikage. I've already ordered both, along with latest DanceMagazine.

Luckily, I bought all-regions equipment when I was living overseas. It's common with the diplomatic/overseas-contractor community because we can be moved around the world for our work.

#11 Helene

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Posted 22 May 2009 - 10:35 AM

All-region DVD-plYwrs are my favorite recreational invention.

Many thanks, naomikage, for all of this essential information :D

#12 Dale

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Posted 22 May 2009 - 10:45 AM

Fingers crossed on my order. The price wasn't as much as I feared. Yes, multi-system DVD and VHS players are fantastic.

#13 3minuteswest

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Posted 26 May 2009 - 09:26 AM

I saw the DVD of Raymonda right now and I think it is a very good one. I saw the actual performance filmed anyway. Maybe the filming is not too good enough (because when it was shot it was not intened for commercial release) but it is enough to capture the beauty of Zakharova.


Hi naomikage,
While I wait for my order of DVDs to arrive from Japan, I am interested why you say the filming is maybe not good enough.... what do you feel the director did wrong? I'm always interested to hear opinions of ballet fans on why films are good / not so good!

#14 Natalia

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Posted 26 May 2009 - 01:23 PM

While we await naomikage's answer to your question, 3minuteswest, I can take a guess from the archival films that I saw at the New National Theater's library during my visit two years ago. They are FINE for a 'house cam' filming that was not originally intended to be released commercially. For example, the Daria Pavlenko film of this RAYMONDA employed three or four sharp (if not high-def) cameras at different distances. It appeared to be a well-edited film, with close-ups or wide-angle view at appropriate times. The angles were not as 'funky' (weird side-box positions) as what we saw with PBS and the NYCB R+J last week.

Amazon.com.jp orders reach me faster than do the orders from any other amazon on earth - they are always Int'l Air Express, within 2-3 working days of the order. [OK - It helps that I live in Washington, DC, close to a major int'l airport serviced by ANA with daily non-stop flights to/from Tokyo. Still...it is fast.]

#15 3minuteswest

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Posted 27 May 2009 - 07:45 AM

Thanks for the insight Natalia! Three or four cameras is pretty good for in-house filming.

Probaby the PBS funky camera positions were forced upon them - if it was filmed during a live performance, it's always difficult to get theatres to give up good seats for the cameras!

(You're lucky - ordering anything from the Netherlands takes forever - I recently ordered something from Japan, it reached Amsterdam within 4 days but has been in customs for 2 weeks now - I wonder if I will ever see it!)


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