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Don Quichot (Dutch National Ballet)

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A new trailer is now up on our Facebook page:

Don Q (Trailer)

I can't find this on the Amazon site. Do we know if it will be released in the US in the format that works here? (Amazon typically has a pre-sale ordering option if they know they will be stocking it later.)

The presale option is not up yet, at least as far as the digital release goes. It's going through ingestion now, so I don't think Amazon has gotten the data for it yet.

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I received my copy from amazon.uk yesterday and watched all of it last night.

I hate to dampen all of the pre-release excitement here but I was very disappointed with this Don Q for the same reason that I did not care for the Dutch company's DVD of 'Sleeping Beauty' a few years ago: the company, as a whole, lacks the classicism and uniform 'Russian aristocratic look' that makes Mariinsky and Bolshoi versions the 'gold standard' of any Petipa-era work, IMO. Even when dancing 'peasants,' the Mariinsky corps has a certain aristocratic air and way of projecting that simply isn't in view here. [but even some non-Russian troupes, such as ABT, POB, K-Ballet of Tokyo, Cuban and the Royal, achieve greater quality and uniformity of movement than the raggedy Dutch.]

The featured soloists ranged from OK to annoying. Tsygankova as Kitri is OK but not great (even if she happens to be Russian-born & trained in Novosibirsk...but I doubt that she'd be a principal in her old troupe, the Bolshoi, had she stayed there before moving on to Hungary, then Austria, then Holland, with her untraditional proportions of large head, wide torso, etc.). I had a real problem with the "all-American look" of Golding's bland Basilio, despite his fine technique, for such a statuesque-looking man. The hyper-cutesiness of Maya Makhateli's Amour gave me a headache. I found the heightened focus on the two actors (Mini & Max) portraying Don Q & Sansho Pancha a distraction (perhaps to take the focus off the mediocre dancing?)...and we have to sit through about 14 minutes of their antics before the dancing in the square begins. Boo!

The sets and costumes -- especially for the classical 'Dream Scene' -- ranged from 'plain' to 'plain ugly.' (e.g., Was it a green swamp? Why the cutesy "moving cacti" surrounding Don Q as he begins to dream? What was up with the Egyptian-lapis-blue touches in the Act I costumes?) I sure hope that this production isn't headed for ABT, given the 'Ratmansky Pipeline.' [i've now seen enough of Ratmansky that I would bet that the 19th-C 'perfume' and delightful Petipa-like variations in the Bolshoi Corsaire probably are due more to Yuri Burlaka and not Ratmansky. Ratmansky himself doesn't seem to care for the 'romantic perfume' of 19th century classics.]

Halfway through the DVD, I could only think "BO-RING!" And it's really, really hard to make a Don Q boring.

After seeing this version of Don Q, I found myself reaching for my commercial videos by the Kirov/Mariinsky (Terekhova or Novikova), Bolshoi (Maximova or Ananiashvili), Cuban Ballet (Valdes) and the masterpiece that was ABT's Baryshnikov version (MB + Cynthia Harvey) to cleanse my mind and soul after the unfortunate DNB experience.

p.s. - The 'extra' of the corps guy (Matador) with the bodycam gave me a headache, unless he was stationary or moving straight ahead. What an idiotic idea.

p.s.s. - Not to totally knock the DNB, I've seen and loved the company in recent Hans Van Manen/modern DVDs. Stylistic differences and 'real people looks' (body types like we would see on 'real people' in the street) are not detriments to performing modern works.

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Dear friends,

(long time ago I haven't written here!)

My feelings about this DVD are quite the same than Natalia's ones. Anna Tsygankova is a beautiful ballerina but we expect more energy as Kitri. Actually, her first entrance is spoiled because she enters too early. This is a beautiful staging but... so boring. There are so many DQs available on DVD that this new one doesn't seem necessary.

Here is my opinion (in french!) more detailed:

http://classiqueinfo-disque.com/Un-Don-Quichotte-bon-chic-bon.html

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I'd like to add my very different opinion to the last two reviewers. I recently bought the Blu-Ray of the Dutch National Ballet's Don Q and I love it.

I've got every Don Q DVD in existence and have been lucky enough to see many wonderful dancers and companies perform the ballet live (including ABT, the Kirov and the Royal) and Ratmansky's production for the Dutch ballet is far and away the best I've seen. I thought the decor and costumes were stunning (and the colours look so vibrant on Blu-Ray).

The cast is wonderful. Tsygankova and Golding as Kitri and Basilio have real chemistry together. While they may not equal a pairing such as Osipova and Vasiliev for technical trickery (I saw this pair at the live cinema screening recently), they more than make up for it in charisma and charm IMHO - and they're great dancers too. Both have wonderful elevation and stunning turns. Most importantly to me, I totally believed in them as a couple.

I enjoyed the other performances too... the handsome Moises Martin Cintas and Natalia Hoffman as Mercedes and Espada... the incredibly long-legged Sasha Mukhamedov as Queen of the Dryads... Dario Maelli as Gamache was a scene-stealer... and I really enjoyed the use of actors as Don Q and Sancho Panza. Usually these roles are pantomime and rather a waste of time IMHO. I'm always so disappointed in this - the ballet is called Don Quichot, after all, not Kitri, and the story hangs on Don Q's adventures.... here, for once, are a Don Q and Sancho Panza who tell the story and lead us through the ballet with humour and great physical presence.

I've seen many, many companies both live and on DVD and I think the Dutch National Ballet deserves its status as one of the best and most interesting companies in Europe. Sorry to disagree with the reviewer above but I find Ratmansky's artistic vision to be pure class. This is the third ballet / production I've seen by him and I've been impressed and moved each time.

And I liked the dancer-cam! It's very unusual - I loved 'going on stage' with a dancer. Yes, it's a little wild and hectic in parts but so much fun to see how the dancers interact with each other on stage and to get a dancer's view of proceedings.

I enjoyed this Don Q very much and apart from my almost worn-out VHS of Baryshnikov and Harvey, it makes the others in my collection look very old-fashioned and boring!

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The amazon.co.uk review of it calls it a "disaster". There are two reviews and one is in german and Babel Fish seems to indicate that she was mostly concerned that the Bluray has some terrible mastering issues. Can anyone speak to that?

thx

-goro-

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The amazon.co.uk review of it calls it a "disaster". There are two reviews and one is in german and Babel Fish seems to indicate that she was mostly concerned that the Bluray has some terrible mastering issues. Can anyone speak to that?

thx

-goro-

The reviewer in question has a specific complaint about motion blur when the camera pans. I'll stay out of this discussion in terms of whether people like the production or dancers, that is purely subjective, but please allow me to jump in here and assure you there is no motion blur! I think we would have spotted that...and the film went through very rigorous quality control checks before release. Arthaus Musik is a very well respected and high quality DVD label.

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A quick word to confirm that the blu-ray quality is perfect.

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Hi All.

I have investigated this issue with poor picture quality, and it seems to be persistent across various brands of BluRay players and flat-screens.

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As an aside, I would just like to add that Don Quichot will be released on iTunes (US, Canada and UK) in SD and HD on July 5th.

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Dutch National Ballet's Don Quichot is now available in HD/SD stream/download on iTunes, Amazon (please remember to use the search link above) and CinemaNow. It is not yet up in the UK.

For the record... this is also the first full length classical ballet available on iTunes :)

Enjoy!

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The download is not available in Canada on amazon.com, and it's being geo-blocked, even when signed into an account with a US billing address, I'm guessing by IP location. It's not available on amazon in Canada, even at amazon's much higher prices in Canada, despite the exchange rate.

Amazon is charging $14.99 for the download. iTunes is charging $19.99 for it. There's also the option of short rentals from each.

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Helene,

Thanks for the clarification:

Current territories:

iTunes: US, Canada (UK coming soon). The US Pricing is $19.99 for HD ($4.99 rental), $14.99 for SD ($3.99 rental)

Amazon and CinemaNow: US only

Also - has the forum signed up for the iTunes affiliate program? That way linking through could contribute to hosting costs just as Amazon purchases do.

Best,

Marc

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Just watched the new Don Quichot dvd from the Dutch National Ballet that I purchased from Amazon. It is a real treat. So charming. The Amazon reviews made me a little hesitant b/c some reviews said there was blurring during the dancing, but I think that must be only on the BluRay version (or maybe the company cleared up the problem). I got the regular dvd (not blu ray) and had no problems viewing it on my mac without any blurring. The production is so charming, and Anna Tsygankova is a great Kitri. Matthew Golding is a really good Basilio too, and he looks sort of like Brad Pitt!

Tsygankova stays in place during her 32 fouettes! The story is also much more clear than on other Don Quixote versions I have seen in the past. You understand what is going on at all times. I think anyone who likes the Don Quixote ballet would enjoy this new Dutch National Ballet version. I liked Tsygankova in the DNB's Giselle release too.

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I would be remiss if I didn't point out that this is available to buy and rent on iTunes in the US and Canada and Amazon Instant Video as well :). It will soon be released on iTunes in the UK. The HD version on iTunes is clean of any of the blurring issues that may have impacted the Bluray.

The easiest way to find it on iTunes would be to search for "Don Quichot" or TenduTV.

Marc

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I would be remiss if I didn't point out that this is available to buy and rent on iTunes in the US and Canada and Amazon Instant Video as well :). It will soon be released on iTunes in the UK. The HD version on iTunes is clean of any of the blurring issues that may have impacted the Bluray.

The easiest way to find it on iTunes would be to search for "Don Quichot" or TenduTV.

Marc

Tendu, I buy audio music on iTunes, but I have never bought videos. I assume that means you just own a copy that is on your computer when you do that. Does the picture remain small like a YouTube video, or is it full screen just like a dvd (with multiple viewing sizes)? I am still old school. I like having the physical product, but I am slowly coming into the 21st century!!!!

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Tendu, I buy audio music on iTunes, but I have never bought videos. I assume that means you just own a copy that is on your computer when you do that. Does the picture remain small like a YouTube video, or is it full screen just like a dvd (with multiple viewing sizes)? I am still old school. I like having the physical product, but I am slowly coming into the 21st century!!!!

Bart,

Thanks for asking!

iTunes downloads are Full screen and with 5.1 audio. When you buy the HD version, you actually get two copies - the HD version and the SD. The HD version looks great on your computer, iPad and TV (you can stream iTunes directly to the TV via an AppleTV device), while the SD will sync to your iPhone, iPod touch, etc. Also, iTunes has very strict quality control, so the video is much better than you might expect to see.

So, here's a general pro versus con of iTunes download vs. DVD:

Video Quality: DVD < iTunes HD Download < Bluray

Price: iTunes HD Download <= DVD < Bluray

Audio: If the DVD/BD has 5.1 audio, then the download has it.

Rental: You can rent via iTunes/Amazon/CinemaNow etc, so you can watch for yourself and determine whether or not you like it enough to buy.

One purchase, multiple devices: Digital yes (you can connect up to five devices to 1 iTunes account at a time), physical - only if you carry it with you

Chapter breaks: the DVD and iTunes downloads have all of the same chapter breaks. All 52 of them, in the case of Don Q :)

Happy to answer any other questions you might have.

Marc

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I will have to try it soon. I got over not having a physical product with audio recordings, but video is still weird for me. I am still hung up on having something on my shelf to take down. But I know I need to get over that, since this is the way of the world! LOL Thanks for the info!

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Ok, I'll admit it, I'm clueless too...Where is the download stored? Is it on my computer's hard-drive? Or an iTunes server somewhere? Or in "the cloud"? Is my 'account' with all the music/films/novels etc.etc.etc. that I might want to view/own stored somewhere (electronically or not) that I then log-into to view whenever, wherever? The reason I've never bought an iPod is because no clerk could ever tell me what size I needed for hour-long classical ballets/symphonies etc. rather than a few 4-minute songs or 20minute albums. Now I have the same questions concerning video since I know how much HD eats up memory. (Apologies if any tech terms I used are ludicrous, as I said, I'm not very proficient in its use yet.)

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You get an A+ for your use of tech terms, and I'm glad to be able to help answer these questions.

When you download, a copy is downloaded to whichever device you initially download the copy to. Most of the time, that will be your computer, but a fairly decent percentage of time that might also be your iPod/iPad/etc. Some services don't download - they only stream.

Using Don Quichot as an example:

If you purchase the HD (High Definition) version, you get an HD and a SD (Standard Definition) version. If you purchase the SD version, you just get the SD version. The HD version is about 4.5 GB, the SD version is around 1.5 GB.

If you sync to an iPod, it will copy the SD version. If you sync to an iPad, it will copy the HD version. If you like, you can also plug your iPad/iPod into a television using a digital AV adapter & HDMI cable, or stream off or directly to your computer via AppleTV.

iTunes Movies/TV shows, etc are not stored in a cloud (like music can now be).

To answer your classical ballet/symphony question: A music CD holds up to 700MB/80 minutes, although most albums require far less. If you import into the Apple Lossless file type, it can cut the file size in roughly half. I don't recommend importing CDs using the lossy AAC file type, as you'll lose some critical range in the music, which may result in you throwing the device against a wall.

I can get a bit jargony as well, so if I've been unclear at all, just let me know, and I'll break it down a little further.

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I bought the DVD and there was definitley some mastering issues as there's noticeable smearing. Note that I'm watchiing on a 73" TV with an Oppo Bluray player, so imperfections are perhaps more noticeable to me than otherwise. I bought the DVD with the intention of double-dipping the BluRay if the DVD was good. Obviously, I never bought the Blu and I'll likely never watch this DVD again. This also makes me very wary of any other purchases in the future.

-goro-

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I can't actually speak for the DVD, as we had nothing to do with it, but I'm hoping you might be able to satisfy some curiosities I have. For starters, what is the refresh rate on the TV?

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Thanks, Helene. Alas, this is the not-so-great version that came out on DVD last year. See thread elsewhere for our reviews.

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