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Gelsey Kirkland Academy DVD"Elusive Dreams" with Herman Cornejo (5/25/12)


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#1 California

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Posted 11 June 2012 - 06:13 PM

I just received the DVD from the 5/25/12 concert by the dancers at the Gelsey Kirkland Academy.
http://www.blindinglightvideo.com/#gka
http://www.gelseykirklandballet.org/

(It's not available from Amazon or B&N.)

It's notable for several reasons. I am impressed that I have already received this just two weeks after the concert. The quality of the recording by a company called "Blinding Light: Event Filming for the Arts" was fine -- there were a few brief, blurry moments, but mostly I was looking at the part of the stage I wanted to focus on.

It makes me wish we could get such easy access to other programs around the country. The two hours of serious dancing are worth watching, by well-rehearsed advanced students at the academy. The excerpts are mainly available on DVDs from professional companies, but not all of them. Along with excerpts from Swan Lake, Corsaire, and Bayadere (which are widely available, of course), they also presented something called "Carnival of Venice" by Petipa, which I've never heard of.

The real gem of the program (and worth the price of the DVD) is Herman Cornejo in lengthy excerpts from La Sylphide. Oh my! He is truly spectacular. The precision, height, and complication of his beats and leaps are something to behold. There are brief, fuzzy (and probably unauthorized?) clips of him on YouTube in this role, but otherwise, where can you see this? How many people saw him at the Met in 2009? As far as I can tell from a little googling, this is the only (legitimate) way to get a recording of him in this role.

It reminds me of the many times I read about a major principal dancer guesting with a smaller regional company -- Wendy Whelan in Oregon, Gillian Murphy in Orange County, many others. Wouldn't it be nice to have quickly available DVDs available from those performances?

Everything in the Kirkland concert was 19th century, so they presumably didn't have any issues with copyright, and that might be a problem for 20th century pieces. Whelan reportedly did excerpts from Chaconne. Wouldn't you buy the DVD just for that alone, if available? The Balanchine Trust, the Oregon company, and Whelan could all get a slice of the royalties and we all would get to see something we'd likely never have a chance to see otherwise.

On this site many of us complain constantly about the lack of availability of quality DVDs of so many important ballets and performances. I hope that this venture by Kirkland/Blinding Light catches on!

(My main complaint with the Kirkland DVD is that none of the dancers is credited anywhere, other than Cornejo. Too bad! It would be fun to pick out favorites and watch where they head in the coming years.)

#2 Helene

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Posted 11 June 2012 - 07:10 PM

That sounds like a great DVD to have.

Many times guest artists dance in productions with choreography by the artistic director or resident/company member and they are "after Petipa," and the choreography rights should be less complex. Not all of the companies have AGMA contracts, and it might be more feasible to offer a DVD, especially print-on-demand, and the exposure would be beneficial.

#3 BlindingLight

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Posted 11 October 2012 - 01:10 PM

I just received the DVD from the 5/25/12 concert by the dancers at the Gelsey Kirkland Academy.
http://www.blindinglightvideo.com/#gka
http://www.gelseykirklandballet.org/

(It's not available from Amazon or B&N.)

It's notable for several reasons. I am impressed that I have already received this just two weeks after the concert. The quality of the recording by a company called "Blinding Light: Event Filming for the Arts" was fine -- there were a few brief, blurry moments, but mostly I was looking at the part of the stage I wanted to focus on.

It makes me wish we could get such easy access to other programs around the country. The two hours of serious dancing are worth watching, by well-rehearsed advanced students at the academy. The excerpts are mainly available on DVDs from professional companies, but not all of them. Along with excerpts from Swan Lake, Corsaire, and Bayadere (which are widely available, of course), they also presented something called "Carnival of Venice" by Petipa, which I've never heard of.

The real gem of the program (and worth the price of the DVD) is Herman Cornejo in lengthy excerpts from La Sylphide. Oh my! He is truly spectacular. The precision, height, and complication of his beats and leaps are something to behold. There are brief, fuzzy (and probably unauthorized?) clips of him on YouTube in this role, but otherwise, where can you see this? How many people saw him at the Met in 2009? As far as I can tell from a little googling, this is the only (legitimate) way to get a recording of him in this role.

It reminds me of the many times I read about a major principal dancer guesting with a smaller regional company -- Wendy Whelan in Oregon, Gillian Murphy in Orange County, many others. Wouldn't it be nice to have quickly available DVDs available from those performances?

Everything in the Kirkland concert was 19th century, so they presumably didn't have any issues with copyright, and that might be a problem for 20th century pieces. Whelan reportedly did excerpts from Chaconne. Wouldn't you buy the DVD just for that alone, if available? The Balanchine Trust, the Oregon company, and Whelan could all get a slice of the royalties and we all would get to see something we'd likely never have a chance to see otherwise.

On this site many of us complain constantly about the lack of availability of quality DVDs of so many important ballets and performances. I hope that this venture by Kirkland/Blinding Light catches on!

(My main complaint with the Kirkland DVD is that none of the dancers is credited anywhere, other than Cornejo. Too bad! It would be fun to pick out favorites and watch where they head in the coming years.)


Thank you for your feedback! We just got some new equipment so now the videos look better than ever!

In December of last year we started putting all of the shows we film online for order. I glad so many people love quality ballet!

I thought I would post the promo video from Gelsey Kirkland Academy of Classical Ballet's "Elusive Dreams 2012" with guest star Herman Cornejo. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fJnIhvieqLc

Also, we leave it up to the dance studio if they would like all their dancers credited, for some reason most do not prefer it.

#4 bart

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Posted 11 October 2012 - 04:51 PM

What a great idea! I hope our members check out the clips from videos already on the website. This level of videography shows everyone at their best, which is as it should be. I can't imagine a serious school which wouldn't want that.

http://www.blindinglightvideo.com/#


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