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  • Connection to/interest in ballet** (Please describe. Examples: fan, teacher, dancer, writer, avid balletgoer)
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  1. For my two experiments, both the audio and video qualities are slightly compromised in the converted outputs but overall, the qualities are not bad, in my opinion. Both converted outputs give me non-fuzzy images. The movements and facial expressions of the dancers are still captured clearly and fluidly - it's just when you compare the originals and the converted copies side-by-side, you'd notice the slight difference. The converted copies do not have the same degree of brightness and sharpness as the originals. For the audio quality, I don't find too much of a discrepancy with the SPBT's Giselle. But for the Mariinsky's Nutcracker, because the original is from Decca, I can really tell a difference - So, if you're looking for a home theatre experience, you'll not be happy with the result. I guess this depends on factors other than the qualities of the converted outputs. Given the purpose here is not to disrespect copyright protection, the most direct way to watch a PAL DVD is, of course, with my own computer. But for my personal preference, I'd rather watch ballet performances on TV than in front of my computer. That's because I often find myself not as judgmental and analytical when I'm away from my computer. I don't know if this may help but in my opinion, the image of the converted NTSC output of my experiment is of a far better quality than the DVD video of the old RB's La Fille Mal Gardee (Collier, Coleman). I don't know why you're on the lookout for a method to convert your PAL DVD to an NTSC version, but if you can tolerate watching the DVD of La Fille Mal Gardee (Collier, Coleman), there is a high chance that you'd find the quality of the converted version acceptable.
  2. innopac, although you may have chosen to drop your little project, I thought it might be quite interesting to borrow your idea and carry out a little experiment of my own: Just for the fun of experimenting, I checked out ConvertXtoDVD, a program that has the function to convert PAL to NTSC or NTSC to PAL (depends on what you choose when you first install the program on your PC). To test out the program, I chose one PAL disc and one NTSC disc. To convert from PAL to NTSC, I tried the SPBT's Giselle (Irina Kolesnikova). For NTSC to PAL, I used the Mariinsky's Nutcracker (Irina Golub). Since ConvertXtoDVD only handles the conversion process, I made backup copies of the DVDs on my hard drive before using the program to convert. In my experiments, I used Slysoft's AnyDVD + CloneDVD but I'm sure other similar programs will also do a good job. As I was performing a test, I downloaded the trial version of the program. The installation was straight-forward. Overall, I didn't find the program difficult to use. Result: Since it's a trial version, the output contains a watermark in the middle of the screen. I saved the converted files on my hard drive and double checked on the qualities first before burning the files onto a DVD-R. For both the NTSC and PAL outputs, the audio and video are in sync. The qualities are acceptable (but please don't expect the output to be of the same qualities as the originals). I'm happy that both of my experiments had run smoothly - since I wanted to check out the SPBT's Giselle on my old NTSC TV, I ended up burning the converted NTSC files onto a DVD-R, and yes, I've no problem playing the DVD-R on my old TV + DVD player. BTW, I discovered a link to get a 40% off coupon for ConvertXtoDVD - if anyone is considering buying the program, go to YouTube, , click on (more info) which is next to the date of when the video had been added in the right hand column, and there, you'll find a link to get a special 40% off coupon.
  3. innopac, from what I gather in the Slysoft forum, I don't think you can convert a PAL DVD to a DVD that would be viewable on a TV that is NTSC. All I suggested earlier was to view the DVD on a PC. If you live in North America, an Oppo Universal DVD player may display a PAL video on an NTSC TV. Personally, I haven't purchased anything from Oppo - so I can't comment on the quality. For your information, the Oppo web site is: http://www.oppodigital.com/
  4. There are downloadable programs that help to make DVDs region free and therefore viewable on PCs without using up your region counter. Most programs offer a fully functional trial version with an evaluation period of at least ten days. The program which I know that doesn't come with any spyware or adware is from Slysoft. If your friend wishes to view the DVD and also make a region-free copy for her personal use, she can check out the web site and download the appropriate programs from there.
  5. Thanks, theplayer01. So far, I've watched the Dancer's Dream: Sleeping Beauty. The video has helped me appreciate not only the POB production but also all other Sleeping Beauty performances. It's sometimes easy to forget how much teamwork has been put together in order for us to see a 2-hour performance on stage and I think the Dancer's Dream is definitely a great documentary series.
  6. Great info! Thanks, innopac!
  7. hello garybruce: I purchased my copy at amazon.fr and when I received it, the back of the cover says "This is a region free NTSC DVD, designed for playback on all NTSC and modern PAL compatible system worldwide." I hope this helps to clarify.
  8. As I watch and re-watch the snow scenes in Act 1 from the Sir Peter Wright's productions, I kind of wonder how the dancers were able to keep themselves safe from any type of slippery accidents when the powdery snow landed onto the stage. I bet my questions are: (1) Do dancers treat their shoes with something special to prevent slippage? (2) Would anyone know what could be the material being used to create the powdery snow, please? Since these are questions that I have while watching the DVDs, I thought I'll post them under the same thread. Kindly inform if I need to start a new topic under a different sub-forum. Thank you.
  9. I don't know if anyone may be interested in classical music but DG is currently offering full concert video streams of a selection of their artists' performances at the Verbier Festival 2008. http://www2.deutschegrammophon.com/gpp/pop...3p?ID=verbier08 The artists include Measha Brueggergosman, Mischa Maisky, Martha Argerich, Rafał Blechacz and Hélène Grimaud. The streams will be available until the end of August.
  10. Thanks for the update, Sacto1654. Unfortunately, I wasn't aware of the 3-DVD package when I placed my individual order for the Kirov version (Lezhnina, Baranov) last week. The good news is I just received the ABT version (Kirkland, Baryshnikov) and a copy of RB's La Fille Mal Gardee (Nunez, Acosta) today. This will definitely be a nice change after watching 5 Don Quixotes and 3 Cinderellas.
  11. Adrika: Nutcracker Sweetie is a 35-minute performance, jazz-style. There is hardly any story plot. Music is rearranged by Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn; Choreography by David Bintley. Although most female dancers are en pointe, I find it a bit strange to watch scenes where dancers are doing some pointe work when they are actually dancing swing or some other non-ballet styles. From the DVD, the performance consists of the following chapters: Chapter 1: Suite Wrappers (Overture) Chapter 2: Candy Kane (Dance of the Reed Pipes) Chapter 3: The Volga Vouty (Cossack) Chapter 4: Sugar Rum Cherry (Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy) Chapter 5: Buttons (re-working of the Overture) Chapter 6: Chinoiserie (Chinese Dance) Chapter 7: Waltz of the Floreadors Chapter 8: Arabesque Cookie (Arabian Dance) Chapter 9: Peanut Brittle Brigade (March) This DVD also features The Judas Tree - the last ballet choreographed by MacMillan. The Judas Tree is also a short performance, about half an hour. It's a story about lust, betrayal and guilt, featuring Irek Mukhamedov and Leanne Benjamin.
  12. I haven't watched the Kirov (Terekhova, Ruzimatov) yet, but out of the five DVDs that I watched in the past two weeks: ABT (Harvey, Baryshnikov), POB (Dupont, Legris), Bolshoi (Nadezhda Pavlova, Gordeev), Tchaikovsky Perm State Ballet (Ananiashvili, Fadeyetchev), and National Ballet of Cuba (Valdes, Frometa), the National Ballet of Cuba version is the one that I feel I want to immediately re-watch it again. The Cuban performance, like the ABT version, is about 90 minutes long. Personally, I really enjoy watching Valdes playing the role of Kitri - unlike Ananiashvili who hurried through her fouettes in Act 3 and therefore had to pose before the music stopped (!) , Valdes never rushed but simply allowed herself to merge with the melody of the music. The Bolshoi version (audio: mono, picture quality: so-so) has the most number of lifts being carried out, but what I like the most about this DVD is its bonus section - it has scenes (black and white) from Plisetskaya's Don Quixote! I found myself yawning through the Prologue and the first 25 minutes of Act 1 in the POB version, but I did manage to stay put in front of my laptop and watched the rest of the performance. The cast was excellent but somehow the chemistry was really lacking in the first 30 minutes of the show. So, if someone could only purchase one "Don Quixote", I'd recommend the Cuban version.
  13. Thanks for all the great feedback! Cubanmiamiboy, thanks for the clarification. I "winked" in my earlier reply because I've always loved the way your passion for ballet shines through in all of your posts. It's such a joy to see people not afraid to represent their passion with honesty in this world and I'm glad to find plenty of great enthusiasts in this forum. While this may seem quite stupid to confess, I started the process to collect nutcrackers because I want to see more of the "Waltz of the Snowflakes" in different productions. I know this scene may seem trivial to many but it's what ignites my desire to watch ballet again. After deliberately not touching the subject of ballet for almost 20 years, it's not easy to catch up. So, thanks for accommodating me here and I just hope I don't sound like a nuisance to everyone.
  14. Cubanmiamiboy, I read an earlier thread of yours and I notice how much you love productions that are similar to the version of Mme. Alonso. So, I can understand why plots that deviate from Clara being the well-behaved spectator may not be your favorite cup of tea. :foot: Looking at what I've written earlier, I also realize I've missed out a few little things - originally in Act One of the BRB production, Clara has a ballerina doll that looks like the Sugar Plum Fairy. So, when I see her dreaming, dancing and then transforming into the Sugar Plum Fairy in Act Two, I don't find it awkward. As well, in Act Two, Clara is not transported to the Land of Sweets (with a white castle) but rather to a more colorful setting where the dream world of Clara's consists of the sun, the flowers and the dancers from the many lands. I'm still working on expanding my nutcracker collection... The next nutcracker DVD that I'll be watching is the Balanchine's NYCB1993 version.
  15. I've finally obtained a copy of the BRB1994 (Yoshida/Mukhamedov) as well as the RB1985 (Collier/Dowell) versions of Nutcracker and after watching them in the weekend, I must say I agree with JMcN that the plot from BRB is better than all of the RB versions that I have. While Act One is very similar in all of the Sir Peter Wright's productions, the BRB's Act Two is about how Clara gradually becomes aspired and transformed into the Sugar Plum Fairy, the ballerina of her dreams. Although the picture quality of both of the older productions aren't as great as the recent Cojocaru's version, I'm pleased to have added them into my collection. I just want to express my thanks to cubanmiamiboy and JMcN. :foot:
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