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in my efforts to obtain review copies of these releases (for coverage to be published by alexandra in either DANCEVIEW or DANCEVIEWTIMES) i just have learned that the disks are now available. my DVDs arrived today from VAI's offices, so i trust orders are being sent to the distributors concerned, who will in turn send them out to buyers.

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I watched the Cinderella video a couple of days ago.

Let's start with the bad news. This performance was broadcast in color but is recorded in black and white, which leads to some strange distortions in the sections where there was magic afoot (no pun intended) - namely, the fairy godmother and the seasons. At least as I saw it, they appear to have been filming against a blue screen to get some "effects" so that the dancer is very blurry - Merle Park as Spring is almost indistinguishable and they have superimposed a flower pattern on the floor that is very distracting; Beriosova as Winter is somewhat clearer although there are snowflakes hanging over her head that get in the way (visually) occasionally. There is no "Prince around the world" segment - maybe there wasn't one in this production or maybe they omitted it because of time limitations. Finally, the "set" for Cinderella's house is actually cut up into "rooms" so sometimes a lovely piece of choreography is broken up moving from the kitchen to the drawing room. The table in the middle of the drawing room also gets in the way of much full-out movement at times.

I was fortunate enough to see Fonteyn in Cinderella in the middle 1960's, and it is a very sympathetic role for her. I think the waif scenes are actually more touching than the triumph scenes at the ball and the final pas de deux. Her musicality and lovely footwork are obvious throughout. I guess what surprised me the most was the sense of sensual abandon in the pas de deux with the Prince - she is so warm and involved! Her port de bras are like caresses and embraces, and there is much leaning and cuddling -

Somes is very handsome, Alexander Grant energetic (if a little sloppy). Having two of the major choreographers of the Twentieth Centruy as the step-sisters is very camp, and they have a lot of business in their major scenes. The other surprise for me was Julia Farron as the Fairy Godmother. She was strikingly beautiful.

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