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Violet (and other North American readers) the blurb on your site, DanceBooks.co.uk, clearly states that the dvd is not formatted for US and Canadian players.

I saw the film on tv -- one of the better filmed ballet profiles. But then, given the subject matter, how could it not be?

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For some reason I am able to play DVDs in all formats on my computer. My basic DVD player makes the adjustment. I am very low-tech so I cannot advise you why this is so, but I just wanted to let you know that it is possible to get a DVD

player that is able to play UK and USA DVDs. If you want to purchase the Violette et Mr B DVD, it may be possible.

All the best.

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Violet, you may also try the "FNAC" in France. I think they are selling many videos by Delouche. I even think they have like a gift/bonus set

FNAC

Also check

www.imagidanse.com.

Make sure to go to click on the British flag and then go on the video excerpts link.

It is a great overall website and they sell many videos. You can also see excerpts of many M. Delouche's film (except Violette and Mr. B. :wub:)

You can also "de-zone" a DVD, providing you don't care for the added cost if you really want to own it...

Enjoy!

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I bought this DVD from dancebooks in the UK, and it is now my "if you could only take one DVD to the desert island" choice. Not only does it have precious archival footage of Verdy in Emeralds, Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux, Liebeslieder Walzer, Dances at a Gathering, and In the Night, there are her remarkable coaching sessions with Elisabeth Maurin, Isabelle Guèrin, Lucia Lacarra and Cyril Pierre, Elisabeth Platel and Nicolas Leriche, and Margaret Illman and Vladimir Malakov, in which she passes the Balanchine flame through her verbal evocations and physical demonstrations.

But that's not all!!!

Included on the CD are four other films by Dominique Delouche. The other major film is Comme les Oiseaux, with what I find to be a rather hokey conceit of Monique Loudières walking on the roof and around the Opera House, sometimes with the birds of the title, and with sections of ballets staged in the public areas of the theater, but with an extraordinary series of coaching sessions with Jerome Robbins (In the Night), Yvette Chauvire (and Cyril Atanassof) (Les Mirages), Violette Verdy (Sonatine, with archival footage of Verdy in the role), and Vassiliev (Giselle). There's also a chapter of Kylian teaching Loudières and Manuel Legris in what I think may be Nuages, which I found less illuminating.

Giselle has never been a favorite of mine, but to see Vassiliev, who would have been about 50 when the film was made, in a lilac button down shirt, belted to appear peasanty, over black slacks, and black patent leather street shoes transform into Albrecht made this my desert island chapter.

The short films are Autor de la Sylphide, with Ghislaine Thesmar, Michaël Denard, and Yannick Stephant rehearsing the Lacotte La Sylphide; Aurore, in which Rosella Hightower coaches Elisabeth Platel in the Rose Adagio from Sleeping Beauty; and Pas à pas, danced by Patrick Dupond and John Neumeier.

I've played this on my Macintosh laptop with no trouble, but it does not work on my US DVD player.

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So you liked it? :)

What a coup when the bonus footage is as good (or better) than the feature! And having seen Violette et Mr. B on tv, I can say that is quite a high standard!

Thanks, Helene!

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But that's not all!!!

Included on the CD are four other films by Dominique Delouche. The other major film is Comme les Oiseaux, with what I find to be a rather hokey conceit of Monique Loudières walking on the roof and around the Opera House, sometimes with the birds of the title,

I'll have to look up "hokey conceit" in a dictionary, but I wonder whether those images of Monique Loudières walking on the roof of the Opéra Garnier are a reference to a TV miniseries "L'âge heureux" (The happy age), written by the actress Odette Joyeux (who had studied at the POB school as a child), which took place in the POB school. I've never seen it but it was very successful in the 1960s (several dancers mentioned it as their initial motivation to take dance classes), and from what I've read some parts took place on the roof of the Opera (which was of course a forbidden place for the "petits rats" of the POB school, and so even more attractive...)

The short films are Autour de la Sylphide, with Ghislaine Thesmar, Michaël Denard, and Yannick Stephant rehearsing the Lacotte La Sylphide; Aurore, in which Rosella Hightower coaches Elisabeth Platel in the Rose Adagio from Sleeping Beauty; and Pas à pas, danced by Patrick Dupond and John Neumeier.

What does "Autour de la Sylphide" look like ? And how long is it ? I've only seen photos of this (one of the first dance-related books that caught my attention was a book about Michael Denard, and it included some photos of it).

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I'll have to look up "hokey conceit" in a dictionary, but I wonder whether those images of Monique Loudières walking on the roof of the Opéra Garnier are a reference to a TV miniseries "L'âge heureux" (The happy age), written by the actress Odette Joyeux (who had studied at the POB school as a child), which took place in the POB school. I've never seen it but it was very successful in the 1960s (several dancers mentioned it as their initial motivation to take dance classes), and from what I've read some parts took place on the roof of the Opera (which was of course a forbidden place for the "petits rats" of the POB school, and so even more attractive...)

That certainly explains the references: the opening is a great slow shot of the ornamentation on the roof, which turns into Loudières slowly walking up the rake of the roof, and then walking along a ledge.

I'm not sure a dictionary will be completely helpful on "hokey conceit" without the right context, and I may just be more confusing in an attempt to explain it, but I'll give it a try: "hokey" is similar in meaning to "corny" (or "cornball"), but I'm not sure that's any clearer. The closest I can describe it is being a combination of something that is out-dated and sentimental, but is done seriously. "Conceit" in this sense is "theatrical conceit," which is a technique used in the theater where a non-naturalistic element is used as a recurring theme that "frames" the drama, but the audience accepts it, even though it's completely different from the core of the play that is supposed to be accepted realistically. A common one is an angel or dead person who narrates (or in the movie Truly, Madly, Deeply, watches TV and eats crisps). In Autour the slow-motion that Delouche uses at the end to make the dancers more unworldly would be a film version of a theatrical conceit.

What does "Autour de la Sylphide" look like ? And how long is it ? I've only seen photos of this (one of the first dance-related books that caught my attention was a book about Michael Denard, and it included some photos of it).
It is about 8.5 minutes long, not including closing credits. It opens with a portrait of the dancer who might have been the original, with the opening credits, and a metronome in the background. A man's voice is heard giving barre instructions. The camera then shows Lacotte giving a barre exercise in a studio to Thesmar, Denard, and Stephant for about two minutes. From the barre the dancers go immediately into a studio rehearsal, with piano accompaniment. Thesmar is wearing a leotard and Sylph skirt, Denard blue leotard, sweater, and tights, and Stephant a leotard with short skirt.

Thesmar and Denard dance, with the cameras at normal level, and there are occasional cuts from a ceiling camera to Lacotte coaching and partnering Stephant. There are several closeups of the three dancers, including one particularly beautiful one of the Sylphide coming between the couple. This changes to the overhead camera filming the three, with a whispered voice-over -- alas I don't speak French, and there are no English subtitles -- a few whisps of fog rising, and to a string quartet playing Beetheoven's op 130 string quartet (according to the closing credits.) The camera switches to back to ground level but with the same dark lighting, and the pas de trois is filmed in slow motion.

The film ends with a scene in which Denard is shown from chest up walking and reaching forward, which switches to the Sylphide walking and gesturing backwards, until finally Denard's arm is shown reaching towards her as her image fades into the background, leaving only his arm reaching as the music ends.

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I bought this DVD from dancebooks in the UK, and it is now my "if you could only take one DVD to the desert island" choice.

I've played this on my Macintosh laptop with no trouble, but it does not work on my US DVD player.

You know, they should give you a commission.

Thanks for the Mac info!

Scampering off to the website.

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A friend of mine bought the whole series of Delouche's films from Fnac for 75 euros (not including postage) That's a nice bargain (more than 25% off)

http://www.fnac.com/Shelf/article.asp?PRID...&To=0Ν=1&Fr=3

That's 8 films (about 12 hours, not including extras):

Maia (about Maya, of course),

Katia et Volodia (about Ekaterina Maximova and Vladimir Vasiliev),

Yvette Chauvire

Nina Vyroubova

Violette et Mr B.

Comme les oiseaux

Serge Peretti, le dernier italien

Alicia Markova la legende

Some have more coaching, others more reminiscing. Most have more historic excerpts than Violette et Mr B. (Alicia Markova as Giselle, anyone?)

The ones I enjoyed most were Violette et Mr B., Katia et Volodia, Nina Vyroubova and Alicia Markova. The one I least enjoyed was Comme les oiseaux. But even those that I did not enjoy as much have interesting parts. In the "Serge Peretti" for example, you'll find Emmanuel Thibault being coached by Peretti on a Tarantella-ish dance (I don't remember by whom)

As was mentioned, there is quite a bit of Lifar choreography in them. The coaching is usually interesting and provides some insights on the changes in technique and the more intangible aspects of the dance. Not for the casual ballet-goer but excellent for aficionados!

A word of caution though: four of the films are in french and the subtitling is somewhat erratic. It really helps if you have some acquintance with the language.

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Thanks, PeggyR. Your post led me to check, and I found that my Amazon order is on its way. It's taken 2 years to get it to the US, but -- based on the clips I've seen, and the long review that Helene posted two years ago -- the wait will be worth it.

:rofl: I first saw Verdy dance at NYCB in 1958 or 1959. Can anyone on Ballet Talk beat that??? (I hope so, because it would be great to hear about it.)

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Just got around to opening the package and it looks as if the extras mentioned by others are not included on this version. The package table of contents insert lists the following chapters (I'm abbreviating the actual headings):

1. Introduction by Petit

Violette coaches (2 through 6)

2. Maurin

3. Guerin

4. Lacarra & Pierre

5. Platel & Le Riche

6. Illmann & Malakhov

7. Closing credits

Watching the present-day Violette coaching: she's still got those eyes and that smile. She must have been absolutely magical on the stage.

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I first saw Verdy dance at NYCB in 1958 or 1959. Can anyone on Ballet Talk beat that??? (I hope so, because it would be great to hear about it.)

I saw her back then, too, but don't remember anything to tell. I was born in 1947 and my mother took me to see the NYCB frequently from a young age. My recollections are irritatingly vague.

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I first saw Verdy dance at NYCB in 1958 or 1959. Can anyone on Ballet Talk beat that??? (I hope so, because it would be great to hear about it.)

I remember her first in the long beginning section of Figure in the Carpet, and she was then what she remained during her years with Balanchine - precise, musical, accurate, both lyrical and swift, with remarkable vitality and charm. At her best she was a joy, and the Emeralds dances express her qualities very exactly. Unfortunately she could also be fussy, exaggerated and irritatingly mannered. You never knew which Violette you were going to get. Sometimes it was absolute love and sometimes you wanted to shoot her, or at least feed her a tranquilizer. Every movement had to be mined, examined, buffed up and worked on; every movement had to have a story. She always stood out, for the best and worst reasons - I cannot imagine those years at NYCB without her.

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Sometimes it was absolute love and sometimes you wanted to shoot her, or at least feed her a tranquilizer. Every movement had to be mined, examined, buffed up and worked on;

Thank you for that vivid description. Schwarzkopf-like, I guess.

Her most indefatigable champion among critics was B. H. Haggin, who adored her.

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Unfortunately she could also be fussy, exaggerated and irritatingly mannered. You never knew which Violette you were going to get. Sometimes it was absolute love and sometimes you wanted to shoot her, or at least feed her a tranquilizer.
Thank you for that, popularlibrary. I can now confess that my first memories of her were of cheeriness and flutter covering the obviously wonderful technique like lace. You had to look at her. But it wasn't only because you wanated to. Her dancing seemed strange and sometimes, apparently, out of place amid the rest of the company. T

The mannerisms were all, I think on the surface. Would you agree, popularlibrary and Marga, that it was possible to recognize a unique natural dancer underneath? What, in your opiniion, were her evident strengths in those early days? I don't know enough to evaluate the underlying technique or training, and would really love to hear your take on that.

I was surprised on evening to find that she had been cast in Agon, my standard at the time for all "serious Balanchine." I can't remember what she did in those early Agons (not the pas de deux), but I dimly recall -- almost as if in a well-lighted snapshot -- her trying to fit in by an act of will power. I recall (also dimly) seeing her in the one of the fast movements of Western Symphony, dancing her heart out. For me, the subtext was: here's a French dancer who seems to know that this is really a Euroepan ballet about the American West.. It was inevitable that she would be cast early on in Gounod Symphony, and that ceretainly did work from the first.

In those days, foreign-trained dancers were not so common in American companies as they are now. I always felt that there was something veru brave about her decision to come to live and dance in city, and with a company, so different from what she had known.

However, because I'd already developed a passion for the hard-driving and VERY serious Melissa Hayden, I found that it took a number of years to warm up to Verdy and actually to say "Great!" when I saw her name on the program.

Verdy seemed to outgrow or surrender some of her mannerisms as time went by. I do feel that she blossomed when the company got to the larger State Theater stage, though I don't know why this would have been the case. Emeralds -- and it took a few viewings to adjust to it -- was the first time I thought: "There's something here worth learning about. Watch and pay attention." I began to look closer ... and was smitten.

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This a sort of heads up on Violette et Mr B and other films of Dominique Delouche who also fixed his lens and intelligence on Markova, Serge Peretti & Yvette Chavire. They will be shown at Walter Reade theater (if construction hopefully allows) July 23 through the 27th. VV will be in attendance on one of the nights, as will the director, possibly the more interesting draw:

Dominique Delouche is truly a Renaissance figure, steeped in classical music, fine arts and the ballet. He has devoted much of his working life to filming the great dancers who illuminated his youth, to preserve the tradition as well as the memory of the dance from one generation to the other; as he wrote in his memoir, Corps Glorieux (Glorious Bodies), “The Church has stashed away our angels in the cupboard but what we have left is the dancers.”

Early on, Delouche assisted Fellini and directed a feature film himself. His point of reference was Max Ophüls and when he started filming dancers he lent a choreographic note to his subjects, later favoring a simpler documentary style. This is the first American retrospective of the filmmaker, whose devotional tone, always sparked with humor, gave his career as a dance filmmaker (as well as a costume and set designer) its special place.

[above from WW/Film Society notes]

http://filmlinc.com/wrt/onsale/dominiquede...he/program.html

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