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chrisk217

Bournonville Sylphide DVD

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According to Amazon.co.uk the Royal Danish Ballet's La Sylphide will be released in region2/PAL by Warner on March 27, 2006. No other info is given but it may(not sure) be a transfer to dvd of the Jeppesen/Hubbe laser disk.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/B000E97ZY6/

I have never seen this on video, I don't think I can find enough smillies to express my enthusiasm!!!

:yahoo::lol::) :huepfen024: :hyper: :thanks:

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I just placed a pre-order. Shipping via airmail, the total was £14.56, or approximately, $27 (US).

Thank you so much, chrisk217!

:)

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This was Hubbe's debut, aged about 20 (!!!). It's an excellent cast (if it's the transfer from laser disk; it was also broadcast on Bravo). Sorella Englund is Madge, Ann Kristiin Hauge is Effy, and Silja Schandorff is the leading sylph. Rose Gad, Henriette Muus, and others who RDB fans may recognize are in the corps. Thanks!

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Does anyone know if the dvd will be released in our system??? (ntsc I mean)

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I've just ordered a copy, and chrisk217, let me add my thanks!

Incredibly, my little JWIN DVD player that I received for free from my credit card company plays both PAL and NTSC formatted discs. But also, anyone with a DVD drive in a laptop might want to try a PAL disc there. I have only one such disc, but my 3 year old Inspiron 8200 plays it just fine.

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Joseph, this is just conjecture, but from reading announcements on ballettalk, I get the impression that there is some correlation between what is issued in Europe by Warner and what Kultur issues in the US. Most titles released in Europe by Warner are eventually picked up by Kultur. So maybe in the next 6 months or so there will be a region1/ntsc release of La Sylphide.

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Wonderfull news, it was since long on my list, and finally it is there out of the blue.

Thanks for the info Chrisk

Walbo :):)

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Amazon.com now lists a US release date of March 28, 2006, from Kultur. Do a search for "La Sylphide" after clicking on the Amazon.com banner above... the listing for this DVD doesn't have a picture yet.

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The Bournonville La Sylphide is set for release in the U.S. on March 28 as well. I admit I really don't know this ballet from Adam -- all I've seen is the Fracci/Bruhn Bell Telephone hour snippet. So ... to those who know this ballet, which version is "better"? The POB version, reconstructed by Lacotte, or the Bournonville? Or both? Choices, choices ...

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Thanks for the link, LadyRosa. I have my order in but I see that the DVD is only 62 minutes long. When I've seen this ballet it has been paired with another work. But 62 minutes sounds too short to me. RDB-watchers, doesn't it sound like the ballet has been cut?

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I have the POB version. It will be wonderful to be able to view them side by side.

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Just checked with Amazon (above), and learned that mine was shipped today! :)

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There are problems with the camera work -- shots that cut away too soon, or close-ups that should be further back to contain both sides of the mime dialogue. Also, portions where the I would have preferred to see (especially) the Sylph all the way down to her toes, instead of just her waist.

That said, I loved Jeppesen, as I knew I would, and was much pleased by Hubbe. Sorella England was the most beautiful Madge I've seen, greenish complexion and all. Lloyd Riggins did the Act I solo, Morten Munksdorf was Gurn, and Silja Schandorff was the lead Sylph (alongside Rose Gad and another I couldn't identify). Kirsten Simone's Anna was doting and sweet. The ensemble dances -- both the reel and the Dance of the Sylphs -- suffered from poor cinematography, but I'm afraid the company just wasn't as tight as I remember them.

This was originallly a live telecast, but there are moments when I expected applause and heard silence. I'm wondering if there was any post production editing.

There are no extras on the dvd. The package notes the copyright as 1988. I believe there was a vhs available of an earlier taping with Jeppesen and Villumsen. Anyone familiar with that? If so, can you compare the one to the other?

Was it worth the investment? Despite the imperfections, yes!

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I was most impressed with Sorella Englund's Madge. She is by far, the best Madge I have seen. What a passionate performance---she's right up there with Bette Davis and Barbara Stanwyck.... :)

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I loved Jeppeson and Englund, but for me, the most striking moment of the performance, enabled by the camera work, was in the scene where James follows the Sylph downstage right during the pre-wedding group dance, and Effy leaves the group to bring him back. At first, Hübbe kept looking offstage for the Sylph, but as Effy pulled him back, his eyes changed for a brief moment, as if his spirit had left his body and he was letting no one in.

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I just ran across Alexandra Tomalonis' interview with Hubbe in the Summer 1996 issue of Ballet Review (Nikolaj Hubbe Remembers Henning Kronstam), and he has some interesting things to say about this filmed La Sylphide. Not only was this his debut in the role, as Alexandra said earlier, but he hates his performance! Kronstam taught him the part, and "explained everything," giving him "great images," for example, "sometimes the ring is burning" and "sometimes the ring is heavy," but allowing him to choose among the given images.

When the filming took place after only one rehearsal, Hubbe panicked, and Kronstam had to calm him down and encourage him. Later in the interview, however, Hubbe says that he first saw the ballet when he was five years old, and "had no hang-ups" about dancing James.

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While the production values are not as splendid as the POB's, I found everything clear and decently lighted, and felt that the camera focused almost always on the most important dancing.

I haven't seen the Danes for a long time -- and certainly not from so close up. It was a revelation -- and one that created some disorientation, since the style (both mime and dance) are so different from what I ordinarily see in story ballets. There is a real story in this version; not just a plot line. I love the dancing in the POB version. But there are beautifully detailed characters. Even the Sylphide becomes multi-faceted and interesting. For example, in the opening scene, the Sylphide is onstage from the beginning and is clearly entranced and fascinated and delighted by the sleeping James. (Those wonderful, childlike clapping motions, which occur at least twice in the ballet. :) )

I was struck by how very committed everyone on stage was to what they were doing and to whom they were playing. In the two other productdions I've seen, James and Madge have always been presented as rounded characters (though Madge tends towards the stock villainess), but here so were the Sylphide, Gurn, Effy, and Anna.

James and Madge are both much more than in the POB version or what I recall of older ABT performances. Hubbe's vacillation between Sylphide and Effy in Act II is extremely human and plausible. You can watch him being pulled back and forth between two very different visions of his future life. His surrender to his own wild, romantic side -- as he pursues the Sylphide -- is believable. In other versions, I tend to think he's just escaping domesticity and he comes across as something of a cad.

As for Madge, compared to POB's Jean-Marie Didiere (as "la sorciere"), Englund is a complex personality, whose motivations were actually quite moving. She was scary, but also inspired a certain amount of sympathy, or at least understanding.

Jeppsson's death, and the response of her sister Sylhides, is subtle and surprisingly moving. Gurn is plausible and rather admirable; Effy, a rather sensible survivor type. Both really earns their happy ending.

I loved the precision and incredible lightness of the dancing. The emphasis is on jumps and beats, balances and poses.

Something I've not noticed in the work of other choreographers: James does a jump combination towards the audience, then turns around and repeats it towards upstage. This kind of repeat/reversal happens several times in the ballet.

The Scottish dance, where Gurn dances with a little girl, and the adults are joined byk other, older children, is marvellous.

Vivat Bournonville!

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It's so interesting to see how very different Nikolai Hubbe appears in this than he does today. You would say nearly a different dancer. The clarity of the beats, the easy - light and feathery jump -- and he's so much less bulked up in his physique, both the legs and the shoulders and neck, he was so much longer and more stretched in his lines as a young dancer. It's not the passage of time in itself that I'm convinced you can see in the contrast between this DVD and Nikolai today, it's the nearly twenty years of different training, the distance he has come from the Danish style. Lovely performance by him.

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