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I was delighted to find that Kultur is releasing Napoli by the Royal Danish Ballet on July 25th, 2006, in NTSC format!

Napoli at Amazon.com

Quoting the DVD description from Amazon.com:

Product Description:

The dramatic tradition of the remarkable dancer and choreographer, August Bournonville, is the keystone of the continuing excellence of the Royal Danish Ballet, and Napoli is his happiest masterpiece. Persuaded by his friend Hans Christian Andersen to travel to Italy, Bournonville was inspired by his stay in Naples to create this romantic ballet, which tells the story of the young fisherman Gennaro and his beloved Teresina.

From The Royal Theatre, Copenhagen; The Royal Danish Ballet. Music By E Helsted, G Rossini, Niels W Gade, H S Paulli, H C Lumbye.

Gennaro, a fisherman: Arne Villumsen

Veronica, a widow: Mona Jensen

Teresina, her daughter: Linda Hindberg

Fra Ambrosio, a monk: Tommy Frishøi

Giacomo, a macaroni seller: Fredbjørn Bjørnson

Peppo, a lemonade seller: Flemming Ryberg

Giovanina: Annemarie Dybdal

Pascarillo, a street singer: Michael Bastian

Yay!!! :clapping::yahoo:

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the following comes from the NYPL dance coll. cat. listing the film as a videocassette:

Napoli / a National Video Corporation production in association with Danmarks Radio and ZDF, Germany ; directed for television by Preben Montell ; choreography by Kirsten Ralov after August Bournonville ; music by Edvard Helsted, Gioacchino Rossini, Niels Wilhelm Gade, Holger Simon Paulli, and Hans Christian Lumbye.

c1986 ; Chicago, Ill. : Home Vision, 1987. (98 min.) : sd., col.

Released as a videotape in 1987 by Home Vision, a Films Inc. Company, Chicago, Illinois.

Videotaped in performance at the Royal Theatre, Copenhagen.

Scenery, Ove Christian Pedersen ; costumes, Soren Frandsen ; lighting, Erik Bremer Sorensen and Jorn Melin ; executive producer, Robin Scott.

Performed by members of the Royal Danish Ballet.

Arne Villumsen (Gennaro, a fisherman) ; Mona Jensen (Veronica, a widow) ; Linda Hindberg (Teresina, her daughter) ; Flemming Ryberg (Peppo, a lemonade seller) ; Fredbjorn Bjornsson (Giacomo, a macaroni seller) ; Tommy Frishoi (Fra Ambrosio) ; Annemarie Dybdal (Giovanina) ; Michael Bastian (Pascarillo, a street singer) ; Thomas Berentzen (Carlino, a puppeteer) ; Aage Poulsen (a drummer) ; Palle Jacobsen (Golfo, a sea demon) ; Marianne Rindholt (Coralia, a naiad) ; Kit Dyring (Argentina, a naiad). Act I Ballabile: Anne Adair, Mette Bodtcher, Marisa Luther, Henriette Muus, Christina Nilsson, Benedikte Paaske, Peter Bo Bendixen, Bjarne Hecht, Ib Jeppesen, Alexander Kolpin, Morten Munksdorf, and Kim Thonsgaard. Act III Pas de six: Lis Jeppesen, Mette-Ida Kirk, Benedikte Paaske, Heidi Ryom, Mogens Boesen, Bjarne Hecht. Variations (in order of appearance): Kolpin ; Paaske and Ryom ; Lis Jeppesen ; Kirk, Paaske, and Ryom ; Hecht ; Ingrid Glindemann, Marianne Rindholt, and Anita Soby ; Villumsen ; Hindberg ; Ryom ; Kirk. Tarantella: Anne-Marie Vessel, Johnny Eliasen, Hindberg, Villumsen, Rindholt, Ib Jeppesen, Soby, Claus Schroder, Lise Stripp, Peter Bo Bendixen, and others.

Music played by the Royal Danish Orchestra conducted by Peter Ernst Lassen.

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Alexandra--I started watching this last night, unfortunately could get only VHS with poor quality in several ways compared to DVD, but thought maybe I should put my thoughts on this thread. FORTUNATELY--I copied your pointers to Word so I could use them, as that has disappeared from the Sylphide thread. I might not have known that the Streetsinger was miming an aria, for example, as well as I'm sure many other things.

Have now remembered that 'Flower Festival of Genzano' is on 'Art of the Classical Pas de Deux' tape, which I watched a few years ago, and also has Villumsen and Hindberg. I think that is a different performance, though, because all of them had that not terribly attractive backdrop and it was made with the old LA Ballet, there was Patricia McBride and a Los Angeles dancer doing Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux, etc. May be also where I saw Denard/Thesmar do Sylphide. Wiki mentions the composer of this part, so I guess I will get to it in one of the succeeding acts. I remember lime-green on Villumsen with white shirt, thus far the girls wear dresses and the boys these clever shorts in the first act. This one is easier than 'Sylphide' for me, I think. And I guess that first act is the 'sunshine' you mentioned, you can almost taste the gelato in such a setting. Wiki mentions 4 composers of the music here, but the tape also mentioned Rossini, which is the only name with which I am familiar. I wonder if there is a piece of an opera piece in there somewhere...

May have something to say after finishing this, but thanks for the 'guidebook', as it really helps, even though I find this one more accessible.

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That Tarantella is just wonderful, irresistible. And the sets--mountain and sky in the distance--give this one a certain miniature kinship with 'La Sylphide' too. I believe there is a Bournonville thing in Cuban Nacional Ballet that I saw several times when I was a student usher at the Met--yes, there has to be, but what that was I don't know. I didn't even know Bournonville was someone's name at the time, thought it was some term for a style that came from anywhere. That and this, with this knicker-costumes (please correct), always remind me of Fragonard and Boucher, which nobody has every been able to turn me against--and many homely people have tried...they can't take that much prettiness.

Continuing, I did find the Second Act until Gennaro enters the weakest part--as you'd mentioned, the 'too much dancing' and the '20th century corps dancing' is too tame not in the gentle sense I've been noting, and getting something of an eye for, in Sylphide and the rest of what I see here, but just too long and unfortunately suggesting other Demons and Monsters with more energetic and interesting dancing and dancer-creatures around them. That part of Act II doesn't seem to work.

I also don't know if the Flower Festival of Genzano from 'The Art of the Classical Pas de Deux' is any of this, even though that definitely was also Hindberg and Villumsen--I'm pretty sure I remember lime-green on Villumsen in that, but these white, black and reds do look pretty. Was it? She's very beautiful, but his dancing is very sharp and magnetic. Also, still don't know when there is change of composers, although it all sounded nice, I just didn't know when the Rossini was happening. Toward the climax of the 3rd Act, it is this wonderfully elegant but what I imagine country-Danish to have been once--that positive kind of provincialism that gives a style this folk-classical charm. The Hans Beck variations in Act III were okay, I thought, much better than the first part of Act II (I don't know if that was Beck too.)

Input from anyone appreciated on some of these questions I have, plus other enlightenment welcomed too.

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I believe there is a Bournonville thing in Cuban Nacional Ballet that I saw several times when I was a student usher at the Met--yes, there has to be, but what that was I don't know.

Papeetepatrick, NBC has had "Napoli" and "Flower Festival..." in its repertoire for a long long time now...I saw fragments of them several times during the Havana Ballet Festivals. They are favorites among Havana's audience.

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I watched the third act again tonight as an antidote to the rain we're having.

Thanks so much to rg for that cast listing: I was finally able to figure out who was who, and that the man in red in the Pas de Six that I loved so much is Bjarne Hecht.

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Thanks so much to rg for that cast listing: I was finally able to figure out who was who, and that the man in red in the Pas de Six that I loved so much is Bjarne Hecht.

I liked Bjarne Hecht very much too. He reminds me a bit of Ib Andersen, they have the same kind of plasticity, lightness and beauty in their way of moving. Unfortunately, like Ib Andersen he left the company as well.

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I was transfixed by his upper body and the way he coordinated his arms and head and shaded his shoulders mid-flight. Just beautiful.

I just searched for Hecht.

I saw that he joined Pacific Northwest Ballet in Seattle in 1987, but left before I moved there in time for the 1994-5 season. (Only Benjamin Houk, and I think Sterling Kekoa and Brad Phillips, from all the dancers reviewed, were dancing by the time I saw the company, although Michel Mesnier and Sylvie Guillaumin were in Seattle teaching in the school.) He's listed as a Guest Performer with The Hamburg Ballet, but no years are listed.

The notes for the VAI DVD for Massine's "Symphonie Fanstastique" thank "Bjarne Hecht, a dancer with the Royal Danish Ballet from 1975 to 1986 and now an actor living in New York City, for his translation." Hecht was listed as part of the 1992-3 season of the MCC Theater (Manhattan Company Class Theater) and in 1993, who played a "German Workman" in Thorton Wilder's "Pullman Car Hiawatha" at Circle in the Square.

In more recent years, Bjarne Hecht from "Washington DC", has a Facebook account, whose friends list includes a number of RDB dancers -- Alexander Kolpin has a great profile photo up now -- although his hometown is listed as "New York, New York". In DC, there is a Bjarne Hecht who donated $400 to Hillary Clinton's campaign in 2008 and who, in 2008, was the manager of 51st State Tavern.

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You have done some detective work there! Though tempting it is hard to believe that all these Bjarne Hechts should be one and the same person! But it is even harder to believe that there should be more than one person in Washinton and New York with this rather unusual combination of a German last name and a very Danish/Norwegian first name.

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I watched the 1986 version and really wanted to like it. I found it did not have the expertise or unique style I expected. I was surprised by how much work was not done on pointe, and by how oversimplified and repetitive or predictable many of the steps seemed. The men's costumes were not pleasant. I expected greater beats and strength from Danish men, at least as good as those I saw from POB last summer in New York. At least the jumps were nice. I did not understand the motives of the sea king, beside the typical ballet tale of someone wanted to kidnap a pretty girl. (Didn't he have enough nymphs?) I am still trying to figure out how Teresina changed from her human to nymph costume and back while onstage.

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I am still trying to figure out how Teresina changed from her human to nymph costume and back while onstage.

She has two costumes on and is standing over a trap door. A stagehand reaches up and pulls off the outer of the two costumes. They demonstrated how this works at the costume display at the last Bournonville festival. It has been done that way since forever, apparently. And still is effective! I don't know if they have this effect in Hubbe's latest version of Napoli, where the music and choreography for Act II are completely different.

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the stage 'device' that effects this costume change is a 'hand hole' built into the stage boards; it amounts to an opening no bigger than necessary to accommodate the hand of the stagehand who, working beneath the stage, works his grasp to pull off the outer layer of the break-away costume thus leaving the dancer in the underlayer. for NAPOLI there are two: one with the nymph costume under the folk dress and another vice versa.

the Royal Theater's stage also has 'traps' or trap-doors for dancers to 'enter' and 'exit' full figure. these are little platforms big enough for the dancer to stand or kneel on as her or she 'disappears' or 'appears' as the stage direction warrants.

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