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New DVD-docum on Lacotte & Thesmar

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A new French DVD coming, on the lives of Pierre Lacotte and Ghislaine Thesmar - the stellar couple perhaps best known at present for their reconstruction of 19th-C ballets:


I've ordered from French Amazon but it will hopefully also be available in other regions and stores soon.

This one is in PAL - Region 2 format but should be playable by folks with multi-region/system DVD players, which are neither rare nor expensive in the USA.

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Are there English subtitles? ...

I'll let you know when I receive my copy in January. So far, the description in the amazon.fr site states only 'en francais' but that doesn't nec'ly mean that there won't be a choice of subtitles in other languages.

Incidentally, according to the description, the Mariinsky's Evgenia Obraztsova will be among the featured dancers (clips and interviews), as the ballerina was the originator of the leads in Lacotte's Ondine at the Mariinsky and The Three Musketeers in Japan, as well as a recent guest-interpreter of his Sylphide at the POB. Anything that features Obraztsova gets my vote. smile.png

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I just received and viewed Marlene Ionesco's 90-minute film/DVD, Une Vie de Ballets, about Pierre Lacotte and Ghislaine Thesmar. It is an absolute treasure in many respects, not least of all the very rare films contained within, such as a look at Thesmar & Denard dancing a fragment of Lacotte's reconstructed La Fille du Danube in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in the 1970s...or Noella Pontois in L'Ombre in 1992...or Evgenia Obraztsova and Leonid Sarafanov in Ondine at the Mariinsky, 2005/06...or -- my fave -- Ekaterina Maximova in Nathalie in the '80s. Amazingly beautiful works and dancers, in luxurious settings and costumes...just my style!

It's also fascinating to see and realize that most of Lacotte's early work in the 1950s and '60s was quite contemporary. Some of the gems include extended clips of Lacotte & Thesmar in Lacotte's early ballet La Voix, set in the streets of 1950s Paris, for which the 'mise en scene' is credited to Mme Piaf herself (according to the final on-screen credits)! In a similar vein is another contemporary ballet, Gosses de Paris, by Lacotte, to music of Charles Aznavour. I also loved the rare video looks at French dancers such as Josette Clavier and Colette Marchand. Of course, as the Lacottes state, it was the ca-1972 'resurrection' of Taglioni's La Sylphide which "turned their lives around," after which they roamed the globe setting grand Romantic and Petipa-era works on various companies.

I also am in awe and a bit 'green' with envy at the Lacotte's gorgeous country home, complete with a 'swan pond' beside a conservatoire. [i'm always so happy to see when 'ballet greats' properly get to enjoy their retirement years in beautiful settings. It's the least that former dancers deserve, after giving so much beauty and heart to the world.]

The DVD has no subtitles and is in Region 2 coding - PAL format. In other words, at this stage, it can be viewed outside Region 2 (e.g., in the USA, etc.) only with a multi-system/multi-region DVD player. Knowledge of the French language would be great but, of course, there is much to see and admire across language barriers in this film.

Highly recommended! Hopefully it will be issued for other regions, with captions in other languages.

p.s. I wish that the Lacottes would consider someday marketing the full films of their reconstructed ballets, beside Marco Spada, Paquita, Fille du Pharaon and Sylphide, which are already on DVD.

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I love Lacotte's reconstructions. His Pharoah's Daughter is fabulous. But why, oh why is he so criticised for it and other reconstructions? We need more of these. Can any one please explain?

I agree with you! Loved his Paquita, Sylphide, and Fille du Phraon! I suspect that the problem some people have is that these works are billed as reconstructions but in some cases are really new works with only one or two dances actually accurate or "original"...at least the notes I have read say that it is mainly his own creation. Regardless of how much is original and how much is new I still enjoy them!

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