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A film of the English National Ballet's production of Le Corsaire is now available through the Digital Theatre platform. Anna-Marie Holmes' production, familiar to American audiences through Boston Ballet and ABT, stars Alina Cojocaru as Medora and Vadim Muntagirov as Conrad. The performance was filmed at the London Coliseum, and I must acknowledge that English National Ballet dances Le Corsaire more persuasively than the Royal Ballet does Don Quixote. As for the quality of the film, it isn't quite up to Royal Ballet standards. The sound of the orchestra is tinny, and the lighting in the first act in particular is very bright, so anyone in a spotlight looks overexposed. Of course I would much rather have a DVD of the Bolshoi production, but this performance is vastly preferable to Kader Belarbi's completely re-choreographed version, which is actually available on DVD. (Funny how that works.)

The performance can be "rented" for 48 hours for $6 or purchased as a digital download in standard definition for $13 or high definition for $16. Incidentally, after I registered on the Digital Theatre site, I didn't rush out immediately to watch anything, and within a few days I received an offer of a 25% discount on my first purchase. So if you do decide to register, hold off with any purchases until Digital Theatre offers to sweeten the pot.


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