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I'm not sure if this is the right forun to post, but what are good videos of the RB???? You see, I live in New Zealand and they don't tend to come out here. I've seen the 1980some thing Coppelis which was excellent.

What are any of their best videos??????????



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Hi, Emily! I deleted your post in the Ballet Videos forum because it's best to have only one post on a topic -- otherwise people will respond in both places and it gets confusing :) I hope other RB fans will see it here and respond.

There are quite a few videos available on the Royal Ballet, but I don't know whether they're available in New Zealand. To find out what is available, you can click on the Amazon link at the top of the board, go to videos, and do a search for Royal Ballet. But I'm afraid I don't know whether they'll ship to New Zealand, or if there is a local branch! If you have the video name and number, however, it would be possible to order some locally.

DanceBooks in England has a substantial video catalogue and they do ship overseas. The URL to their site is:


In America, there are videos of the Royal in MacMillan's "Romeo and Juliet" and "Manon," as well as "The NUtcracker" and "La Fille Mal Gardee." Several older videos (of films made in the 1950s and 1960s). I THINK the "Bayadere" is now commercially available -- someone else will know.

Any others?

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Hiya Poppiedancer

I found both your threads a little confusing! Do you mean the Coppelia that was filmed a couple years ago? Leanne Benjamin isn't my ideal Swanhilda but I adore this production, the costumes, sets and colours, the mime. I think it's only available on DVD though.

The most recent Nutcracker released 2001 is excellent as well and Alina Cojocaru makes an enchanting Clara. Both these DVDs show the Royal Ballet as they are now. Don Quixote with Tamara Rojo and Johan Kobborg I hope will be released soon. And there are plans to film Onegin and Manon apparently so I can't wait for that!

A must-have video is the Opening Gala of the Royal Opera House. It features a 15 or so excerpts covering ballets of the last 100 years. Most memorable are Darcey Bussell's Rose Adagio, Miyako Yoshida & Bruce Samson in Symphonic Variations, Samson & Sarah Wildor in A Month in the Country, Carlos Acosta in La Corsaire pdd, Viviana Durante & Angel Corella in R&J balcony pdd, and much more.

The other videos aren't really representative of the Royal Ballet anymore as so many dancers have since left. Winter Dreams is one of the more recent with Darcey Bussell, Vivana Durante and Irek Mukhamedov, and it's being revived next season. It also includes a docu on Irek. Judas Tree, another MacMillan ballet with Leanne Benjamin and Irek is pretty disturbing and I didn't much like the BRB's Nutcracker Sweeties that came alng with it. Sleeping Beauty from 1992(?) with Viviana and Zoltan Solymosi - Viviana is a fantastic, glowing, very technically assured Aurora and Benazir (sp?) Hussein who you probably know is now based in Australia is a wonderful Lilac Fairy. Viviana replaced Darcey who was injured, so unfortunately she's this tiny, tiny figure in a very tall cast. I dislike the bizarre costumes and sets intensely but since the RB's commissioning a new Sleeping Beauty it's probably your only chance to ever see this production. Mayerling is pretty good, a bit dark though, but it's the best you'll ever see of the Durante-Mukhamedov partnership. There's also a video of La bayadere but it's not available in the UK - Asylmuratova, Mukhamedov and Bussell feature and a hilariously a young Durante blatantly shows off her sky-high extensions as one of the three shades. The Prince of the Pagodas is another ballet that will be revived next season. It's...interesting. Jonathan Cope does great work as the Prince/Salamander and this is Bussell's breakthrough role. It includes a docu on MacMillan - if you're a fan then it's worth seeing. Still Life at the Penguin cafe is about endangered animals and conservation and is a popular choice.

I can't actually think of anything else from the 90s. Of all the others, Romeo and Juliet is my favourite as Alessandra Ferri is just perfect as Juliet but I think Wayne Eagling is a bit of a mismatch. Stephen Jeffries Mercutio is pretty much definitive in my book and as a whole it's filmed very well. (I really wouldn't mind if the RB wanted to make a new recording though with the talent they have along with the new spiffy sets!) I'm not a big fan of Anthony Dowell and Jennifer Penney's Manon - I don't like the ballet to begin with, and once you've seen Sylvie Guillem and Jonathan Cope in the leads it's hard to measure up. I do recommend Dowell and Makarova's Swan Lake - beautiful sets, beautiful dancing. La Fille mal gardee is terrific. Lesley Collier is just the sweetest Lise in the world! The only others I can think offhand are Sibley & Dowell in Cinderella, An Evening with the RB and R&J again which feature Fonteyn & Nureyev, an older Nutcracker with Collier & Dowell - haven't seen these in full, maybe someone else can comment? There's also Beatrix Potter!

Try http://www.dancebooks.co.uk for a fairly comprehensive catalogue of RB videos and they do ship overseas.

Hope that helps a little! If you have any specific questions I'm happy to help!

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Thank you so much!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I did mean Coppelia, I forgot to edit it because I was in a rush! Thank you so much for the links and the titles, I'll check the video store and the library for the titles

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That was a mighty thorough run-down from Sylvia --

I'd only add to it that I really LOVE the Cinderella-- it's from the older period and shows what RB dancing was like once -- the ensemble is remarkable, just remarkable -- they all really seem to belong together, and Helpmann and Ashton himself as the ugly sisters are .... well, they give you something to THINK about. If you wonder what Alexandra means when she laments what the Dances have lost in letting their old traditions go, part of it is the unbelievable beauty of clean pure dancing, esp clean pure MALE dancing -- but it's also the loss of the thoughtful, beautiful MIME continuity, against which the pure dancing stood out like jewels set in old -- i.e., the mime wasn't a jewel, but it WAS gold......

Ashton himself is maybe the best thing in it....

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