Wellington City Libraries

Te Matapihi Ki Te Ao Nui

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Ballet and Dance DVDs

(Last updated January 2010)

The title-underlined links will take you directly to our catalogue. Featured items are linked via their covers to enable you to read more reviews.


Amazon DVD jacket Peer Gynt, by Heinz Spoerli; based on the play by Henrik Ibsen, music by Edvard Grieg, Mark-Anthony Turnage and Brett Dean ; produced by Francois Duplat.
"When he set Ibsen's 'Peer Gynt', Edvard Grieg produced an unfathomable masterpiece, choosing to accentuate certain details setting emphases and plumbing depths ... " (Heinz Spoerli in the booklet)

Amazon DVD jacket Swan lake : a co-production of the Royal Opera House and Opus Arte, music, Peter Ilich Tchaikovsky ; choreography, Marius Petipa, Lev Ivanov ; production, Anthony Dowell ; designs, Yolanda Sonnabend ; staging, Christopher Carr ; film director, Ross MacGibbon ; film and DVD producer, James Whitbourn.
"Marianela Nunez as Odette/Odile and Thiago Soares as Prince Siegfried bring new vitality to a compelling story of tragic romance. " (drawn from the DVD cover" Also includes a conversation on the demands of dancing the role of the Swan Queen with former Prima Ballerinas.

Amazon DVD jacket Cinderella, choreography, Heinz Spoerli ; music by Sergy Prokofiev ; stage design and costumes, Johan Engels ; produced by Francois Duplat.
Performers : Karine Seneca (Cinderella), Stanislav Jermakov (Frederic), Marine Castel (Fairy Godmother), Jozef Varga (stepmother), Nicholas Blanc, Francois Petit (stepsisters) ; dancers of the Zurich ballet ; Orchestra of the Zurich Opera House conducted by Vladimir Fedoseyev.

Amazon DVD jacket Caravaggio Choreography by Mauro Bigonzetti ; music by Bruno Moretti, based on [music by] Claudio Monteverdi ; directed for TV and video by Andreas Morell ; costumes, Kristopher Millar, Lois Swandale ; director of photography, Henning Brummer ; producers, Torsten Bonnhoff; Erwin Sturzer.
Bonus : the making of Caravaggio : interviews with the choreographer, composer and soloists as well as backstage and rehearsal footage.

Amazon DVD jacket Le jeune homme et la mort = The young man and death ; &, Carmen.
Le jeune homme et la mort, choreography by Roland Petit ; music by Johann Sebastian Bach.
Carmen, choreography by Roland Petit ; music by Georges Bizet.
"Le jeune homme et la mort" was created in 1946 by the 22-year old choreographer in a very different era, but its emotional power has largely stood the test of time...." (drawn from an Amazon customer review)

Amazon DVD jacket La dame aux camelias , Music, Frederic Chopin ; choreograper, John Neumeier ; set and costume designer, Jurgen Rose ; lighting designer, Rolf Warter.
Based on the novel by Alexandre Dumas, which has also served as the source material for Verdi's La traviata and the 2001 film Moulin Rouge.
Special features: cast gallery ; "Flashback on 'Lady of the Camellias'" - a documentary by Reiner E. Moritz & Stephane Loison.

Amazon DVD jacket Paquita, music by Edouard Delvedez and Ludwig Minkus ; revised and completed by David Coleman ; choreography by Pierre Lacotte after Joseph Mazilier and Marius Petipa.
Set in Spain during the occupation of Napoleon's army, Paquita, a young Gypsy girl, is really of noble birth, having been abducted as an infant. She saves the life of a young French officer, Lucien d'Hervilly, and discovers she is his cousin.

Amazon DVD jacket Nutcracker, music by Tchaikovski ; producer, Colin Wilson ; director, Ross MacGibbon ; choreography by Maurice Bejart after Marius Petipa.
"this Christmas favourite, with Tachaikovsky's score of ageless delight and perfection, is reimagined by the French chroeographer, inclugin interpolations from his own life story and from the star accordiniste Yvette Horner. The ballet itself is seen through the prism of Bejart's childhood..." (drawn from the DVD cover)

Amazon DVD jacket Romeo & Juliet : a BBC Production in association with the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, music by Sergey Prokofiev ; choreography, Kenneth MacMillan ; staging, Minica Mason ; director for screen, Ross MacGibbon.
"In this perennial favourite, Carlos Acosta dances alongside his regular partner, the Spanish ballerina, Tamara Rojo - a celebrated stage partnership which currently has no equal. (drawn from Amazon.com)

Amazon DVD jacket Giselle, music by Adolphe Adam ; choreography and TV adaptation, Mats Ek ; stage designer, Marie Louise de Geer Bergenstrahle ; directed for TV by Mans Reutersward.
"The Swedish chreographer, Mats Elk, made dance history in 1982 with his compelling, bizarrely unromantic reinterpretation of the classical ballet Giselle. Never before had anyone dared to stage such a drastic reworking ...

Amazon DVD jacket A midsummer night's dream, based on the play by William Shakespeare with music by Music by Felix Mendelssohn ; choreography by George Balanchine.
George Balanchine's Midsummer Night's Dream is the summery counterpart to his Chrisstmassy Nutcracker: a ballet for the entire family, to which fans of the New York City Ballet took their children...(drawn from the DVD booklet)

Amazon DVD jacket La Bayadere : ballet in three acts by Ludwig Minkus.
Performers : Svetlana Zakharova (Nikiya), Roberto Bolle (Solor), Isabelle Brusson (Gamzatti), Bryan Hewison (High Brahmin), Mick Zeni (Magdaveya), Francisco Sedeno (Raja Dugmanta), Antonino Sutera (Bronze idol),Matthew Endicott (Solor's friend), Piera Pedretti (Aya) ; Corpo di Ballo e Orchestra del Teatro alla Scala, David Coleman, conductor.

Amazon DVD jacketCinderella = Aschenputtel = Cendrillon, music by Sergei Prokofiev ; choreography by Maguy Marin.
Anna Kisselgoff of the New York Times said that Marin's "vision reaches back into the universals of everyone's childhood - the hurts and joys resonate here with touching depth". The story unfolds wihin a doll's house set - the Fairy Godmother resembles a robot, Cindarella goes to the ball in a toy car and the Prince goes in search of his new love on a rocking horse...(drawn from the DVD cover)

Amazon DVD jacketNederlands Dans Theater celebrates Jiří Kylián.
Contents : Bella figura ; music by Lukas Foss, Giovanni Battista Pergolesi, Alessandro Marcello, Antonio Vivaldi, Giuseppe Torelli ; -- Sleepless; music by Dirk Haubrich, based on Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's Adagio in C minor K 617 ; -- Birthday ; music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart ; directed by Petra Lataster-Czisch & Peter Lataster.

Amazon dvd jacketIvan the terrible , by Prokofiev. (Le Corps de Ballet et l'Orchestre de l'Opera national de Paris ; Vello Pahn, conductor. )
Depicts the political situation in Russia in the 16th century, and the efforts of Ivan the Terrible, first Czar of Russia and founder of the Russian state, to consolidate the unity of the realm against its enemies at home and abroad.

Amazon DVD jacketClavigo : un ballet by Roland Petit ; music by Gabriel Yared
Inspired by Goethe's early romantic play Clavigo, Roland Petit's ballet recounts the agonies of a weak-willed lover torn between the bidding of his heart and his evil spirit urging him to serve his own interests. The title role was created by Nicolas Le Riche, one of the foremost dancers of today. Petit’s outstanding choreography is inventive, with powerful images, such as Clavigo’s spider-like descent on a wire. An important addition to the catalogue.

Amazon dvd jacketSpartacus , by Khachaturian.
"Spartacus, the story of a Roman slave’s fight for freedom, is one of the great epic adventure stories. Grigorovich’s choreography fills the huge Bolshoi stage with dynamic scenes of tension and conflict, which give full expression to the virility and strength for which Russia’s male dancers are renowned. " (DVD slip cover)

Amazon DVD jacketThe art of Baroque dance : Folies d'Espagne : from page to stage .
Provides an overview of the history of dance in the Baroque period and explores the elements that help illuminate the historical preservation of dance. Examines the creative process through dance notation, arm embellishments, spatial patterns, the dance-music relationship, and artistic interpretation.

Amazon dvd jacketThe Firebird, , by Stravinsky.
The story behind the original ballet is of an exotic bird with magical powers, but this 1982 production by The Royal Danish Ballet, with choreography by American Glen Tetley, takes a different line - and includes both classical and modern steps.

Amazon DVD jacketSuzanne Farrell : elusive muse.
This Academy Award-nominated documentary weaves together vintage and never-before-seen archival clips of Suzanne Farrell's performances of Balanchine ballets with interviews that tell the bitter-sweet love story between Farrell and Balanchine.

Amazon dvd jacketThe video dictionary of classical ballet.
Demonstrates the complete language of ballet - including positions and directions, barre, linking steps, center practice, pirouettes, adage, allegro, batterie, pointe, and musical enchainements. Includes some 800 steps, including variations in Russian, French, and Cecchetti styles. Many of the movements are shown in slow motion with multiple camera angles and voice-over narrative description.

Amazon DVD jacketBaryshnikov dances Sinatra, and more.
Performers : Mikhail Baryshnikov, Elaine Kudo, Deirdre Carberry, Susan Jaffe, American Ballet Theater, with addl. performers.
Choreographer, Twyla Tharp ; directors, Don Mischer, Twyla Tharp ; producer, Don Mischer

Amazon dvd jacketPoints in space.
This is the critically acclaimed collaboration for the screen by choreographer Merce Cunningham, composer John Cage, and filmmaker Elliot Caplan.

Amazon DVD jacketCage/Cunningham : a film .
Combines archival material and eight years of world tour footage to document the 50 year collaboration between composer John Cage and dancer/choreographer Merce Cunningham.

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