Director Wim Wenders gives us a marvelous portrait of the late avant-garde choreographer Pina Bausch. Mixing selections from several ballets with poignant reminiscences by her dancers, this is a disc not to be missed.
Famed stage director Peter Sellars gives us two rarely seen Russian masterpieces, Tchaikovsky’s Iolanta and Stravinsky’s Persephone. Unusual staging and lighting effects aside, these are well performed works and definitely worth a watch.
Tchaikovsky’s perennial favorite ballet, The Sleeping Beauty, gets a big-time production from the Bolshoi company. Lead dancer David Hallberg is simply spectacular and is reason enough to go for this blu-ray disc.
Belgian choreographer Alain Platel has made an ambitious effort to collate his ultramodern dance routines to the choral works of Verdi and Wagner. As a paean to social protest, it is a series of hits and misses captured with beautiful sight and sound recording. Probably not for classic balletomanes, the physicality of the “dance” routines border on the sensational.
Giselle, one of the most popular of the classic ballet repertory, receives an enjoyable if not outstanding performance by the Bolshoi Ballet company. Videography and sound recording are excellent, enhancing the less than ideal Grigorovich choreography.
A contemporary reworking of Tchaikovsky’s ballet favorite, The Nutcracker and The Mouse King, receives a thoroughly enjoyable presentation by the Dutch National Ballet. While not the equal of the original choreography, most of the best known numbers are preserved and the principal dancers are outstanding.
The Bolshoi Ballet has mounted a less conventional, but visually and dramatically effective production of the beloved Tchaikovsky ballet. This Nutcracker has many magic moments with excellent sound and visual recording.
A 20th anniversary tribute to legendary choreographer Jerome Robbins shows off the ballet corps of the Paris Opera Ballet. The Robbins pieces are stunning as witnessed by the videography.
The Carmen theme is taken back to its flamenco roots in this Teatro Real de Madrid production. Antonio Gades and Carlos Saura give the dancers free rein to create an earthy yet compelling realization of this tale of fatal love.
Coppélia is given a balletic fresh face by Patrice Bart in the Paris performance. There is spectacular dancing, supported by great videography and stage direction.