Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|American Ballet Theatre Now - Variety and Virtuosity |
Dance in America
Actors: Natalia Makarova, Susan Jaffe, Kevin McKenzie, John Gardner, Amanda McKerrow
Directors: Judy Kinberg, Thomas Grimm
Genres: Special Interests, Educational, Musicals & Performing Arts
Variety and virtuosity are the key qualities of American Ballet Theatre's tradition. The company has long distinguished itself through its artistic eclecticism and its star power. In this dazzling program, leading American... more »
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Great company! Great repertoire! Great transfer to DVD!
Charles S. Houser | Binghamton, NY | 04/07/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Finally, this thrilling gala performance is available on DVD! The transfer is crisp and the dances are nicely indexed so you can jump to your favorites...not that you'll want to skip even one of them. But I'm sure every balletomane will have her or his favorite. Mine is "Remanso", a pas de trois for men based on a Garcia Lorca poem. Taped in 1998, these performances feature many of ABTs upcoming stars (Corella, Carreno, Herrera, Stiefel) as well as seasoned veterans (Jaffe, Bocca, Hill, McKerrow). Angel Corella delivers breath-taking turns in his pas de deux with Paloma Herrera from "Don Quixote."Although comprised of eight separate dance performances, each segment is intercut with fragments of backstage interviews with the dancers and artistic director Kevin McKenzie. Nothing momentous is revealed, but it's nice to hear the dancers express their enthusiasm for the works they perform and for the company that have the priviledge to dance for. Introduced by prima ballerina assoluta Natalia Makarava (looking great in a maroon silk and velvet gown by Gianfranco Ferre), it moves quickly and is the type of DVD you'll want to watch over and over. Far superior to ABTs other recent offering on DVD, "Le Corsaire," in which the dancers make fun of ballet (with justification) in between-the-acts interviews...and which is difficult to watch more than once.I never understand why "fine art" DVDs offer so few "extras" (in this case, none). If you go to a live performance of a ballet, you get program notes on the music and choreography and short biographies of each principal dancer. Is that so difficult to transfer to a bonus material section on a DVD? Are there copyright issues? Anyway, don't let the absence of extras deter you, this DVD really delivers the goods. Buy it, watch it, love it."
ABT All-Stars perform the hits; solid dancing; so-so camera
J. Lizzi | Costa Mesa, CA | 08/07/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
""Variety and Virtuosity" is a very good DVD that will provide any dance fan with excellent entertainment value and an easy way to view some classic Pas de Deux. The all-star American Ballet Theatre cast (1998 version) is enjoyable to watch, and performs admirably. The dialogue between the pieces is a nice way to provide a little background about the dances as well as a little insight into the personalities of the performers.Aside from the opening three-minute "Polonaise" (lots of walking around) leading to the introductory words by Natalia Makarova, there are seven dance numbers performed. Five feature a Pas de Deux, and only one shows a dance in its entirety, "Remanso," choreographed by Nacho Duato (not to be missed; it's awesome). The partnering is very good: the younger Jose Manuel Carreno provides a strong complement to the seasoned Susan Jaffe in a number from "Swan Lake," husband and wife John Gardner and Amanda McKerrow are likewise well-matched ("The Leaves are Fading"), and Julie Kent and Robert Hill convey interesting straight-faced emotion in a work ("Cruel World") choreographed specifically on them by James Kudelka. Julio Bocca comes across as a little overly sappy in the Balcony Pas de Deux with Alessandra Ferri (one of my favorite ballerinas), but it's still great to watch. The most exceptional pair is Paloma Herrera and Angel Corella, in the Grand Pas de Deux from "Don Quixote," who elicited the loudest cheers for their combination of energy, athleticism, grace and balance. As mentioned earlier, "Remanso" was unbelievable; I was spellbound (also check out "Three by Duato," one of the best modern dance DVDs). The 3rd Movement from "Bruch Violin Concerto No. 1 was pretty good."I'd give this DVD a 5-star rating were it not for a few little negatives which combined to knock it down a notch. First, with a run time of 83 minutes, there's very little dancing left after the introduction (not necessary, but typical for an episode of "Great Performances") and interviews with the director and dancers. Secondly, I was frustrated by camera work and editing that was a little spotty, with too many instances of dancers running in and out of the picture ... I wasn't seeing where my eyes wanted to look. Lastly, there are zero DVD extras (included in most other performance discs) that would have provided some welcome extra dimensions to the viewing experience (e.g., biographies, more behind-the-scenes footage).Overall, this is a nice compilation of highlights for anyone wanting an good introductory look into ballet. Also, it's great for seasoned ballet fans, especially those of ABT."
ABT Now is a treat for people who like ballet
J. Lizzi | 01/03/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"American Ballet Theatre Now is probably the most wonderful ballet video I have seen , with beautiful pas de deux , like the Black Swan and Don Quixote and wonderful new coreographies like Remanso. All dancers in this film have a fautless technique and a "bright" that you cannot see in no other film. It's a treat for people who like ballet."
A great show of variety
Maria | US | 03/26/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is the first video that has shown me how great acompany can be. Anyone who has an interest in ballet should own this video. This video shows such wonderful claassical numbers such as Swan Lake and a couple modern numbers as well. I enjoyed watching Susan Jaffe and Jose Carreno dance the Black Swan pas de deux but the highlight of the video for me was the Don Quixote pas de deux danced by Paloma Herrera and Angel Corella. Corella is one of the up and coming male dancers today. I had the opportunity to see him dance recently and needless to say I was amazed. This video is a must for any ballet lover."