Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Bournonville - Napoli / Royal Danish Ballet Arne Villumsen Linda Hindberg|
Genres: Musicals & Performing Arts
The dramatic tradition of the remarkable dancer and choreographer, August Bournonville, is the keystone of the continuing excellence of the Royal Danish Ballet, and Napoli is his happiest masterpiece. Persuaded by his frie... more »
Helen | Twizel, New Zealand | 11/21/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is an utterly charming period piece (1842), and an opportunity to see Bournonville technique at its best. The ballet has everything - plot, humour, lots of mime, stage tricks, fairies and realism, enjoyable sets and costumes, and a final divertissement which demonstrates superb technique in solos, pas de deux and varied groups alike.
I have this on tape and haven't seen the DVD, which I'd love to have. My tape, although 20 years, old, still has good colour. Above all, it was produced for video and TV by the incomparable Preben Montell, who has the invaluable knack of finding the best distance and angle to best capture each aspect of the ballet. I'd put this recording in my top 10 any day."
Bournonville At It's Best
mousefan | 05/18/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Napoli is a ballet in three acts based on the story, "The Fisherman and His Bride". The first act takes place in Naples and people have gathered on the wharf. The lemonade seller (Peppo) and the macaroni seller (Giacomo) are both in love with Teresina but she is in love with Gennaro and she awaits his arrival from a fishing trip. When Gennaro arrives, he and Teresina become engaged. Meanwhile, the townsfolk are dancing on the wharf. The lovers go out for a moonlight sail while the others remain dancing and watching the entertainment by a street singer and a puppeteer. This first act has a lot of pantomime in it and some people might tend to get bored with it, but this is needed to tell that a bit of time has passed before a storm comes. The lovers are reported missing after the storm and soon Gennaro is pulled from the water but Teresina is still missing. A monk gives Gennaro a religious medal to keep him safe and tells Gennaro to go out looking for Teresina.
Act two is in the Blue Grotto, the home of Golfo, The Demon of the Sea. The naiads are Golfo's slaves. Teresina finds herself waking up in the Blue Grotto and the naiads prepare her for her initiation. She is transformed into a naiad right before your very eyes (instant costume change). Teresina dances with Golfo and refuses his advances. She has lost her memory of being mortal. Gennaro enters the Grotto in a canoe and notices Teresina's guitar so he looks further for her. Once he finds her, she does not recognize him. He tolds up the sacred medal that the monk gave him and she suddenly remembers who she was. Teresina returns to her mortal state (instant costume change) and the lovers leave the Grotto as the naiads and Golfo wave goodbye to them.
Act three is set in another part of Italy and there is a bit of pantomime where Peppo and Giacomo accuse Gennaro of being evil. The monk arrives and straightens all of it out. THIS IS THE BEGINNING OF ALL THE TERRIFIC DANCING!!! Bournonville at it's best starting with chapter 12. The Pas de six by the townsfolk, the Tarantella and the Finale. WONDERFUL, WONDERFUL, WONDERFUL!!! If you get bored with the beginning, start with the Pas de six and watch until the end, then go back and watch from the beginning. I've got Napoli in 3 formats, video, laserdisc and now, finally DVD. I've loved this for years and besides all the terrific dancing, the music and costumes are lovely too.
This is a MUST SEE!"
Ballet or Play?
S. Delsanto | 10/21/2007
(2 out of 5 stars)
"This was loosely a "ballet". There was very little dancing and I don't think the male lead danced more than a minute in the 1st act and hardly any in the 2nd act. The scenery was very nice as were the costumes. The dancing was mediocre at best. It was a total waste of time, but apparently the Danish are the only ones who do this ballet and this is the only production. Now I know why. this ballet is all fluff. the 3rd act is the only one I can say is ballet because there was actually dancing. Although, it did seem amateurish, it was ok.The male lead finally dances in the 3rd act also, but it's horrible and all over the place. Luckily, I didn't buy this, but rented it from netflix. boy, am I glad I didn't waste my money!"
Excellent ballet storytelling
E. Gibbons | E. Stroudsburg PA, | 06/25/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"An excellent example of ballet of the romantic era, this version presents authentic choreography slightly updated for contemporary technique and audience. It is vivid story-telling in ballet at its best--the character of each individual is revealed through carefully shaped movement. While knowing something of ballet and its history will enable a richer enjoyment of this ballet, such background is not necessary, for the viewer can clearly understand what drives Gennaro, Teresina, Veronica, Golfo, and the comic contribution of Giacomo and Peppo, just by watching, as Bournonville intended.
The observer must understand that ballet involves more than just doing as much "Wow!" as can be packed into a short period of time. Excerpts from ballets, presenting short bursts of spectacular technique, may be appreciated for their athleticism, and may keep the attention of the uninitiated, but miss the purpose of ballet of the romantic and classical eras: to tell a story, to reveal something of human nature. Anyone who finds the work of the Royal Danish Ballet to be "amateurish" has not studied ballet, either as a dancer or as a scholar. This is a charming ballet, well-crafted and well-performed, which gets better every time it is watched; I show it in various college classes and have seen it dozens of times, and it never gets old.
Like all full-length ballets, the last act contains most of the dancing. But to skip to this without experiencing the whole ballet would be as ridiculous as skipping to all the really big words and juicy phrases of a novel.
Watch it in its entirety as a full-length ballet, realizing that it was choreographed and performed to tell a story and reveal a facet of human nature through dance.