Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|La Sylphide - Lis Jeppesen Sorella Englund Royal Danish Ballet|
Genres: Music Video & Concerts, Musicals & Performing Arts
From The Royal Theatre, Copenhagen with The Royal Danish Ballet. When Lis Jeppesen - the Sylphide of our time - in diaphanous white costume and with shining wings, dances for the Scottish farmer James, whom she has entranc... more »
Quintessential Romantic ballet
Marc Haegeman | Gent, Belgium | 03/28/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"DVD's featuring the Royal Danish Ballet don't come by the dozen and this re-release of August Bournonville's "La Sylphide", the quintessential Romantic ballet, is particularly welcome. Bournonville created his version of the ballet in Copenhagen in 1836, four years after the premiere of the original "Sylphide" from Filippo Taglioni at the Paris Opera. While the Paris "Sylphide" disappeared from the repertory the Danish version was miraculously kept in performance until the present day.
Recorded at the Royal Danish Theatre in Copenhagen in 1988, this famous film has been available on laserdisc some ten years ago and its release in the DVD-format was long overdue. The staging by Henning Kronstam and Arlette Weinreich, based on the authoritative production of Hans Brenaa is nothing short of ideal, while the cast led by Lis Jeppesen (the Sylph of her generation), a youngish Nikolaj Hübbe (in his debut as James) and Sorella Englund as Madge, is simply outstanding. Supporting roles include Morten Munksdorf as Gurn, Ann-Kristin Hauge as Effy and Silja Schandorff as the leading sylph in Act 2.
The video-transfer is excellent, the sound is simple stereo. "La Sylphide" is a short ballet (just over an hour) and some bonus features should have been included, such as a documentary on August Bournonville, the Royal Danish Ballet or its School.
But for the performance itself, nothing but the strongest recommendation.
A Wonderful Classical Ballet In The Danish Tradition!
J. M WILINSKY | teaneck, NJ United States | 04/09/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The Royal Danish Ballet is one of the oldest continuously performing ballet companies in the world and the keeper of a very special ballet tradition all of their own. Students of ballet will notice many Danish-isms in their dancing(I won't go into detail here). This is a beautiful performance, very nicely captured on dvd. The sound and image are perfect. We have had the French version on dvd for a while(see my review of it) and you might wonder how the two versions compare. The French version is longer and the music and choreography are quite different. The two scores are composed by different people. The stories are essentially the same. In the Danish version Gurn, Effy, and Madge, the witch, play a slightly bigger role, making a more significant appearance in the second act. The Danes practically invented the use of ballet mime and we get a wonderful eyeful here. The mime is done so beautifully that it is dancing in itself. The Scottish women in the first act dance in character shoes, not on pointe, while in the French version all of the women are on pointe. In both versions the entire productions are fantastic!
As far as the story goes, James is about to marry Effy(and James's friend Gurn wishes it were he that would marry her). James is visited by a beautiful sylph(a fairy of the atmosphere) and becomes intrigued and preoccupied with her to the point that he forgets to attend his wedding. He also gets on the bad side of Madge, the witch, and winds up with a completely broken heart, left with no love at all. One question which comes to mind in this story is exactly what are we to think of James? Is he bewitched? Is he a cad? Is he hypnotized? It is hard to imagine why one would give up Effy(she is quite a catch!) for a fairy.
If you like classical ballet, you can't get much more "classy" than this!"