Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Massenet - Manon / Sir Kenneth MacMillan Royal Australian Ballet Justine Summers|
Genres: Musicals & Performing Arts
Sir Kenneth MacMillan?s Manon, Music Jules Massenet, The Australian Ballet at The Adelaide Festival Theatre featuring Justine Summers, Steven Heathcote. This highly-rated production of Manon by The Australian Ballet was re... more »
Douglas Cox | Palo Alto, CA USA | 03/20/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I have these ballets on DVD (all excellent):
Giselle (Alesandra Ferri and La Scala Ballet)
The Sleeping Beauty (Ballet de l'Opera de Paris, choreography by Rudolf Nureyev)
La Sylphide (Ballet de l'Opera National de Paris)
Coppelia (Australian Ballet)
The Nutcracker (Bolshoi Ballet with Arkhipova and Mukhamedov dancing)
Romeo and Juliet by Prokofiev (Teatro alla Scalla with Angel Corella and Alesandra Ferri dancing)
Swan Lake (American Ballet Theatre with Angel Correla and Gillian Murphy dancing)
Manon by Massenet (Australian Ballet, choreography by Kenneth MacMillan)
And of them, I think the best choreography is in Manon. It combines classic ballet with more modern choreography, so is a joy to watch. The dancers, of course, are excellent. I'm impressed by the Australian Ballet - they can be ranked with the best. My granddaughter doesn't like the fighting and strife in it, but it's got a classic story behind it (it reminds me of Les Miserables), and I was entranced by the story as well as the dancing."
A common man's point of view.
Richard Rawls | Dublin Ga USA | 12/12/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Yes, the Australian Ballet is a world class Company, even though I have read reviewers who called them amateurs (read all the reviews on Coppelia by the Australian Ballet). The Australian Ballet - Coppelia
This version of "Manon" by the Australian Ballet is very, very good. I only have one other version which is by the Royal Ballet, Covent Garden. Massenet - Manon / Penney, Dowell, Wall, Royal Ballet, Covent Garden Read the note at the end of my review on the Royal Ballet version, concerning the book "Manon Lescaut" by the author Abbe Prevost, for a little insight about this story.
They are both equally good. Justine Summers is ravishingly beautiful. Her eyes have a shade of green I have never seen before, and they get a close-up of her face when she is with Monsieur G.M. in the 2ND act that is spectacular. Her falling in love PDD with Des Grieux (Heathcote) is very seductive. This ballet is full of sexual innuendo, as I guess should be the case, since much of it takes place in "Madame's" bordello.
This is a wonderful love story about two young people who fall in love on first seeing each other. Is there any other way of falling in love in ballet? Des Grieux is certain of his love but Manon isn't so sure of her love for him. But, Des Grieux does not have the Devil, in the form of Manon's own brother, to tempt him. Her brother, Lescaut, is so evil he is willing to prostitute his own sister for his gain. Manon is certainly not guiltless as she allows the sparkle of jewels and the feel of luxurious fur against her skin, to blind her to true love. Oh, how true to life that is.
This is also a very complicated story, and it is to his credit that Kenneth MacMillan is able to choreograph a ballet that tells the story so well. The story takes us through what appear to be the slums of Paris, to Des Grieux's apartment, to Madame's "house", where there is cheating at cards, leading to murder, deportation to a penal colony in New Orleans, and into the swamps where Manon dies. She is not alone however, because Des Grieux followed her to New Orleans and saved her from a despicable Gaoler. Poor Manon's beauty is her downfall, and unfortunately she is sick and does not survive her ordeal in the swamps of Louisiana. I can tell you, it is hard to keep back the tears.
This would be a good addition to your collection of ballets or even your first "Manon". The music of Jules Massenet is magnificent, although it was not written specifically for the ballet. It is music from many pieces by Massenet. The music for the "falling in love" pas de deux is breathtakingly beautiful.
The ballet is performed for a live audience to live music. There is the sound of point shoes on the stage, but it is not distracting. The sound is Dolby 2.0, and the format for TV is 4:3 ratio. The costumes, sets, color, and lighting are superb."
Touching and good quality performance
Ave | Can | 12/04/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"the only other two versions I can compare this to is the Royal Ballet older version and high definiton version. The picture and sound quality is defintely better than Royal Ballet s older version and I also liked the dancing and choreography much more. The music was speedened up and the choreography was much more interesting and creative. I do not believe that it is better than the Royal Ballet s high definiton version but it was extremely touching and left an everlasting impression in my mind."
A Manon to remember
Jose Brito | Estoril,Portugal | 02/16/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Adelaide Festival,1995.An unforgettable portrayal of Manon by Justine Summers- quite an exquisite dancer/actress.Well danced( to note the chemistry between Manon and Des Grieux(Steven Heathcote - a generous,convincing dancer).The last scene (Manon's death) bears impressive dancing !Beautiful production,sets and wardrobe.The music comes from various operas by Massenet, but from his Manon. Choreographed by Sir K.MacMillan,it follows in its essence the story by Abbé Prevost,though slightly different.A DVD to enjoy and watch, over and over."