Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Sleeping Beauty / Christine Walsh Australian Ballet|
Actors: Tchaikovsky, Christine Walsh, Australian Ballet, Maina Gielgud
Director: Ted Emery
Genres: Musicals & Performing Arts
Studio: Kultur Release Date: 06/24/2008 Run time: 133 minutes
A Common man's point of view.
Richard Rawls | Dublin Ga USA | 08/26/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It was this ballet by the Australian Ballet the got me started so late in life (77) in a love affair with this beautiful art form. For me, this is next to the best performance of The Sleeping Beauty available. I have six copies so far, and may get more. If you are like me and just getting started on your collection, you need this information in order to avoid buying copies you won't like. I am certainly not an expert on ballet, I only know what I think is beautiful, and that is ALL that matters. Whether a dancer is technically perfect does NOT matter to me, only that he or she is beautiful and graceful, and acts his or her part well.
Christine Walsh is a beautiful Princess Aurora. She is young enough to pull off her role as a sixteen year old girl, though she may be twice that age. Her partner David Ashmole is a very handsome and capable Prince Florimund. Joanne Mitchel is beautiful in the role of The Lilac Fairy, and Andrea Toy was a wonderfully mean looking Carabosse, with her equally mean looking bird like minions who transported her to the palace. Her little monsters are the best of any ballet I have, and they were very good actors, as they tried to scare and intimidate everyone at the palace.
Christine's balance in her Rose Adagio (IMO the most famous dance in all of ballet) was very good. At the end of the Adagio, she lowered her extended leg a little during her last hand exchange with her suitor, but she was able to get her arms into the fifth position w/o losing her balance. In fact, she put her arms into the fifth position after each of the eight hand exchanges, and her Sidney audience loved it. Many ballerinas do not (or cannot) raise their arms into the fifth position after a hand exchange, but simply go from one suitors hand to the next. Remember they are balancing en pointe on one foot. In one of the ballets I have, the Ballerina was not able to hold up her extended leg, and she had to bring it down where she did the last turn en pointe after the hand exchange and extended her leg again for the climax. It happened to be Maryse Egasse when she performed with Fernando Bujones in Santiago, Chile. However, her audience loved her too......Tchaikovsky: The Sleeping Beauty - Ballet del Teatro Municipal.....I will say this, the Orchestra was playing the Adagio VERY slowly, and I could understand how she could have gotten tired.
Christine also does a superb acting job in her finger pricking episode as she extends her arms over her head it's very believable that she could have jabbed her other hand with the spinning needle. She made it look like she was in real pain, as her father and mother comfort her. When she starts her loss of control pirouettes, and is confronted by Carabosse, whom she has never seen before, she shows extreme shock and fear at her appearance, before feinting. It is at this point in the ballet that most ballet companies go wrong, and that is, they take Aurora off stage. This ballet is about a young girl who is poisoned by a spinning needle, and she, with all family and friends, is to be put to sleep for a hundred years. She should be laid on a lounge of some type right on stage with all her retinue with her, so the audience can see her, and if they wish, to cry for her. She should wake up one hundred years later in that same place, dressed in the same clothes, with her family and friends. The Het National Ballet of Amsterdam shows it can be done very simply in their version of "Beauty", which is the best version IMO. Tchaikovsky - The Sleeping Beauty / Sylve, Lambiotte, Florio, Dutch National Ballet, Amsterdam
In the second act where Aurora appears as a vision she is dressed in a filmy gown which is more ethereal and otherworldly than a tutu as is used in many "Beauties". This change of costume seems acceptable since, after all, she IS a phantom.
The third act is magnificent, to say the least. The very best Puss in Boots and White Cat of them all. White Cat is a Persian Cat, and you'll understand why I say that after you see her. This Blue Bird and Princess Florine are exceptional and better than most. The PDD and variations by Aurora and Florimund are just spectacular.
I highly recommend this Australian ballet version of The Sleeping Beauty, which has in it's corps the up and coming sensation of Coppelia, Lisa Pavane (she's the fairy in the brown tutu), and Greg Horsman (could not identify him), another ballet by the ABC that I think you will love.The Australian Ballet - Coppelia It's available for close to $??.?? from one of Amazon's dealers. I've watched Coppelia many many times, and never tire of it.
P.S. I had to edit my review because the price of Coppelia went up slightly, but it is still a fantastic bargain for such a wonderful ballet.
Lackluster dancing and choreography
Philip A. Kraus | Chicago, IL United States | 05/01/2009
(2 out of 5 stars)
"This DVD of the Australian Ballet's production of Sleeping Beauty boasts attractive sets and over sumptuous costuming. And there is good music making from Wordworth and the orchestra.
Unfortunately, the choreography for the production is rather pedestrian.
Too many of the same moves and repeated ideas make for a rather dull overall interpretation of the ballet; it's a matter of tradition that's stifled with zero innovation. I couldn't help thinking I was watching a museum piece.
Christine Walsh is a cold and placid Aurora. There's little joy in her first act solo and her four princes are even more wooden. David Ashmore is similar and without the striking presence or panache of more international male dancers of the past and present. I also don't feel the two leads have much chemistry. They dutifully go through the motions of the uninspiring choreography.
The various fairies are a bit better and Andrea Toy as Carabosse literally steals the show. The corps is somewhat unpolished and often not
together. No one seems particularly happy in this company. Everyone's face is so staid.
Not a ballet performance I would ever want to return to."
Another Sleeping Beauty for ballet fans to add to their coll
Todd Nolan | Seattle, WA USA | 08/23/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This talented ballet company reminds me of the Royal Winnipeg Ballet: has a very good reputation, you hear about them now & then, but there's not much in the way of videos to check them out. Judging by this production from the '80s, this Melbourne ensemble, led by (at the time) company director/choreographer Maina Gielgud (Royal Danish Ballet, Boston & Houston Ballets) and former prima ballerina Christine Walsh, deserve a wider audience and additional recordings.
Walsh has incredibly tough competition from the others dancing Aurora on video, but while she's no Asylmuratova or Dupont or Cojocaru, she more than holds her own. She wobbles a bit in the Rose adagio, and one of her hand-offs with a cavalier is shaky, but while my dancer friend let this blemish disrupt some of her enjoyment of the DVD as a whole, I hope others don't let little imperfections spoil an otherwise beautiful production. Joanne Michel is fine as the Lilac Fairy. Sets and costumes are gorgeous and appropriately colorful for Perrault's fairy tale. While not as outstanding as the Royal Ballet release with Cojocaru & Nunez, this is very worthwhile and highly recommended. Like the versions of the Dutch National Ballet, the Paris Opera, the Kirov and this summer's ROB/Cojocaru offering, this is one to replay every now & then."