Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|The Tale of a Manor|
Actors: Gerd Andersson, Claire Wikholm, Johanna Bjrnson, Martin Leander, Suzanna Carlsson
Genres: Music Video & Concerts, Musicals & Performing Arts
A "La Belle Et Le Bete" ballet? You bet!
J. M WILINSKY | teaneck, NJ United States | 09/25/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"You might think from the title of this that it is a mild "manor"-ed ballet. It is anything but. It is a version of "Beauty and the Beast"("La Belle Et Le Bete" in the original French. In fact, this French title actually appears in the ballet), containing such things as being buried alive, raising the "dead", an angel of sorrow, an actual herd of goats, trained goats playing dead, kissing a goat, a realistic snow storm, an insane asylum, and a dance to loosen a straight jacket. It all begins in the 19th century with the main character, Gunnar(the "beast"), an upper class young man, who learns that his family is facing impoverishment. As a result, he becomes shunned by society, even his fiancee(there is a beautiful pas de deux expressing this rejection) breaks up with him. Also in the beginning of the story he meets Ingrid(the "beauty") while she is still a young girl living with her grandfather. He borrows her grandfather's violin and plays for her(the violin is a symbol of his sanity and finer side). In several years, Ingrid's grandfather dies, and she is taken in by a vicar and his family. Meantime, Gunnar, tries to make a living by becoming a goat herder and seller. During a snowstorm, his entire herd freezes to death(this is quite a scene!), and this pushes him from despair into insanity. Meantime, Ingrid one day passes out from grief and her adopted family, taking her for dead, gives her a funeral. They put her in a coffin(I love that she is placed in it with her pointe shoes on! I guess a ballerina always has to be prepared) and lower her into the grave, but it is not filled right away. At this point, Gunnar happens to be scurrying by and just as he takes out his violin and is about to serenade himself, he hears a sharp rap coming from the coffin--Ingrid has awakened! He opens the coffin and helps her to revive. She appreciates his help. From that point they frequently encounter each other and Ingrid tries to help Gunnar regain his sanity, and Gunnar helps Ingrid realize that she has a reason to live. Near the end, Gunnar is placed in an insane asylum and escapes from a straight jacket by dancing. He once again encounters Ingrid in the same setting that he originally met her when she was a young girl. They dance their final pas de deux and they live happily ever after.
This dynamic story is conveyed with ample, lavish choreography, using classical ballet technique. The dancing is intense and beautifully executed. There is also a great deal of convincing acting throughout this ballet, giving the motivation for calling it a "dance drama".
The music is a blend of tonal and atonal pieces, giving it an overall feeling of neoclassicism. It also contains many musical allusions to famous pieces by various composers. The music does an excellent job of contributing to the sense of drama and tension.
Although this production was made for television, it is quite grand in its scope. The quality of the image and sound is superb.
This ballet should appeal to all lovers of the Gothic.