Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Tchaikovsky - The Nutcracker / Collier Dowell Royal Ballet Covent Garden|
Actors: Lesley Collier, Anthony Dowell, Michael Coleman, Julie Rose, Guy Niblett
Director: John Vernon
Genres: Special Interests, Educational, Musicals & Performing Arts
Fantasy and magic are the essential ingredients of The Nutcracker, and Tchaikovsky?s imaginative score helps bring to life the fantasy world of E.T.A. Hoffmann?s enchanting story of "The Nutcracker and The Mouse King." Gen... more »
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Beautiful Ballet Performance
(5 out of 5 stars)
"...I think that this ballet posesses all the elements, which make it, in my opinion, a quality performance. To begin with,the dancers posess both exceptional technical dancing skills and great acting ability. I have seen many ballet performances on video (by other ballet companies), where the dancers posess good technical dancing skills, but when it comes down to their acting ability, they couldn't act if their life depended on it. An example of the royal ballet's superb technical dancing skills, can be seen, when the sugar plum fairy (Lesley Collier) dances her famous pas de deux with her cavaliar (Anthony Dowell). Both dancers posess exquisite grace and at the same time,an immense amount of confidence. You get the feeling watching them dance, that they feel very comfortable dancing with one another. In addition to the great dancers, this production also has quality sets and beautiful costumes. Another element which stands out in regards to the Royal Ballets production of the Nutcracker, is how the theme of the ballet is presented. In most Nutcracker performances, ballet companies use the common theme of a young girl(Clara) on the verge of adolescence, who one christmas eve, is given the Nutcracker doll by her godfather Drosselmeyer. What results from that encounter, is a night of magic and adventure. In contrast, the royal ballet takes this basic theme, and uses it , but adds to it, the element of romance. The girl is not a mere young girl, but an adolescent on the brink of womanhood. She loves her Nutcracker doll, which is really drosselmeyer's nephew, who was turned into a nutcracker, by the evil mouse queen. Once the nutcracker is transformed back into Drosselmeyer's nephew, he falls in love with her, and she falls in love with him. The viewer gets the sensation, at the end of the ballet, that both Clara and Drosselmeyer's nephew are destined to be together. Why? In addition to their mutual attraction and affection for one another, they both share a common bond, and that bond is Drosselmeyer, who is responsible for bringing them together."
Donna M. Adank | Chicago, Illinois USA | 08/22/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I received this video from my Grandfather for Christmas several years ago and absolutely love it. I watch it every Christmas along with many other versions of the Nutcracker. Anthony Dowell and Lesley Collier are a sheer delight as the Sugar Plum Fairy and her Cavalier. Julie Rose is also very good as Clara. I would highly recommend this video to all ballet lovers. Donna M. Adank"
A pretty good performance
Scott D. Richardson | Oklahoma City, OK USA | 12/22/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"A great deal of review has already been done on this ballet; with the reviewers giving grades to this production that range all the way from one star to five stars. I have recently viewed this production (the laserdisc version!) and wish to provide another angle to the reviews.
I give it 4 stars; which is pretty good to me. I give 5 stars only to the greatest works. This is not the greatest, but it is still quite good. Some reviewers who give it very low scores seem to forget that this performance of the Nutcracker was filmed live- in late January 1985 (I imagine it was a special performance as it was danced over a month after Christmas)- in fact there are some nifty views of the audience during this performance. A live performance cannot be edited easily as there is only one "take", yet at the same time it provides a much more authentic look to the production.
Most, if not all of the other performances of the nutcracker cited by the reviewers are actually assembleges of various performances over a period of days. Therefore comparing this live production to them is not fair. The other performances are good, yes, but one must realize what is actually being shown on the DVD, Laserdisc, or videotape."
In defense of Sir Anthony Dowell
A. L. Cru | NY USA | 02/19/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Dowell is more than just "a noble" dancer; he is princely and he is/was the best actor on a ballet stage, ever. There was no need for candy canes and Christmas paraphernalia, as along as the fairy and her prince portrayed that high and beautiful an ideal of the married couple.
The subsequent production of the Nutcracker is superior however, in my mind. The the two sections of the ballet, apart and disconnected in the prior, more classical version (Balanchine's included) are finally unified through an oniric, ambiguous vision that pays what it is due to the romanticism of E.T.A. Do we owe this to Sir Anthony as well?"