Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Violette et Mister B|
Actors: Violette Verdy, Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux, Isabelle Guérin, Margaret Illmann, Lucia Lacarra
Director: Dominique Delouche
Genres: Indie & Art House, Special Interests, Educational, Musicals & Performing Arts, Documentary
Passing it along to the next generation---
Todd Nolan | Seattle, WA USA | 05/06/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This documentary shows Violette Verdy, one of Balanchine's most talented dancers, teaching and talking about Balanchine & Jerome Robbins and their choreography with dancers of the Paris Opera Ballet. Besides Isabelle Guerin in Dances at a Gathering, and Elizabeth Maurin in Emeralds, Ms. Verdy instructs other dancers in the Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux and Brahms Liebeslieder Waltzes of Balanchine, and In the Night by Robbins. There are also short clips of Verdy dancing. When she was with NY City Ballet, the line-up at one point in the mid-60s must have included Melissa Hayden, Allegra Kent, Diana Adams, Patricia Neary, Jacques d'Amboise, Sukie Shorer, Patricia McBride and a young Suzanne Farrell. I'm not old enough to have been able to see these great dancers while their careers were going on, but I have seen as much video as is available of them, and Verdy undoubtedly has many more anecdotes than time allowed. (Has she written her memoirs ?) The introduction by Roland Petit is interesting, but too short, and I wish the producers/director would have included even more old clips of Verdy from her NY City Ballet days.
Verdy's exuberance and love for the pieces and steps that she instructs the Paris dancers in is readily apparent, and her reminisces and humor make this DVD a winner. I found out it was originally released in 2001, and I wish I had known about it then, as I can never get enough of these documentaries that have anything to do with ballet history in general, and Balanchine in particular. Belongs on every ballet fan's shelf with the Ballet Russe documentary from 2005/2006.
Violette Verdy, dancer and teacher
N. Alonso Hathaway | Boston, Ma. | 04/06/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This dvd is in French with English subtitles and is special to me as Violette Verdy was a teacher and artistic director of Boston Ballet when I was teaching there. Most of the footage shows her teaching Balanchine choreography, roles she had performed, to dancers at the Paris Opera Ballet, and her expression, musicality, and artistry are of a high calibre. There is footage of her dancing as well as teaching, and the dvd will be of interest to dancers as well as anyone who loves ballet and wants to see how choreography is passed on from one generation to the next."
Talkative Violette and Mr.B!
Ailsaellen | Palo Alto, CA USA | 10/23/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I love the details and coaching that go into dancing ballet therefore I enjoyed this DVD.....however Violette loves to talk! The first half of the DVD is Violette talking in rapid French to dancers while they dance a little (don't worry there are English sub-titles). The second half of the DVD has a lot more ballet and less talk.
This DVD is a good addition for someone who love Balanchine's ballet - as I do. Violette gives insights into the steps and motivations behind the steps. Also the 'grainy' videos of Violette dancing the ballets herself are wonderful......what a beautiful dancer Violette was.....not many dancers have her grace and fluidity....there is much more anxiety about technique in many of today's ballet dancers."