This visually stunning, all-new production of Nutcracker, — choreographed by Helgi Tomasson (artistic director of the San — Francisco Ballet) is a graceful and timeless adventure on a grand — scale. The scenic design by Micha... more »el Yeargan, setting the tale at
the time of the 1915 San Francisco World Fair, is sensational.
From the lovely Waltz of the Flowers to the crystalline beauty of
the stunning Snowflake Waltz, each scene is more breathtaking
than the last, bringing to life all the well-known and beloved
characters with fresh sparkle and compelling originality.
Recorded in High Definition video and true surround sound,
this age-transcending production offers a dazzling magical
journey which has received critical acclaim throughout the
world. Illustrated synopsis & cast gallery.
Interviews with Helgi Tomasson, Michael Yeargan and Martin
Documentary: 1915 World's Fair.
Recorded live at the War Memorial Opera House, San Francisco,
"This new SF Ballet production of the Tchaikovsky warhorse is a real treat for dance fans and novices alike. The physical mounting's sumptuous, witty, and the San Francisco references seem playful, not forced. There are moments of such stunning beauty in this performance, the music, design, dance and storytelling combine to transport the viewer instantly to a happy, marvelling state of childhood. Would serve as an ideal introduction to the NUTCRACKER for young viewers, and there's plenty for their parents to enjoy, too. Highly, highly recommended."
A beautiful version
Emily Kissner | Biglerville, PA United States | 12/18/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"We purchased this to prepare our two sons to see a local live production of the Nutcracker. We love it! The quality of the production is just beautiful, especially in HD. It makes explaining the story to children much easier. (There is also a synopsis on the DVD, which is very helpful) This production includes the applause of the audience, which helps to make it feel like a real performance and not a silent stage set. It is a bright, lively performance.
The DVD is organized in chapters, which makes it easy to navigate from scene to scene. Our four year old has asked to watch it again three nights in a row, and we can easily skip from one favorite part to another. (Right now, he likes the Children's March and the battle scene the best.) My favorite is the Snow scene, which is absolutely gorgeous.
The storyline doesn't stray too far from the familiar tale, but there are some interesting twists. Drosselmeyer is mysterious, but not scary, and we enjoyed watching the opening bit in his clock shop. The stage magic is entertaining and fun. The young Clara transforms into an older version of herself in Act 2. There are some fun surprises in Act 2, with little twists on the usual dances. Even the Arabian dance, usually my least favorite, is fun to watch.
Whether you are looking for a first Nutcracker, or you want to add to a collection, this is a great performance to buy. (Parents and teachers: The San Francisco Ballet has a wonderful teaching guide on their website, with additional background and activities.)
A missed opportunity and a frustrating experience
Leila Lappin | Stamford, CT United States | 01/10/2009
(1 out of 5 stars)
"This performance could have been one of the most pleasant of Nutcracker performances available on DVD, if we could see the dance as it was choreographed and performed on the stage. But we see only bits and pieces of the dance shown through endless camera close ups.
During the entire dance we don't see the stage for more than 10 seconds at a time. What we see is close ups of faces, medium shots of one or two dancers in a small area of the stage, the panning of the camera to move along with the dancers from one side of the stage to the other and so on. We get a constant barrage of zoom in, zoom out, pan and scan. At some points if you are not suffering from motion sickness and frustration to the point of closing your eyes, you will notice that while the camera is panning you actually end up seeing blurry images of the dancers. So we get to watch the camera do its thing while the dancers do the dance on the stage that we don't get to see because they are not shown.
I don't know about anyone else but I don't watch a ballet for the smiling faces of the dancers. Furthermore, I'd like to let my own eyes do the panning and scanning of a ballet performance on the stage.
A wonderful performance
julier | Virginia | 12/18/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a spectacular performance of the Nutcracker with lots of little twists on the traditional dances. My parents who are classical music, ballet and opera lovers said it's the best Nutcracker they've ever seen. The dancing is marvelous, and the costumes are elegant and beautiful, set in the period during the San Francisco 1915 world's fair. If this is not the best Nutcracker, then it's got to be in the top two or three. You won't be disappointed if you purchase this DVD."
Izzet Gokhan Erten | Istanbul | 03/06/2009
(1 out of 5 stars)
"Frankly speaking, this DVD is a disaster. Sorry to say, but film director Matthew Diamond and his cameramen explicitly ruin the show. You can see the whole stage for only a few seconds in every scene. You see the whole stage, and say "wow, what a wonderful decoration, oops..", then the camera zooms in, you see the smiling faces of dancers. Not their feet, not their body, but their faces. I can say that, Chinese snow queen is a beautiful woman, but I could not appreciate her dance. I'm not exaggerating, camera does not stand still more than 3 seconds. When 3 seconds pass, camera moves, or zooms in, after an additional 2 seconds, then another camera is in action. What a technology!? I saw many choreograhies of Nutcracker, I think this was a very good one, good dancers, good orchestra, but extremely disappointing film. Not worth buying."