"Struggle for Hope" (55 min.) features Bach's Suite No. 5 for Unaccompanied Cello. Master Kabuki actor Tamasaburo Bando sets out on a journey to discover, through traditional Japanese dance, the universality and emotion of... more » Bach's Fifth Suite. The result is this revelatory, cross-cultural and trans-oceanic collaboration with Yo-Yo Ma, sensitively documented by filmmaker Niv Fichman. "Six Gestures" (53 min.) features Bach's Suite No. 6 for Unaccompanied Cello. Bach and ice dance? Yo-Yo Ma believes that world champion ice dancers Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean have done for their sport what Bach did for the cello--that is, to dramatically redefine the artistic possibilities and to shatter all preconceptions. This mesmerizing film by Patricia Rozema (Mansfield Park) explores the outcome of this unlikely collaboration, with Bach himself as the dramatic counterpoint.« less
"Of all the films in this series by Yo-Yo Ma, this is the one I think that is the most watchable and listenable. It is a history lesson, a tour de force of solo acting, ice skating, and cello artistry...all under one elegant roof crafted by director Patricia Rozema. And it all works poetically in a sublime and sophisticated manner. It is handsomely done. It is as creative as the latest MTV video...treating this great music as being approachable and setting Bach's music in several contexts. This is a free flowing, thoughtful, ironic, humorous, and vital masterpiece. Not being an ice skating enthusiast, except for a few days during the Winter Olympics every four years, I have watched this film with wall-to-wall ice skating over and over again. I never realized that ice skating can be more than the conventional acrobatic sporting event that we are used to seeing on ABC when there are no other traditional team sporting events available. Plus, there is no idiot jock-skate commentator to interfere with you and the skaters, trying to convince everybody that .3 should be deducted for the bad execution of some esoteric manuver. Not this time. It's just you, Jayne Torvill, Christopher Dean and J.S. Bach. What a concept!!!!!!!! You are permitted to leave the convention and commercialization of all that ice skating competition stuff out on Madison Avenue somewhere. So, I play Six Gestures while I am working on my computer...over and over again. It is a friendly sound and picture that fills my office in the evenings from time to time. This specific video in the series is the one to buy!!! You will never be disappointed in this film. Also, an elementary school teacher would have an extraordinary and engaging 45 minutes or so if you showed this film. This film will inform, mesmerize, relax, inspire, educate plus lure you back..again and again. YOU MUST purchase Six Gestures!!!!"
Bitter dissapointment: no respect for skating or music
Peony Wong (email@example.com) | 01/04/2000
(1 out of 5 stars)
"Following the stellar reviews posted here I had hoped for a video showing Torvill and Dean working their magic on ice while Yo Yo Ma played Bach on the cello. Sadly, tape this jumps about between photos of Yo Yo playing on city streets and Torvill and Dean glimpsed in brief snippets through a usually distorted camera lense. Often the camera work is so close that one cannot see their magical footwork at all. Occasionally an actor pretending to be Bach recites some of his literary musings while using a modern lighter to enjoy a smoke at our expense. The action shifts back and forth sometimes quite rapidly, so that one has no time to settle in and enjoy either the music or the skating before another intrusion from a depressed Mr. Bach and/or Yo Yo - who is for no apparent reason shown wandering about the city with his cello.Oh for what this video could have been! It seems the producers could not believe that the public would be capable of sitting back and simply watching the incomparable Torvill and Dean skate to the music of Bach interpreted on the cello by the genius of Yo Yo Ma -- and just let it speak for itself! Instead we are treated to shifting, odd and blurry camera work and brilliant playing cruelly interrupted by silly theatrics. Yo Yo Ma's is much better served by his Bach cello suites on CD, while Torvill and Dean get an honest chance to skate on video elsewhere. (Try their video with the Russian All Stars, but read the reviews as my high opinion of that tape is not shared by all). This video is a terrible disappointment.. It respects neither the skating nor the music it claims to celebrate. Sadly it highlights once again the need for a comprehensive collection of Torvill and Dean's brilliant work on ice."
Perfection Combination of Music and Movement
Peony Wong (firstname.lastname@example.org) | Hong Kong | 10/18/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"No one could have thought that figure skating routines could go so well with a solo instrumental piece, especially when skaters prefer to skate nowadays to songs. The lost artistry is revived by Torvill and Dean in this video, and ice skating has never been so graceful."
Amazing blend of music and visuals
Peony Wong (email@example.com) | 02/13/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Although I agree with a previous reviewer that I could have done without the Bach impersonation, otherwise I couldn't disagree more with the negative reviews. As a fan of both figure skating and classical music, I feel that this is a perfect synthesis of both, with the addition of some exciting and innovative cinematography. It is a joy both to view and to hear; I will probably keep returning to it for years."
Yo-yo ma - inspired by bach no.6 Six gestures (cello suite
Phoebe T. Marrall | san marino ca usa | 07/05/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Lovely concept, lovely performances, lovely joining with Torvill and Dean."