See AlsoInstructional Ballet Videos and DVDs
Children of Theatre Street
Birth of Modern Dance
Fonteyne and Nureyev
Ballet performances and documentaries - Casse Noisette, Catherine Wheel, Children of Theatre Street, Cinderella, Coppelia, Denishawn, Don Quixote, Dream, Erik Bruhn, Firebird, Fonteyne and Nureyev.
Starring: Nathalie Léger, Francesco Nappa. Conductor: David Garforth. Choreographer: Jean-Christopher Maillot. Composer: Tchaikovsky.
Maillot's version of the classic ballet The Nutcracker is an innovative interpretation of the well known subject. It was his brainchild to transpose the ballet into the world of circus, while keeping the basic tenet wherein the real world blends with the fantasy world of childhood.
Starring: Sara Rudner, Jennifer Way, Tom Rawe. A rock-dance special by choreographer Twyla Tharp to original music by David Byrne of Talking Heads. With spectacular visual effects, animation and computer generated figures, this program is a phenomenal dance experience.
Princess Grace of Monaco is the narrator of this documentary about the Vaganova Choreographic Institute, also known as the Kirov School of Leningrad, where the Soviet Union trains an elite bundle of students who will be the cream of its balletic future.
Each year thousands of children, 8 to 13 in age, apply for admission. Twenty are admitted, based on physical conformation, long legs, well-arched feet, and flexible joints. The rejected cry. Those lucky or unlucky enough to make the grade will find themselves separated from their families, isolated from the daily run of Soviet life, and totally immersed in the art to which they are expected to dedicate their lives.
It’s a rigorous system, but it works. Graduates of the Kirov School include such greats as Nureyev, Baryshnikov, Nijinsky, Pavlova, and Balanchine.
But dance is what “The Children of Theatre Street” is mostly about. The screen pulsates with fresh, supple bodies learning all aspects of their art from the most rudimentary exercise to the finest nuance of a finished performance.
“The Children of Theatre Street” is a revealing view of the way the Russians go about continuing their great rendition of classical ballet. No lover of ballet and children will want to miss it.
“ ‘Theatre Street’ tells an important story and tells it brilliantly … at the Kirov School there will always be another vintage year, and ‘Theatre Street’ tells why.” – Rudolf Nureyev.
“I cried when I saw ‘Theatre Street’ for the first time. It brings back many memories. – Natalia Makarova.
“Anyone interested in ballet should see ‘Theatre Street’.” – Anna Kisselgoff, New York Times.
92 mins. (1978/2004)
DVD - Region 1 (Canada, United States; U.S. territories; Bermuda)
The Royal Ballet. The acclaimed historic performance of Cinderella from 1969 featuring the memorable cast of Anthony Dowell, Antoinette Sibley, Frederick Ashton and Robert Helpmann. A collector’s item for ballet lovers of all ages!
This is an outstanding ballet of the timeless fairy tale that has captured the hearts of young and old for centuries!
Set to Sergei Prokofiev’s classic score, the Bolshoi Ballet performs in this color motion picture from 1961. Filmed with multiple cameras which created long, medium and close-up shots and special effects, this is not simply a “canned” performance, but one in which film, dance and music combine to produce an unforgettable experience.
And with Raisa Struchkova in the title role, and a teenaged Yekaterina Maximova in a supporting part, this historic program is a must for ballet lovers everywhere!
82 mins. (1984/2005)
DVD - All Region
Starring: Irina Shapchits, Mikhail Zavialov, Petr Rusanov, Elvira Tarasova. Conductor: Alexandre Viliumanis. Composer: Leo Delibes.
Coppélia is a classical ballet in the true sense, and with its touch of East European folklore, continues to enjoy worldwide popularity. It combines the romance between Swanilda and Franz with the story of the doll-maker Coppelius, whose greatest desire is to create a doll with a soul. Franz immediately falls in love with Coppélia, who he thinks is real, but eventually recognizes is just a doll. He returns to Swanilda, after which the final grand divertissement sees everyone reconciled.
Coppelia is a love story in three acts. This beloved ballet is regarded as dance’s great comedy with music by Delibes. Based on E.T.A. Hoffmann’s Der Sandmann, the ballet combines the romance between Swanilda and Franz with the story of the doll maker Coppelius, whose greatest desire is to create a doll with a soul. Franz promptly falls in love with Coppelia, whom he thinks alive, but eventually recognizes that she is just a doll and returns to Swanilda, after which the final grand divertissement sees everyone reconciled.
With its touch of East European Folklore, the ballet continues to enjoy undiminished worldwide popularity … and is one of the most delightful and best-known ballets. Fernando Bujones, one of the most acclaimed male dancers of our time, gives an extraordinary performance as Franz, the young lover. Taped live in Puerto Rico with the Ballet de San Juan.
This historic dance documentary tells the story of one of the least publicized, yet most-influential modern dance companies in America.
Founded by Ruth St. Denis and her husband Ted Shawn at the turn of the century, Denishawn has become legendary for its unique approach to contemporary dance. Martha Graham, Jack Cole, Doris Humphrey, Charles Weidman and countless others have built their companies and their work on the foundation established by St. Denis and Shawn.
Incorporating elements of Far and Middle Eastern dances to create abstract pieces they called “musical visualizations,” the couple rejected the tradition of basing dances on fairy tales: their dancers played human beings, not sugarplums or swans.
Husband-and-wife actors Paul and June Reed portray the Shawns in “interview” segments, and rare film footage of the real St. Denis and Shawn show them at the peak of their creative talents. The current Denishawn Company re-stages some of the founders’ original choreography, which remains as vital and modern today as it was then.
40 mins. (1988/2006)
DVD - All Region
Stanton Welch believes in classical ballet. Yet your expectations will be denied and preconceptions challenged by this, his most original creation.
Divergence is an adrenalin charged and provocative work performed by The Australian Ballet. From the opening movement, Welch’s vision will startle. Contradictions abound. It is at once light and playful, alien and sensuous, serene and chaotic, cool and explosive.
Rudolf Nureyev’s film version of Don Quixote which he co-directed with Sir Robert Helpmann, stars famed dancer Nureyev and Lucette Aldous of the Royal Ballet as the young lovers. Their romance flourishes with the assistance of Helpmann, who portrays the title role.
Dancers of the Australian Ballet are featured in this elaborate production which was photographed in lavish color by Academy Award winning cinematographer, Geoffrey Unsworth. The virtuoso pas de deux in the final act of Don Quixote has been until recent years, the only portion of the full length ballet to be seen in this country, a tour de force for major dancers, it is but the tip of the iceberg of a brilliant and colorful production, conceived by the great 19th century choreographer, Marius Petipa. With the filming of Don Quixote, another dimension has been added. New sets and costumes were designed, and advanced camera techniques used to enhance the action in transferring the classic from stage to screen.
DVD - Digitally re-mastered this lavish production stars Rudolf Nureyev, Robert Helpmann, Lucette Aldous and The Australian Ballet. This spectacular program has been hailed as the finest full-length dance film of all-time. DVD includes a special feature documentary on the making of the film.
DVD - 127 minutes.
DVD - Region 1 (Canada, United States; U.S. territories; Bermuda)
A comical tale of fairies, mismatched lovers, and a mischievous sprite, Sir Frederick Ashton’s enduring one-act ballet, The Dream, has delighted audiences since its premiere in 1964.
Set to the ethereal music of Felix Mendelssohn, the ballet is a charming interpretation of William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
“Ashton’s genius soars typically to the heights of poetic metaphor,” boasted The New York Times. “Charm is making a comeback in New York this spring,” enthused The Washington Post. The New York Observer described the ballet as “so fluent, so charged, so natural,” that “you know you’re in the hands of a master.”
To celebrate the centennial of Ashton’s birth, DANCE IN AMERICA presents American Ballet Theatre’s acclaimed staging, starring Ethan Stiefel, Alessandra Ferri, and Herman Cornejo.
Features three programs on one DVD: Bujones In Class; In His Image; and Bujones Winning At Varna.
Bujones In Class - The art of Fernando Bujones is captured on DVD. This unique film is an excellent learning and teaching tool especially designed by Mr. Bujones to teach the technique of classical ballet with emphasis on posture placement and the classical movements. Bujones is a unique, classical dancer of enormous versatility and artistry.
In His Image - Starring Fernando Bujones in performances and conversations and featuring classical variations from: Giselle, Raymonda, Swan Lake, Don Quixote, Le Corsaire, La Sylphide, and 7 Greek Dances. 10 might be a better title, with the subtitle The Best of the Classic Male Variations.
To have a young virtuoso whose stamina and explosive style have made him a favorite guest artist around the world perform nine variations back-to-back is unprecedented. Only once or twice in our generation, a dancer comes along that can create this special excitement that is always present whenever Fernando Bujones dances.
In the words of Clive Barnes, dance critic of the New York Post, ... he is the finest male classical dancer this country has ever produced. The audiences adore him because he gives all that he has, says Jane Herman, presentations director of the Metropolitan Opera House.
Produced and directed by Zeida Cecilia-Mendez, this DVD anthology offers an education impossible without DVD. With one viewing, one gains a sophistication that might escape you despite years of going to the ballet. One stellar moment of slow motion explains the mechanics of a jump better than any patient teacher's verbalization. This is a dancer whose beats and aerial geometry mark him as one of the greatest of our times. Covering the spectrum from the Romantic bravura of the court, to the stark simplicity of the neo-classical 7-Greek Dances by the brilliant choreographer Maurice Begirt, this DVD inspires as it touches. The dancer is shown at his peak, and In His Image captures the excitement which Bujones brings to dance.
Bujones Winning At Varna - Hailed as one of the greatest dancers of the 20th century, Fernando Bujones' Gold Medal victory at the International Ballet Competition VII in Varna, Bulgaria on July 24, 1974, developed into a history making event for the world of dance. In Bujones' own words, winning the Gold Medal in the competition was an achievement that remains the truest challenge of self-discipline and courage. And courage is what it took for a young Bujones to win at age nineteen (still junior age and competing in the senior category) a Gold Medal along with the Highest Technical Achievement award. This triumph established him as the champion of the competition, and the first male American dancer to win such an honor. Varna was an exciting turning point in Fernando Bujones' life that rocketed him to international stardom and a global dance career.
106 mins. (2008)
DVD - All Region
For more than thirty years, The Voice of Firestone brought the world’s greatest artists into the homes of music lovers. Now, through a special arrangement with the New England Conservatory in Boston, Kultur is proud to make these rare telecasts available.
Among the treasures from the Firestone archives are Rudolf Nureyev’s American television solo debut; the legendary team of Jacques D’Amboise and Melissa Hayden; the brilliant Maria Tallchief; Carla Fracci in a rare Pas de quatre set to the music of Pugni; as well as principal dancers of the Royal Danish Ballet and a performance by the Ballet Espanol Ximenes-Vargas.
49 mins. (2008)
DVD - All Region
Margot Fonteyn & Rudolf Nureyev … perhaps the greatest partnership in the history of ballet.
For the first time, their most acclaimed performances, which have long thrilled audiences worldwide, have been captured together on one videocassette.
The program traces their partnership from its glorious inception in 1962 (in “Giselle” at Covent Garden), to its grand finale some 17 years later. It is unique in that it includes rare, behind-the-scenes footage of both dancers.
This special tribute program has now become even more of a treasure due to the passing of both Margot Fonteyn and Rudolf Nureyev. Their legendary partnership was recently hailed by the press as when “… ballet was never more gripping, never more transporting, than when her perfect pose met his ardent theatricality.”
Robert Powell narrates and ballet personalities such as dame Ninette de Valois, founder of The Royal Ballet, provide their thoughts and memories on the lives of Fonteyn, Nureyev and their association. The synergy of their partnership was electrifying, and their impact on the world of ballet remains unmatched.
This collector’s item is an intriguing visual biography of the greatest ballet partnership of all time.
90 mins. (DVD - 2005)
DVD - All Region
William Forsythe's research into ways of engendering and organizing movement has led him to pursue counterpoint, proprioperception, entrainment, and authenticity for organizational principles that also allow improvisation.
Artistic director and choreographer of the Ballet Frankfurt and himself trained in ballet, Forsythe shows an appreciation of and often a critical engagement with classical dance, transforming and revitalizing it. When he works collaboratively, Forsythe challenges the traditional distinction between choreographer and dancer, thus questioning hierarchy, authorship and disciplinary boundaries.