11/18/2017  
Take Me To The River on Blu-ray & DVD Feb 5Phantom From 10,000 Leagues (1956) on Blu-ray & DVD Jan 5Condemned on DVD & Blu-ray Jan 5Broad City: Season 2 on DVD Jan 5McHale's Navy: The Complete Series on DVD No 17Return to Sender on Blu-ray & DVD Sep 29The Phantom of the Opera with Lon Chaney Blu-ray & DVD Oct 13

follow us on twitter

dOc on facebook

NE News Editor

Jennifer Esposito Is Your Newest NCIS Agent in Season 1...
Critics Are Split on Ghostbusters Reboot ...
'Respect is key': The Game, Snoop Dogg lead march to LA...
Kristen Stewart's Sheer Dress At 'Equals' Premiere -- S...
"A Slow Slipping Away"-- Kris Kristofferson's Long-Undi...
Fox News' Roger Ailes Sued for Sexual Harassment by Ous...
Garrison Keillor Retires from 'Prairie Home Companion' ...
Jennifer Aniston is Pregnant: Star Steps Out in Loose D...
Hiddleswift Is One Big Song Promotion -- A Theory...
Elvis Presley's daughter Lisa Marie Presley files for ...





Microsoft Store

Share: email   Print      Technorati.gif   StumbleUpon.gif   MySpace   digg.gif delicious.gif   google.gif   magnolia.gif   facebook.gif
Permalink: Permalink.gif



Buy from Amazon

Buy from Amazon.com

Image Entertainment presents
Swan Lake (Natalia Makarova's Swan Lake) (1988)

"Suddenly, before his eyes the swan is transformed into a beautiful maiden, Odette."
- Natalia Makarova

Review By: Mark Zimmer   
Published: December 31, 2000

Stars: Evelyn Hart, Peter Schaufuss
Other Stars: Martin James, Elizabeth Anderton, Johnny Eliasen
Director: Thomas Grimm

Manufacturer: WAMO
MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (nothing objectionable)
Run Time: 01h:55m:51s
Release Date: December 26, 2000
UPC: 014381580921
Genre: classical


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
A A+BB+ D

DVD Review

Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky's classic ballet, Swan Lake, is considered one of the highlights of the dancer's craft. In particular, the extremely demanding dual role of Odette and Odile combines a requirement of incredible athleticism with phenomenal stamina, yet must appear effortless in order to carry off the necessary grace of the parts.

The story is based on an old folk tale. Prince Siegfried (Peter Schaufuss) is commanded by the Queen Mother (Elizabeth Anderton) to choose one of the noblewomen attending his birthday party as his wife. When none of them strikes his fancy, his friend Benno (Martin Johnson) takes him hunting. There they find a lake with swans, one of whom turns into the maiden Odette (Evelyn Hart). The sorceror Rothbert (Johnny Eliasen) has placed a curse on her and the other maidens, causing them to be swans during the day, but they revert to being women at night. Siegfried immediately falls in love and swears to be faithful to Odette, which can break Rothbert's spell. Upon Siegfried's return to the castle, the Queen is growing impatient. The noblewomen are brought forth again, but this time, a black knight (Eliasen, Rothbert in disguise) has a young woman, Odile (Hart) with him, and causes her to appear to be Odette, attempting to lure Siegfried to break his oath.

The production on this disc, by the London Festival Ballet, carries off the difficulties of the program with ease and character. Choreographed by Natalia Marakova (who also gives the narration before each act), based on the traditional choreography of Marius Petipa, this program is a delight to watch. The settings and costumes designed by Guenther Schneider-Siemssen are spectacular and suggestive at once; the black knight's costume is a terrifying variation on the Commendatore of Mozart's Don Giovanni (best known as the promotional image for Amadeus). Rothbert, seen only in back projections, has a stylized black swan costume which is equally disturbing. The palace sets with the swan candelabras are emotive as well, and the forest settings appropriately eerie and magical at once. The one quibble I have with the production is that part of the finale is lost in a haze of light effects, losing the well-known choreography, which will be a disappointment to those wanting to see how this production handles the old warhorse.

But in the end it is the dancing which must carry the day, and Evelyn Hart makes a wonderful Odette/Odile. Although to this reviewer she appears painfully thin, she has a nimbleness, flexibility and grace which permits her to carry off the role splendidly. Her difficult leaps, pirouettes and other figures seem completely effortless as does the seemingly endless point work. Even though she has an incredibly demanding part, Hart is more than up to the task. More than once, her rising leg is bent in a grand battement, making it appear that it will never straighten, but it does in a seamless and delicate gesture that is shiver-inducing. Her hand work is in particular endlessly graceful and pleasurable to watch. Peter Schaufuss is a stable contrast to Hart, but when given the opportunity also can display a good deal of energy. Together, they provide a thoroughly emotional performance which reduced the woman I was watching it with to tears.

The Danish Radio Symphony Orchestra under Graham Bond does a nice job of presenting Tchaikovsky's music, alternating the innocent with the horrific and bombastic. The ensemble work is quite serviceable and the balances between strings and winds are excellent. This orchestra makes this familiar music sound quite fresh, which is no mean feat.

This acclaimed production deserves its plaudits and will be a welcome addition to the collections of any fan of ballet or classical music.

Thanks to Nancy J. Malone for her invaluable assistance with this review.

Rating for Style: A
Rating for Substance: A+

 

Image Transfer

 One
Aspect Ratio1.33:1 - Full Frame
Original Aspect Ratioyes
Anamorphicno


Image Transfer Review: Though shot on stage, this production was not filmed before a live audience, which gives the camera a good deal of flexibility. Large portions of the ballet are shot in an intentionally soft focus (especially when the swans are on stage). Other scenes provide at least a decent clarity. Color is good though a little subdued. Blacks are very good for a stage production.

Image Transfer Grade: B

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Englishyes
Dolby Digital
5.1
Englishyes


Audio Transfer Review: The sound reproduction on both DD tracks is quite good indeed. Obviously, the 5.1 presentation has a wider soundstage and slightly more depth, but both are more than satisfactory. Bass extension is quite good, and the range of sound from the plaintive solo oboe with the swan theme to the thunderous crashes of cymbals and timpani during the climactic storm sequence are brought through without distortion, hiss or noise. The sound emanates from all speakers, giving one the feeling of being among the orchestra; while some will dislike this effect, it gives an immediacy to the music which I rather preferred over a front-stage only presentation.

The one feature of the sound which I found irritating (but my companion found interesting) was that oftentimes the thump of the leaping dancers descending to the stage was audible. This was a rather unusual and surprising sound to hear on disc, but it certainly lends a you-are-there presence to the proceedings. Between chapters 29 and 30, the sound of people talking backstage is plainly audible, which is definitely unacceptable. These oddities reduce the grade from what would otherwise be an A.

Audio Transfer Grade: B+

 

Disc Extras

Static menu
Scene Access with 39 cues and remote access
Music/Song Access with 36 cues and remote access
Packaging: Snapper
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extras Review: Other than generous chaptering (and the chaptering on the case is incorrect; four acts are listed instead of two), there's nothing here at all. Not even music on the menu, which I've always found odd on a classical music disc.

Extras Grade: D

 

Final Comments

A splendid production of the pinnacle of ballet, given a fine presentation here (although there are occasional distracting noises). Highly recommended.

 


Back to top

Search 10,000+ titles:

or Advanced Search

DVD REVIEW ARCHIVE


Get FREE Shipping on all orders at TimeLife.com! - 120x90

 



Microsoft Store

Keywords

television, jennifer esposito, blue bloods, ncis, mark harmon. duane henry, wilmer valderrama, michael weatherly, bull, movie, ghostbusters, comedy, chris helmsworth, melissa mcarthy, kristen wiig, celebrity, rap, game, shoop dogg, jayceon terrell taylor, alton sterling, kristen stewart, equals, jonathan simkhal, nicholas hoult, music, kris kristofferson, country music hall of fame, alzheimers, lyme disease, fox news, gretchen carlson, fox and friends, steve doocy, roger ailes, the real story with gretchen carlson, radio, garrison keillor, a prairie home companion, jennifer anniston, baby bump, justin theroux, taylor swift, tom hiddleston, calvin harris, lisa marie presley, michael lockwood, riley and benjamin keough, danny keough, michael jackson, nicolas cage, tom affleck, boston fan, bill simmons, hbo show, any given wednesday, tom brady, deflategate, hamilton, lin-manuel mianda, periscope, heart tweet machine, hamilton mixtape, cable, hbo, curb your enthusiasm, larry david, bernie sanders, saturday night live, maya and marty, christina grimmie, murdered, plaza live, before you exit, marcus grimmie, nashville, cmt, president brian phillips, the tonight show, jimmy fallon, president obama, the roots, hillary clinton, tim mcgraw, faith hill, maggie mcgraw, humble and kind, ellen degeneres show, titi pierce, coldwell banker robbins & free realty, hairspray live!, tracy turnblad, york theatre company, john waters, jennifer hudson, harvey fierstein, martin short, derek hough, j.k. rowling, harry potter and the cursed child, noma dumezweni, emma watson, judd apatow, paul freig, melissa mccarthy, romance, history channel, roots, remake, anika noni rose, t.i., malachi kirby, josh duhamel, transformers, fergie, black eyed peas, axl, double dutchess, abc, music city, grand ole opry, chip esten, lennon stella, the voice, alisan porterm, christina aguilera, ceelo green, ariana grande, sia, the little big town, 2016 billboard music awards, pink, just like fire, pamela neal, warrior princess, send my love (to your new lover), billboard music awards, adele, patrick daughters, bryan cranston, lbj, all the way, melissa leo, frank langella, todd weeks, hard sell, kristin chenoweth, wicked

On Facebook!
digitallyOBSESSED!
digitallyOBSESSED!
Promote Your Page Too

Visit:

Zarabesque.com

Original Magic Dress.com

Susti Heaven

Become a Reviewer | Search | Review Vault | Reviewers
Readers | Webmasters | Privacy | Contact
Microsoft Store