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Balanchine


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Editorial Reviews

Through rare archival footage, this program traces Balanchine's life from his youth at the Maryinsky Theater, to his creation of the New York City Ballet.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: George Balanchine
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Classical, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Kultur Video
  • DVD Release Date: February 17, 2004
  • Run Time: 156 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00019G8BA
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #97,949 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 28 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 7, 2004
Format: DVD
I saw this documentary when it was on public television, and it was fabulous. I have read a lot about Balanchine and his dancers, and actually seeing them was amazing. There is even footage of Pavlova and Tanaquil LeClerq dancing in their prime. A definite must-see for ballet and Balanchine enthusiasts!
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31 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Judith Frith on January 22, 2005
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I've never seen a biography that contained less personal information about its subject. This DVD, for example, never mentions Balanchine's marriages to the dancers Maria Tallchief and Tanquil leClerc, or his obsession with the forty-years-younger Suzanne Farrell. These relationships are important for more than just gossipy reasons - all three women had a significant effect on his work. There are some good performance clips on the DVD, but the selection is oddly biased: lots and lots of Peter Martins, but never a glimpse of Edward Villella. A fine "starter CD" for those just learning about Balanchine, but frustrating for fans.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Paula L. Craig on February 25, 2006
Format: DVD
Since I knew little about either the life or the work of Balanchine, I really enjoyed this documentary. I had no idea he was so instrumental in bringing ballet to the United States. My main complaint was that the film was too short. We found out almost nothing about the dancers Balanchine worked with, and we saw only snippets of the ballets. I thought it particularly odd that although Suzanne Farrell appeared in dozens of clips, more than any other ballerina, nothing at all was said about her.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By toronto on October 31, 2009
Format: DVD
I bought this, knowing nothing about Balanchine, and by the end I was completely hooked on him and everything he did. The whole documentary was beautifully put together, and the dancing was sublime. The best thing about it were the moments when he found a new graceful movement for his dancers out of the traditional forms (Serenade was particularly moving). You have a sense of someone always thinking, always working. The greatest moment I think was the end of the Prodigal Son, so completely unexpected. You come away in awe -- no doubt about his genius, none whatsoever.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Patricia Mccarty on February 9, 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This is an exceptional video. I used it in a class I was doing about dance and it was enjoyed by all. The biography on balanchine was very informative and the dancing was very beautiful. I have seen many performances of ballets corographed by Balanchine and enjoyed being able to watch him dance and work with the dancers.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Helena on October 15, 2009
Format: DVD
This documentary is must see for anyone and everyone who loves classical and modern ballet choreographed by the master choreographer George Balanchine. It is as much story about his life as it is story about Balanchine'e relationship with composer Stravinsky who arranged many of the modern pieces Balanchine created. It is also a story about creation of the two biggest ballet houses in the United States: American Ballet Theatre and New York City Ballet.

In the course of the documentary there are pieces of some of the most memorable works Balanchine created performed by American prima ballerinas who were his muses, wives and treasure of american ballet history.

Being that ballet is visual art and in a sense pagan since there is no way to "memorize" each movement - one can only improvise on creations of others or create new pieces, this documentary is important document to the legacy of one man's work that created performing art with american tradition.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Patricia A. Renzetti on January 13, 2008
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Balanchine's legacy is passed on through this beautiful historical documentary about one of ballet's greatest choreographers. The scope of his work is amazing.
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Format: DVD
Always a classical music lover, many years ago I attended an NYCB performance to hear Hindemith's "The Four Temperaments". While I didn't necessarily appreciate the Balanchine choreography (and for this particular work still don't), the performance was the beginning of my years long journey of discovering Balanchine's ballets and the associated music, most notably that of Stravinsky. This DVD was an absolutely wonderful introduction, but it's not just for novices! It remains my favorite DVD in my entire collection and I continue to watch it several times per year. What I love is that it's packed full of information about all of the different phases of Balanchine's career, there is a great deal of amazing (often breathtaking) archival footage, the narration is very nicely done, and whether I watch just a few minutes of the DVD or the entire thing from start to finish I always feel energized, "high" even. Balanchine was an absolute genius. The final scene is so perfect, there couldn't be a more fitting symbolic representation of the end of Balanchine's life than the last few minutes of Apollo.
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