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Joni Mitchell's The Fiddle And The Drum

Joni Mitchell , Jean Grand-Maître  |  NR |  DVD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)

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Joni Mitchell's The Fiddle And The Drum + Joni Mitchell - Shadows and Light + Joni Mitchell - Refuge of the Roads
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Product Details

  • Actors: Joni Mitchell, Jean Grand-Maître, The Alberta Ballet Company
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Dolby, Original recording remastered, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Koch Vision
  • DVD Release Date: February 10, 2009
  • Run Time: 60 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001NJ916Q
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #123,747 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Joni Mitchell's The Fiddle and The Drum explores Mitchell's life-long concerns about environmental neglect and the warring nature of mankind within a ballet performed to a select soundtrack of her eternal songs. The unique combinations of three art forms - music, dance and art - comprise an engaging spectacle that Joni calls "...the best project of her career."

Legendary Canadian artist Joni Mitchell and internationally acclaimed choreographer Jean Grand-Maître of the Alberta Ballet Company are the co-creators of Joni Mitchell's The Fiddle and The Drum.

Features the Song Selections: The Fiddle and The Drum, Sex Kills, Passion Play (When All the Slaves Are Free), Three Great Stimulants, For the Roses, Slouching Towards Bethlehem, The Beat of Black Wings, If I Had a Heart, If, Big Yellow Taxi

Also Includes Exclusive Bonus Features!
-Behind the Scenes with: Joni Mitchell and Jean Grand-Maître, Kelly McKinlay and Nicole Caron (Alberta Ballet Dancers), and Mario Rouleau (Director of Filming)
-Joni Mitchell's video installation from the set

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Was Skeptical About This At First... February 18, 2009
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
...but it's a beautiful work of art. I don't know much about dance or ballet but by the last couple of songs, I was moved to tears--joyful tears, actually. The dancers' performances brought something new to the songs and the messages they contain as a collection. I think people who are visually-oriented will enjoy it in a different way than a longtime Joni fan. Either way, it's simple, stunning, and moving.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning view to where we are going February 12, 2009
Every moment of this awesome performance and the DVD extras is quite simply stunning. Joni's songs here get new life of interpretation, esp. some of her (less well known children :-) more recent gestalt meaning layers such as in The Beat of Black Wings and Passion Play(When All The Slaves Are Free). Her understanding how the earth and religion interact is a completely strong line in her work that is more clear in this performance. The newer songs at the end of the performance (If I had a Heart, If and the excellent new Big Yellow Taxi) provide great lift and renewal. Plus the cyclops video DVD extra (Joni's music and her recent art work only) is compelling. Seeing that Joni herself was so intimate with forming the dancers interpretations and synchronizing the art only adds to the wonder of this collection. Get this now and be aware .... you may soon find yourself on the road to see this timely performance live. Joni's themes are where we are going now.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars wonderful March 9, 2009
By M. Pina
Joni's collaboration with the Alberta Ballet was incredible. I have waited almost two years to see this ballet and am extatic about it finally coming to DVD. It was intense, thrilling, and beautifully done. If I ever have the opportunity to see it live, I will definately be there.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Blown Away! April 24, 2009
I have been curious about this production ever since I purchased Joni's wonderful CD "Shine" in Fall of 2007. I've read a lot about it since then, but I was pretty much resigned to the fact that I would never be afforded the opportunity to see it. When I saw that it was available on DVD, I was thrilled!

Having just watched it for the first (and second) time, I am happy to report that it was $20 very well spent. It hits on all cylinders. The song selection includes some of Joni's very best, the choreography is inspired, the dancers exude passion and athleticism... but most of all passion, the lighting is spot on, and the director of photography captured the performance in a way that gave me goose-bumps.

I'm a huge fan of Joni's, but I think anyone with any modicum of appreciation for the arts will come away from this experience with an admiration for the talent that has gone into, and the amazing results that come out of, this.

Hard pressed to choose a favorite number, but "The Three Great Stimulants" has to be one of the best (finally... a track from "Dog Eat Dog" stands out!), along with "Passion Play" and "The Beat of Black Wings"... both amazing songs and interpreted wonderfully. "If" is just joyous... as though the after-party and reward for a night of hard work by the dancers as well as a message that it does not have to be gloom and doom and it is not to late for us to make a difference, change our ways and save our planet.

The encore of "Big Yellow Taxi" (while not my favorite song) is a great bonus and a great finish to the DVD. It was all over way too quickly, but this is a singularly superb performance by everyone involved. My hat is off (well, actually, I hate wearing hats, so it's always off, but you know what I mean) to Joni and Jean for their amazing collaboration, and to the wonderful dancers who brought their concept to life.

Buy this, enjoy it, and share it with your friends!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 60's overflow into today March 31, 2009
It's nice to see artists from the sixties still creating art that is still hip by today's standards. Put it on and space-out. Watch it or listen to it....either way it's entertaining.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Fiddle Faddle in Spades with Green Ballet Troop November 27, 2009
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This review is for: Joni Mitchell's The Fiddle And The Drum (DVD)

This ballet, sometimes called a play by Joni Mitchell herself, seems designed to highlight and focus on Joni Mitchell's less-well-known songs in order to make them more well known and perhaps even popular, but this ballet seems as well designed to try to convey a series of political or propagandistic messages, such as war is bad, peace is good, earth is blue but green is better, capitalism is bad, America is bad, and maybe world communism based on inconvenient global warming lies is good if not better, so long as everybody is forced to live in (green)peace and under a five-pointed star. It's not clear that Joni Mitchell explicitly advocates the One World Order with the new Green Religion (with its carbon tax tithings), but the ballet's "green shirts" dancers marching in the background, the changing one-eyed cyclops (sometimes shaped like the Eye in the Sky or the Moon or the Sun Goddess bearing Joni Mitchell's face) watching like Big Brother over the ballet dancers, the celebration of poems by W.B. Yeats and Rudyard Kipling ("Slouching Towards Bethlehem" and "If," respectively), both of whom were high-order Masons, give more than a hint that something collectivistic is being presented here. The only time liberty is even vaguely mentioned in any of the lyrics is in reference to "free choice" being behind us.

So, here's the best way to try to view the ballet: try not to think too much about it. Don't really strain to listen to the lyrics. Keep your eyes on the beautiful, rhythmical dancing bodies and listen to the beat of the music. You will enjoy yourself then.

The male dancers display buns of brass while the women sport glutes of glass, beautifully.
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