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Ravel - L'Enfant et les Sortilèges / Netherlands Dance Theater (Jiri Kylian) (2000)

Netherlands Dance Theater , Jiri Kylian  |  NR |  DVD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)


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Product Details

  • Actors: Netherlands Dance Theater, Jiri Kylian, Maurice Ravel
  • Format: Classical, Color, NTSC
  • Language: French
  • 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: Image Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: October 16, 2001
  • Run Time: 51 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005OCLH
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #171,297 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

The Nederlands Dans Theater is one of Europe's most exciting ballet companies and many of its recent successes are due to its choreographer and Artistic Director, Jiri Kylian, who critics have hailed as a choreographic genius. This prize-winning recording of Kylian's "L'Enfant Et Les Sortileges" is a fantasy about a naughty child whose temper brings to life his surroundings. Ravel set to music a libretto by Colette, who originally devised the scenario as a remarkable combination of poetry, drama and dance, entitled "A Ballet for My Little Girl."

Amazon.com

Colette, the author of Gigi, penned the story of L'enfant et les sortiléges, which is related here in an introduction by the choreographer Jiri Kylian with charm and a nod back at his own childhood pranks. Viewers coming to this Netherlands Dance Theatre version of the opera for the first time may be surprised that Ravel composed the boy's role for a girl, and a rather buxom one in this instance. The somewhat gloomy, heavily embroidered production misses no opportunity in bringing to life the toys in the boy's room or the animals in the garden that turn on him in retribution. In conclusion, as an act of compassion of binding the paw of an injured squirrel, the boy and the animal kingdom are reconciled in music of a truly sublime nature. Lorin Maazel conducts Ravel's sophisticated and witty score of translucent vocal lines with the affection for which he has long been renowned. --Adrian Edwards

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
(7)
4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A magical performance February 7, 2004
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
As a singer with The Washington Chorus, I had the good fortune of singing "L'enfant et les sortileges" with the National Symphony Orchestra and Leonard Slatkin at the Kennedy Center's Festival of France in January 2004. We sang a semi-staged production, with cutouts representing most of the props and scenery. The music and singing were wonderful, and I deeply loved the music, but the visuals left a lot to the imagination (especially from my vantage point at the back of the stage!).
After our performance, I was delighted to find the Netherlands Dance Theatre's ballet adaptation of this opera on DVD. All aspects of this DVD are first-rate -- dancing, singing, orchestra, costumes, and set design. The costumes are stunning. I was particularly impressed by the Fire, the Princess. and the Frogs! The dance interpretation was a perfect counterpoint to the singing. Now that I have seen the opera performed this way, it's difficult to imagine it being done better any other way, unless as a cartoon!
Maestro Slatkin told the audience before our concert that "L'enfant et les sortileges" was his favorite piece by Ravel, one that "shows the composer at the peak of his powers, in complete mastery of all facets of his art." I certainly grew to love the piece as we rehearsed and performed it. I'm thrilled to have this DVD in my collection. I know I will watch it countless times over the coming years.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD
The Netherlands Dance Theater production takes a truly magnificent opera that is often hampered in performance by the imaginative story (a young boy refuses to do his homework and throws a terrible tantrum, breaking clocks, jumping on chairs, and pulling the tails of his two cats- the tables are turned as Maman leaves and the objects of his ire awaken to taunt and terrify the child!) and brings it to life. The orchestra and singing are marvelous and the dance amazingly well choreographed in both small-scale detail towards the score and long term action. I for one consider this the best version of L'Enfant et les Sortileges commercially available at present and it's certainly worth purchasing for any fan of 20th century Opera, ballet, or plain great shows.
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5.0 out of 5 stars essential November 9, 2008
Format:DVD
If you are interested in Ravel, you should own this DVD. The production is first rate in every respect.

This work was originally conceived by Colette as a ballet, to which Ravel added the operatic element. Everyone on stage is a dancer in this production, which is choreographed in a contemporary idiom by Jiri Kylian (not Balanchine, the work's original choreographer). The singing that corresponds to the action on stage is sung from off stage in its original French. Subtitles are an option. It is therefore hard to categorize this as either an opera or dance DVD (it's really both). This production is made especially for video and is not simply a recording of a performance.

Kylian takes some time before the performance to introduce the work and his approach to it. The dancing is extremely sensitive to both the drama and the music.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant December 19, 2012
By SallyS
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I am an opera director and I couldn't direct a more beautiful or moving production myself. So very well done.
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