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Les Sylphides / Coppelia / Giselle (2012)

Nadia Nerina , Robert Helpmann  |  NR |  DVD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Les Sylphides / Coppelia / Giselle + Prokofiev - Romeo and Juliet / Nureyev, Fonteyn, Royal Ballet
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Product Details

  • Actors: Nadia Nerina, Robert Helpmann, Margot Fonteyn, Rudolf Nureyev, Donald Britton
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Classical, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • 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: Ica Classics
  • DVD Release Date: September 25, 2012
  • Run Time: 96 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B008KA6N3A
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #248,827 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Prima ballerinas Nadia Nerina and Margot Fonteyn showcase three of the ballet world's most popular and enduring works here. Les Sylphides uses the music of Chopin to create a short 'romantic reverie' and demands technical brilliance from its dancers. In this performance of Coppelia, the first of four of producer Margaret Dale's adaptations for the BBC, Nerina's comedic skills are in abundance. The final film features arguably ballet's greatest partnership, Margot Fonteyn and Rudolf Nureyev. This extract from the 1962 Giselle is a rare sample of one their earliest collaborations.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Gisselle is the absolute best. i wish I could have seen it live. Fonteyn floats. you'd swear she never touches the floor. Her arms float like the branches of a willow in the wind. She is absolutely the most exquiite dancer ever in this performance. Nureyev is always good but Fonteyn is magical.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Though this DVD mainly features ballerina Nadia Nerina in two Sadlers Wells/Royal Ballet 1950s productions, its highlight is the rare 1962 footage of Margot Fonteyn and her recently defected, new (and historic) partner the young Rudolf Nureyev, in Act II from Giselle. This June 1962 Giselle was filmed only four months after their 2/62 debut Giselle performance, which stirred the world's passions for this remarkable pair. Though a brief clip from Act II, it is beautifully danced, Fonteyn with her usual sure-footed, elegant grace partnered by an agile, coltish young Nureyev, whose pure talent is very evident in his leaping solo variations filled with perfect entrechats, rond de jambes, backward arches, spins and fabulous quick footwork. Fonteyn keeps time with him admirably, and at the very end we get closeups of her expressive face acting as the ultimate broken-hearted Giselle, blessing her love Albrecht back to life before lamentably leaving for the spirit world. The Nadia Nerina performances are also quite good, she a petite dancer with strong technique and sunny personality as the adorable, playful Coppelia in another great example of dance-acting. Les Sylphides is also good but as already pointed out, the foliage framing the shots, plus early ghostly apparitions are a bit distracting. All these BBC archive ballet sequences are in black & white but are relatively clear-focused despite their age.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Subline Fonteyn and Nureyev June 24, 2014
Please advertise this as Fonteyn and Nureyev in
Giselle Act 2 Pas Des Deux. This is unique and the dancing sublime. No one comes close to this interpretation. I saw this as a young recently qualified teacher in Manchester, the Opera House, England -23 years old! I remember the performance to this day and I am now 68. I have to say you are watching love between two people. One may be a spirit but she is still in love with Albrecht and that is the secret of this performance. So many Giselles are disembodied spirits and rather cold. Here you see that Giselle still loves Albrecht and of course saves him from the Wilis. The definitive Albrecht and Giselle in my opinion.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Of historical interest for better and worse December 11, 2012
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Production values mar both Les Sylphides and Coppelia. Rather than show them on stage or at least allowing us to see the dancing unimpeded, we get to watch through foliage and windows and from behind the cast. This is so counter-productive as to be infuriating when it isn't risible. At several moments in Sylphides, I was convinced the BBC had borrowed Brussels' Mannekin Pis for the occasion. This is every bit as bad as those videos of Maya who was allowed to dance in and out of camera range in Bolshoi productions of roughly the same period. We are also not allowed to watch dancing in favor of reaction shots, a lamentable trend which persists to this day. Coppelia even featured non-ballet dancers in favor of ethnic dancers. In Giselle, the Wilis are notable for their absence and this is inexcusable because it robs the dancing of its context. This is only for serious balletomanes not the general audience, as there are far better versions available.
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