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Tchaikovsky: Nutcracker - San Francisco Ballet


List Price: $29.99
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Tchaikovsky: Nutcracker - San Francisco Ballet + George Balanchine's Nutcracker (1993) + The Nutcracker / Baryshnikov, Kirkland, Charmoli
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

This visually stunning, all-new production of Nutcracker,
choreographed by Helgi Tomasson (artistic director of the San
Francisco Ballet) is a graceful and timeless adventure on a grand
scale. The scenic design by Michael Yeargan, setting the tale at
the time of the 1915 San Francisco World Fair, is sensational.
From the lovely Waltz of the Flowers to the crystalline beauty of
the stunning Snowflake Waltz, each scene is more breathtaking
than the last, bringing to life all the well-known and beloved
characters with fresh sparkle and compelling originality.
Recorded in High Definition video and true surround sound,
this age-transcending production offers a dazzling magical
journey which has received critical acclaim throughout the
world. Illustrated synopsis & cast gallery.
Interviews with Helgi Tomasson, Michael Yeargan and Martin
Pakledinaz.
Documentary: 1915 World's Fair.
Recorded live at the War Memorial Opera House, San Francisco,
California, on 19th & 20th December 2007.

Review

The opulent new version of the seasonal classic, launched spectacularly
by the San Francisco Ballet, is every parent s dream of a holiday treat.
It looks scrumptious, tastes delicious, offers substantial nourishment
and won t cause cavities. --San Francisco Examiner

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Damian Smith, Elizabeth Powell, Davit Karapetyan, David Arce, Yuan Yuan Tan
  • Directors: Matthew Diamond
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Classical, Color, DTS Surround Sound, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: French, German, Spanish, Italian
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Opus Arte
  • DVD Release Date: November 18, 2008
  • Run Time: 132 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (82 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001HBX918
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #66,777 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Tchaikovsky: Nutcracker - San Francisco Ballet" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

My 4 year old daughter loves this!
M. Umlauf
My parents who are classical music, ballet and opera lovers said it's the best Nutcracker they've ever seen.
julier
The music is beautifully done, the choreography is stunning, and the dancers are absolutely superb!
Althea

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

61 of 64 people found the following review helpful By Emily Kissner on December 17, 2008
Format: DVD
We purchased this to prepare our two sons to see a local live production of the Nutcracker. We love it! The quality of the production is just beautiful, especially in HD. It makes explaining the story to children much easier. (There is also a synopsis on the DVD, which is very helpful) This production includes the applause of the audience, which helps to make it feel like a real performance and not a silent stage set. It is a bright, lively performance.

The DVD is organized in chapters, which makes it easy to navigate from scene to scene. Our four year old has asked to watch it again three nights in a row, and we can easily skip from one favorite part to another. (Right now, he likes the Children's March and the battle scene the best.) My favorite is the Snow scene, which is absolutely gorgeous.

The storyline doesn't stray too far from the familiar tale, but there are some interesting twists. Drosselmeyer is mysterious, but not scary, and we enjoyed watching the opening bit in his clock shop. The stage magic is entertaining and fun. The young Clara transforms into an older version of herself in Act 2. There are some fun surprises in Act 2, with little twists on the usual dances. Even the Arabian dance, usually my least favorite, is fun to watch.

Whether you are looking for a first Nutcracker, or you want to add to a collection, this is a great performance to buy. (Parents and teachers: The San Francisco Ballet has a wonderful teaching guide on their website, with additional background and activities.)
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53 of 55 people found the following review helpful By Randy Buck VINE VOICE on December 15, 2008
Format: DVD
This new SF Ballet production of the Tchaikovsky warhorse is a real treat for dance fans and novices alike. The physical mounting's sumptuous, witty, and the San Francisco references seem playful, not forced. There are moments of such stunning beauty in this performance, the music, design, dance and storytelling combine to transport the viewer instantly to a happy, marvelling state of childhood. Would serve as an ideal introduction to the NUTCRACKER for young viewers, and there's plenty for their parents to enjoy, too. Highly, highly recommended.
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62 of 68 people found the following review helpful By Izzet Gokhan Erten on March 6, 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Frankly speaking, this DVD is a disaster. Sorry to say, but film director Matthew Diamond and his cameramen explicitly ruin the show.
You can see the whole stage for only a few seconds in every scene. You see the whole stage, and say "wow, what a wonderful decoration, oops..", then the camera zooms in, you see the smiling faces of dancers. Not their feet, not their body, but their faces. I can say that, Chinese snow queen is a beautiful woman, but I could not appreciate her dance. I'm not exaggerating, camera does not stand still more than 3 seconds. When 3 seconds pass, camera moves, or zooms in, after an additional 2 seconds, then another camera is in action. What a technology!?
I saw many choreograhies of Nutcracker, I think this was a very good one, good dancers, good orchestra, but extremely disappointing film. Not worth buying.
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38 of 41 people found the following review helpful By julier on December 18, 2008
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This is a spectacular performance of the Nutcracker with lots of little twists on the traditional dances. My parents who are classical music, ballet and opera lovers said it's the best Nutcracker they've ever seen. The dancing is marvelous, and the costumes are elegant and beautiful, set in the period during the San Francisco 1915 world's fair. If this is not the best Nutcracker, then it's got to be in the top two or three. You won't be disappointed if you purchase this DVD.
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62 of 73 people found the following review helpful By Leila Lappin on January 9, 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This performance could have been one of the most pleasant of Nutcracker performances available on DVD, if we could see the dance as it was choreographed and performed on the stage. But we see only bits and pieces of the dance shown through endless camera close ups.

During the entire dance we don't see the stage for more than 10 seconds at a time. What we see is close ups of faces, medium shots of one or two dancers in a small area of the stage, the panning of the camera to move along with the dancers from one side of the stage to the other and so on. We get a constant barrage of zoom in, zoom out, pan and scan. At some points if you are not suffering from motion sickness and frustration to the point of closing your eyes, you will notice that while the camera is panning you actually end up seeing blurry images of the dancers. So we get to watch the camera do its thing while the dancers do the dance on the stage that we don't get to see because they are not shown.

I don't know about anyone else but I don't watch a ballet for the smiling faces of the dancers. Furthermore, I'd like to let my own eyes do the panning and scanning of a ballet performance on the stage.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Ludix VINE VOICE on December 25, 2010
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
This staging by the San Francisco Ballet has a lot going for it. The turn-of-the-century setting is perfectly executed. Dancing and mime are top-notch throughout. The costumes are exquisite; check out the range of antique pastels used during the party scene.

The Christmas tree transition is really magical. Unlike many productions, this staging makes it clear that it's not the tree that is growing, but Clara who is shrinking down to a few inches high. The Mouse King is deliciously nasty-looking and melodramatic.

The "Dance of the Snowflakes" is particularly lovely, especially near the end, when the stage crew creates a near-blizzard of paper snow, dazzling to watch in high definition.

Unfortunately, the camera work is quite obtrusive. The credits list nine camera operators, and the video director was apparently determined to employ every one of them as often as possible. The result is a frantic sequence of closeups, pans, zooms and cross-cuts, with a new angle appearing every few seconds. In some numbers, the cuts actually occur on each bar of music, a cheesy effect that quickly becomes wearisome. The entire stage is rarely shown, and then only for a few moments. During the Act 1 party scene, the editing is so fast and furious, I never got a complete sense of what the set looked like. Things calm down a bit for Act 2, perhaps because the poor camerapeople were exhausted.

The set in Act 2 is disappointingly bland. I think it's supposed to represent the dome of the Palace of Fine Arts, but it seems rather dreary and industrial.

The score is well-played and recorded, although the percussion section sounds a bit distant compared to the rest of the orchestra.

A good disc overall, despite the caffeinated cameras. I would love to see this production performed live!
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Tchaikovsky: Nutcracker - San Francisco Ballet
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