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Tchaikovsky: Nutcracker and the Mouse King Special Edition - Exclusive Bonus Feature [Blu-ray]

4.2 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

This special-priced blu-ray of The Nutcracker and the Mouse King includes more than 150 minutes of highlights from 50 critically acclaimed opera, ballet, concert and documentary productions.

Product Details

  • Actors: Eagling, Florio, Tsygankova, Schayk, Golding
  • Directors: __
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, Classical, NTSC, Special Edition, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Arthaus
  • DVD Release Date: September 24, 2013
  • Run Time: 248 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00E3VFULQ
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #30,415 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Prequel:
This disc was issued not long ago at more than twice the price. My well received review for that release is copy/pasted below. Many may find it even more tempting at the lower price now being asked.

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Previous release's review

This version of the Nutcracker Ballet by Wayne Eagling and Toer van Schayk was created as long ago as 1996 and has been a popular and regular part of the Dutch Ballet repertoire ever since. It differs from the Petipa based versions in several ways as described in some detail below and which may or may not be a problem for non-Dutch purchasers.

The setting is placed in Amsterdam in 1810 rather than a small German town. The time of the action is on the eve of St. Nicholas rather than Christmas Eve. This is because there was no tradition of giving Christmas presents in the Netherlands at the beginning of the 19th century. Neither of these changes seems to me to require very much adjustment on the part of the viewer - just a little flexibility, even though the use of ice skates for some of the initial dancing outside Clara's house may come as more of a surprise! It reminded me of my eldest daughter's experience of living in Holland several years ago where temporary outdoors skating rinks were a regular feature of Dutch winter life.

More importantly there are major changes to the 2nd act where, instead of being set in the Kingdom of Sweets, Clara dreams that she has been transported to a land through a magical lantern where people from Clara's life and the 1st act party reappear. These also arrive through the magic lantern lens which forms a central part of the backdrop scenery.
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If you love ballet, you'll love this production. The dancing is superb. Apparently those that rated it two stars didn't notice the different title and have little or no tolerance for the unfamiliar.

I have six versions of the traditional Nutcracker, all with their slight variations. It was refreshing to see it with non-Petipa choreography.

The adult Clara is danced by Anna Tsygankova, who also danced the title character in the Dutch National Ballet's Giselle. She was very good in Giselle, but her dancing in this production was much more impressive. It was also nice that the child Clara so closely resembled the adult.
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This production of the Nutcracker from Amsterdam ballet company features Matthew Golding (Prince), one of the best dancers in the world. This fact alone makes it a not to be missed event. James Stout (Nutcracker) proved to be a young dancer who raised by eyebrows on several occasions. The production itself is quite spectacular, with lots of theatrical effects and surprises. Personally, I did not quite get reworking of the second act divertissement, which is very elaborate but a bit too mental. Overall, very strong and interesting production - must see, especially since it is on Blu-ray. Get a cheap Blu-ray player, if you still don't have one.
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Moving my previous review to this new issue ~ at this price do not hesitate to purchase!I can't believe this performance only has one review ~ it should have hundreds ... all glowing. While my passion for ballet has never dimmed, long, long ago had my desire to see yet another Nutcracker ~ I do not know what possessed me to purchase this video; perhaps the previous excellent review or the notion of a dutch update. Am I ever glad that I did. This production is simply breathtakingly beautiful, charming and sincere. No changes that make any true alteration to the story, but changes that actually make one think a little deeper ... the Land of Sweets may appeal to children, but honestly that syrupy sweetness stood in the way of many a good Nutcracker production. I can't speak enough of the beauty of the set design and direction, both in their simplicity and ability to evoke a familiarity that draws one in ... genius work! The early frozen canal and skating interlude / entrance stands out as a highlight as does it's simple begining set in a bathroom (!? - it was touchingly sweet) - everything just works. The dancing is superb, all leads even down to the mouse king exceptional - the conducting masterful, delicate and sincere - I'm not sure I've ever heard it's score played better - I think it also a compliment to it's unique staging and direction that lends one to better 'hear' the story. The High-Def filming and sound are superbly mastered, making it's viewing even more the treat. As someone who in most every aspect possible is a traditionalist, I can't recommend this production more heartedly. Before last night I mostly likely would have told you I'd never sit down and watch the Nutcracker again ... Now I can tell you, this will be coming out every year at Christmastime (or St. Nicholas Eve) to set the mood for the season. I adored it. I believe you will as well.
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This is an interesting, modernized version - to some extent - of a perennial holiday classic.

Anyone knowing the more-traditional choreographies/stagings of this work may be pleasantly surprised or unpleasantly shocked by the proceedings. Yes, all of the big solo moments pretty much follow the traditional balletic script. It's in the "set-up" pieces and a couple of the set pieces that the innovation is apparent.

The video is super sharp with beautiful colors. The audio is very good if not of demonstration quality.

BTW - the "exclusive bonus feature" on this BluRay has nothing to do with The Nutcracker. It's an advertising reel featuring highlights from 50 other Arthaus video productions that you may want to buy.

Still, recommended.
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Tchaikovsky: Nutcracker and the Mouse King Special Edition - Exclusive Bonus Feature [Blu-ray]
This item: Tchaikovsky: Nutcracker and the Mouse King Special Edition - Exclusive Bonus Feature [Blu-ray]
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