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  • Tchaikovsky - The Sleeping Beauty / Fonteyn, Somes, Ashton, Grey, Sadler's Wells Ballet
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Tchaikovsky - The Sleeping Beauty / Fonteyn, Somes, Ashton, Grey, Sadler's Wells Ballet


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Product Details

  • Actors: Margot Fonteyn, Beryl Grey, Frederick Ashton
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Black & White, Classical, Closed-captioned, NTSC
  • Language: Estonian, English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Video Artists Int'l
  • DVD Release Date: September 28, 2004
  • Run Time: 66 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0002VGRAE
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #216,314 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Tchaikovsky - The Sleeping Beauty / Fonteyn, Somes, Ashton, Grey, Sadler's Wells Ballet" on IMDb

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Editorial Reviews

VAI DVD 4295 Margot Fonteyn, Michael Somes, Frederick Ashton, Beryl Grey. Sadler’s Wells Ballet (Royal Ballet). Choreography by Petipa. Music by Tchaikovsky. Conducted by Robert Irving Broadcast of December 14, 1955. Approx. 90 min. B&W

Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By customer on July 29, 2008
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The first time I viewed this DVD I had trouble with the dimly preserved image. I'm glad that I gave it another chance, because I now realize what a magnificent, museum quality performance it is. This is one of Fonteyn's most splendid roles. Technically dazzling, she does something special with a part that is pretty difficult to work with. Her technique is beyond reproach, her personal beauty and charm make this (for me) the greatest Sleeping Beauty, and one of the most impressive performances I've ever seen. She's the perfect, archetypal Aurora.

No wonder New York fell in love with her in 1949 when she made her debut there, dancing Aurora with such magnetism that the audience went berserk.

Also on this DVD is the rare opportunity to see Alexander Grant, considered to be the best male dancer produced by Great Britain. He's one of the Three Ivans, the character dancers that appear at Aurora's wedding. His power, charisma and prowess are mind boggling. He also appears in the same role on the DVD An Evening with the Royal Ballet. But in that performance the Three Ivans dance to different music (I think from Nutcracker), the choreography is less impressive, and the camera work is extremely irritating.

While this DVD could use the loving restoration that some get from Criterion for example, we're fortunate to have this at all. There is another fantastic DVD with Fonteyn and Grant that is available in Great Britain (and cheap!) at the moment, but not in North America yet. It's called The Royal Ballet, a film made by the visionary Paul Czinner. On it is Act II of Swan Lake with a Fonteyn so beautiful that just watching her is a transcendental experience.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By kaream on July 21, 2006
I have no disagreement with Ms. Lin's thoughtful review, but would add that not only is this important document in black-and-white, but both video and audio are seriously degraded; it can be quite painful to try to watch. You would certainly not want to have this as your only version of Sleeping Beauty.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By John Hevelin on February 4, 2013
My partner and I purchased this DVD because she was curious about Margot Fonteyn's dancing. We understood that this performance had been produced for television and were prepared for modifications for that medium. What we weren't prepared for was the disgracefully blurred camera work that predominates throughout the entire performance. Only a few solo performances seem to be in focus -- the rest of the performance is extremely difficult to watch. The trick photography introduced into the scene where the Lilac Fairy leads the Prince to the sleeping castle is also annoying. We paid over thirty dollars for this DVD, and it is very disappointing.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Jancal TOP 1000 REVIEWER on March 30, 2013
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This '50s black & white TV production of Sleeping Beauty is certainly flawed by today's standards, with some blurring around the edges, but except for that the center stage is in clear focus and the camera is mainly trained on the two lead dancers Margot Fonteyn and Michael Somes. Except for the short ballet film Royal Ballet by Paul Czinner (available on VHS, or as part of a 2-DVD set with the BBC-TV biopic Margot), this is one of the rare filmed accounts available of Fonteyn from the 1950s pre-Nureyev, and is a very worthwhile addition to your ballet film library. She embodies the young & beautiful Aurora with girlish innocence, still herself in youthful bloom, the figure rounder and less muscled than in later years, with larger yet shapely thighs. The camera's occasional zoom-in "cut" shots are mainly of her, which rather than an annoyance is quite welcome if you are a Fonteyn fan - closeups of the perfect enpointe footwork, or the lovely expressive face which as always acts out the character's varying emotions so well. Michael Somes is handsome enough, his Prince a reserved romantic part that had not yet been expanded for the male lead, which was later done by Nureyev's stagings. The costumes are rather heavy and Edwardian for this romantic ballet, Fonteyn wearing a wide fan-shaped crown, and Somes in incongruous loose thigh-high suede boots for the first act. But to me, a record of Margot Fonteyn's Sleeping Beauty in her prime years is a priceless treasure, as I thought she was the greatest ballerina, having seen her just one time in her later years in Marguerite & Armand with Nureyev, when even then she lit up the stage at the Met in NYC and brought the house down.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By bully on May 18, 2012
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In spite of what other people may think, in my oppinion, this is a very good dvd.It is very old,and
technology wansn't then what it is now.Leaving that apart, where else can you see Margot Fonteyn dancing her most famous role?.Nobody has equal let alone surpass her in that role.Forget the technology and concentrate in the beauty of her dancing.
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