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  • Tchaikovsky: Swan Lake [Blu-ray]
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Tchaikovsky: Swan Lake [Blu-ray]


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Product Details

  • Actors: Zurich Ballet, Zurich Opera Orchestra, Vladimir Fedoseyev, Polina Semionova, Stanislav Jermakov
  • Directors: Heinz Spoerli
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, Classical, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: French
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: BelAir Classiques
  • DVD Release Date: June 29, 2010
  • Run Time: 130 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B003CN97YW
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #353,449 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Tchaikovsky: Swan Lake [Blu-ray]" on IMDb

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

This 'Swan Lake' is a 'Swan Lake' for our times, capable of transporting the audience to another world. The magic in the story suddenly takes hold of the viewer. Ballet is not simply a way of telling the story. Rather than gestures asking to be deciphered, the choreographer created large-scale, visionary movements closer to an artistic language of symbols and plays on the whole spectrum of human emotions. It always maintains a relationship of creative tension with its surroundings, especially the music, the poetry of the set, the use of light and colour, the texture of the costumes.
A key element of this artistic responsibility is to tell the story precisely but openly, without pinning it down, especially the ending an ending which is in a many-faceted sense a 'deliverance'. Does this mean that the lovers are saved? Is the spell's power broken? Are there other kinds of salvation and deliverance? Perhaps even by death and transfiguration?

Ballerina Polina Semionova performs the mythic parts of Odette and Odile (white swan and black swan) with her great partner Stanislav Jermakov. The Zurich Opera House Orchestra is conducted by Russian musical director Vladimir Fedoseyev acclaimed in this repertoire

Customer Reviews

3.3 out of 5 stars
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See all 7 customer reviews
The picture is good but could be better.
N.Y.
What is not in doubt is the high level of technical and artistic skill demonstrated by the key players.
I. Giles
She holds some wonderful balances, and her characterization is very good.
Hannah Banana

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Andrin K. on August 3, 2010
Format: Blu-ray
I feel a bit guilty about giving this DVD only three stars. After all, a new production of Swan Lake is always welcome. Most of the choreography for the Zurich Ballet's Swan Lake is by Heinz Spoerli, and his intention to give us a modern version (but with classical ballet's vocabulary) is certainly to be applauded. So why only three stars?
Heinz Spoerli seems to feel that he has to defend classical ballet in general and Swan Lake in particular against those who believe that the 19th century repertory is dusty and old fashioned (tutus, tights and tiaras, silly I-you-love-Pantomime etc). So in order to avoid these accusations most of the potentially embarrassing elements have been eliminated (but not the tutus), leaving us with a very modern, minimalist stage and gloomy atmosphere that could have been interesting had the dancers been given the opportunity to do something with it. But the ballet as a whole looks strangely dry and bloodless, the dancers like neutral bodies, not characters. The Zurich Ballet company apparently has not had much experience with this kind of repertory - they dance mostly neoclassical works, which probably explains why this performance looks so abstract. I was disappointed to see the corps de ballet dancers on this DVD dancing to some imaginary metronome instead of the music, but maybe Mr. Spoerli's own choreography and the orchestra playing were encouraging them to do so (the orchestra is very good, but plays in a rather straight way).
Polina Semionova as Odette/Odile is guesting from Berlin. She has wonderful Russian schooling and plastique and an elegiac style.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By M. Paley on January 4, 2011
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
Polina Semionova is one of the greatest ballerinas in the world, and so this production has one thing going for it.
Otherwise, it is boring and sterile, danced on a bare (and sometimes darkish) stage, with a reduced number of
swans. Inexplicably, the evil magician Rothbart is also a friend of the Prince's and is present in most of the
court scenes as well as lakeside. The choreography is merely competent. Semionova deserves better and so do we.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By I. Giles TOP 100 REVIEWER on July 17, 2012
Format: Blu-ray
To get the technical side of this recording out of the way to start with, the quality of the recording is very good with believable sonics (DTS) and sympathetic camera work so purchasing with recording quality in mind is a safe option.

What may be more of a gamble is the interpretation of the story itself as seen through the mind of Heinz Spoerli, the choreographer. His interpretation is a deliberate decision to rid the ballet of all unnecessary detail as regards superfluous characterisations and scenery as he sees it and thus focus on the fundamentals of the story. By so doing it is intended to make this a more concentrated and effective production. Other artistic producers have taken the same line of course - The Otello opera at Barcelona and the Don Giovanni production at Aix-en-Provence spring to mind as very successful similar approaches. In each of those cases the drama is thrown squarely onto the main protagonists and in each case there is certainly an increased tension in the dramatic interplay.

So does it work here? Not for everyone if the split opinions/reviews here are anything to go by. What is not in doubt is the high level of technical and artistic skill demonstrated by the key players. The corps de ballet are well rehearsed although I do find some of the choreography to be a little lacking in grace - this may well be the result of distortions resulting from the use of wide angle lenses however. The orchestral playing is also well up to the task.

However, for me there is a lack of interaction here which makes this a very cool experience. There is a preponderance of slow tempi throughout which leads to an emphasis on appropriately skilful dancing but also a lack of sheer passion.
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By Ballet Fan on May 28, 2013
Format: Blu-ray
This is a Swan Lake for the 21st Century. The sado-masochistic undertones in the relationship between Siegfried and Rothbart have a Robert Mapplethorpe visual quality, with Siegfried down on his knees cowering before an arrogant Rothbart who keeps his groin in Siegfried's face and is naked to the waist under a dull red tuxedo jacket, with his chest dyed red.

If you like traditional costuming and sets, this is NOT the Swan Lake for you. The costumes in the birthday scene in the first act and in the ballroom scene are severely modern. Only the swan scenes are done in traditional white tutus. The drab costumes and sets make Tchaikovsky's music seem too lush for the production. On the plus side, the corps de ballet in the swan scenes is exceptionally well-disciplined. As for Semionova, if you like scrawny, long-limbed, masculinely athletic ballerinas, this is the Swan Lake for you. I found her VERY unfeminine in both appearance and style.
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