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Tchaikovsky - Maurice Bejart's The Nutcracker / Bejart Ballet Lausanne

DVD

3.3 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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(Nov 21, 2000)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

The showman of twentieth-century dance, Maurice Bejart, presents his unique version of the well-loved Christmas ballet The Nutcracker. Using Tchaikovsky's score in its entirety, augmented with popular waltz and accordion music performed on-stage by the legendary Yvette Horner, Bejart takes the original St. Petersburg story as a springboard from which to evoke the memories, emotions, and feelings of his own life's journey from a Marseille childhood. Recorded live at the Theatre du Chatelet in Paris. Damaas Thijs, Elisabet Ros, Gil Roman, Juichi Kobayashi, Yvette Horner. 103 minutes.

Amazon.com

Don't expect battling mice, giant Christmas trees, and waltzing snowflakes in world-renowned choreographer Maurice Bejart's boldly different take on Tchaikovsky's beloved ballet, The Nutcracker. Discarding entirely the traditional story of Clara and the statuette she rescues and accompanies to a candy kingdom, Bejart uses Tchaikovsky's score to accompany his own life story (which only briefly portrays Christmas). When his mother "departs on a long journey," the 7-year-old Bim (danced by Damaas Thijs) is seduced into the world of dance by a character (Gil Roman) who represents both Faust's Mephistopheles and Marius Petipa, the groundbreaking French choreographer and dancer who brought Tchaikovsky's original ballet to life. While Bim learns dance, he still envisions the ideal of his mother, who is represented by a towering Botticelli Venus-like statue and with whom he finally achieves a bond in a near-nude pas de deux that more than hints of incest.

As in the original, the second-act divertissement is mostly different dance vignettes, here represented as acts in a Marseilles circus. In the greatest divergence from the original score, the middle of the act adds a handful of French café tunes featuring Yvette Horner's accordian, which can be heard embellishing a few other dances (and has something of a parallel in Tchaikovsky's innovative use of the celeste). The grand pas de deux, however, is performed very traditionally following Petipa's original choreography. On a screen above the stage, Bejart himself appears in occasional segments explaining certain plot points, and he goes into more detail in the DVD's 22-minute behind-the-scenes feature, which also includes comments from collaborators and members of Bejart's loyal and longstanding company, Théâtre Musical de Paris Châtelet. If your mind is open to a nontraditional production that includes bare-chested boy scouts and a pair perhaps best described as "drag kings," you'll probably be fascinated by this strikingly envisioned, expertly danced performance. --David Horiuchi


Special features

  • Behind-the-scenes featurette (22 min.)

Product details

  • Actors: Damaas Thijs, Elizabeth Ros, Gil Roman, Jûichi Kobayashi, Christine Blanc
  • Directors: Ross MacGibbon
  • Writers: Maurice Béjart
  • Producers: Ross MacGibbon, Colin Wilson, Jacques Hédouin, Jane Seymour, Yves Rolland
  • Format: Anamorphic, Classical, Color, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo), English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Dubbed: English, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Image Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: November 21, 2000
  • Run Time: 102 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews
  • ASIN: B000050GC5
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #207,126 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
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  • Learn more about "Tchaikovsky - Maurice Bejart's The Nutcracker / Bejart Ballet Lausanne" on IMDb

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