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A Tribute to Jerome Robbins 2013


Ten years after his death, the Paris Opera Ballet payed homage to the American choreographer who considered the Paris Opera as his second home after New York City Ballet.

Dorotee Gilbert, Marie-Agnes Gilot, Nicolas Le Riche
1 hour, 50 minutes

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Product Details

Director Vincent Battallion
Starring Dorotee Gilbert, Marie-Agnes Gilot, Nicolas Le Riche, Agnes Letestu
Studio Bel Air Classique
MPAA rating NR (Not Rated)
Purchase rights Stream instantly Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video)

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By I. Martinez-Ybor VINE VOICE on November 24, 2011
Format: Blu-ray
Note this blu ray is shown under Product Description as being region B/2 encoded which means it will NOT play in most US/Canada machines (which are region A/1). Amazon normally displays such information prominently. They failed to do so here.

HOWEVER if one looks at the rear of the box, one can see the imprint of the seal denoting the blu-ray to be region free. European sites show the blu-ray being region 0, that is, region free.

So, it seems Amazon probably made a mistake in the Product Description. I called them and the people on the phone have no product access, they see what we see. So, what is one to do?

UPDATE 09March2012: Amazon has corrected its entry to note that it is indeed a region-free blu ray. I got it in Amazon France and it is beautiful. The performances are exquisite even if, good as the Paris Opera Ballet soloists are in the Ravel, the eloquent Maire-Agnès Gillot and Florian Magnenet, they do not erase memories of Suzanne Farrell and Peter Martins who originated the parts. "en Sol" (concerto in G) is one of Robbins' loveliest pieces and the POB does it so well, as if it had been done on them. The couples in "In the Night" are eloquent in this hard to categorize piece, certainly not "left-over Dances at a Gathering" but extraordinarily intense dance interpretation of Chopin Nocturnes, almost hot-house in atmosphere. The Concert, even after all the times I have seen it by the NYCB, still proves to be very funny, indeed laugh-out-loud funny, and the POB performs it very well, and in certain magic moments in the piece, like the umbrella section, overt humor is suspended into a moment of ecstatic, absurd beauty. The Benjamin Millepied "Triade" commissioned by the POB for this program, to Nico Muhly's music, is a treat, with a certain ironic flavor, and brilliant dancing. Mr. Millepied, no longer a dancer though still in his thirties, becoming now a full-time choreographer, seems indeed to have much to offer.
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Format: DVD
'Tribute to Jerome Robbins' contains some excellent ballets by Jerome Robbins; En Sol, In the Night, and The Concert. This is one of the most perfect collections of his genius, showing one of his lighter ballets, an emotional and genius one, and finally, a comedic one. The music, a collection of Ravel and Chopin, is played exquisitely. The first of these ballets, En Sol, is a Broadway musical-esque balletic scene of a day at the beach, with somewhat abstract scenery and costumes. The ballet is fun, exciting, light-hearted, and touching. Ravel's music stunningly fits into every single movement of Robbins' dance. Marie-Agnès Gillot is excellent here, as well. The next ballet by Robbins is In the Night, a testament to his genius. It is emotionally complex, yet so simple and effective - an amazing effect for the viewer. The ballet is based on the structure of Les Sylphides - to the music of Chopin, in a series of 'atmospheric variations'. The scenery is of a starry night sky, with costumes accompanying each pas de deux, with each representing a different stage of romance, or life in general. One has to see it to feel the emotional charges accompanying it; it's something inexplicable and stunning, especially with such amazing dancers (notably Nicolas Le Riche, Agnès Letestu, Clairemarie Osta, and Benjamin Pech). The last of his ballets on this DVD is The Concert, a laugh-out-loud funny 'interpretation' of the music of Chopin. It all begins with a curtain, were the viewer sees a cartoon theater within a theater (viewed from within a theater). The pianist (Vessela Pelovska, who is absolutely genius) walks on and provides a hilarious introduction to her beautiful music, as various spectators come see her play. Each spectator is a caricature of very typical people who go to such concerts.Read more ›
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
We don't see much of Jerome Robbins in ballet discography. Perhaps he has been overshadowed by his colleague, George Balanchine, or he has been too often considered only a movie musical choreographer. But Jerome Robbins has made great contributions to serious(and comically serious!) ballet. We see three of his ballets in this recording of a live performance: one to the music of Ravel, and two to the music of Chopin. These ballets feature many solos and small groupings including pas de deux. Each ballet is wonderfully danced by Etoiles of the Paris Opera Ballet, along with dancers of lesser rank(but not lesser talent!) One interesting aspect of this performance is that we actually have Etoiles partnered by not only Premier Danseurs, but also Sujets, Coryphees, and Quadrilles. (The ranks of the Paris Opera Ballet from the highest to the lowest are: Etoile, Premier Danseur or Premiere Danseuse, Sujet, Coryphee, and Quadrille.) That is unusual for the Paris Opera Ballet, but I love to see it. There is a fourth ballet presented in this performance choreographed by Benjamin Millepied(otherwise known as Mr. Natalie Portman). He actually danced for Jerome Robbins and wanted to make this a further tribute to him. He is making quite a name for himself as a choreographer lately, and this shows why: his ballet is fantastic! All of these ballets basically have a story element behind the choreography, but do not actually engage in any type of story narrative. This is very common in modern ballet miniatures. It is somewhat abstract ballet, but not quite.
Unfortunately, there are no special features. The packaging is very nice. It is basically a small hard covered book with a DVD case in the back of the book. The book gives a brief biography of Jerome Robbins and a description and history of each ballet.
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