Amazon Vehicles Up to 80 Percent Off Textbooks Amazon Fashion Learn more Discover it $5 Albums Fire TV Stick Health, Household and Grocery Back to School Totes Summer-Event-Garden Amazon Cash Back Offer ElvisandNixon ElvisandNixon ElvisandNixon  Amazon Echo  Echo Dot  Amazon Tap  Echo Dot  Amazon Tap  Amazon Echo Starting at $49.99 All-New Kindle Oasis AutoRip in CDs & Vinyl Shop Now
Customer Review

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars View this as a documentary; you'll be amazed, July 15, 2007
This review is from: Gaite Parisienne (DVD)
I purchased this DVD thinking that I'd be watching a performance video, but Gaite Parisienne turned out to be a wonderful tribute to both the man who filmed it and one of his favorite dance performances. My 5-star rating is aimed at those who have an appreciation for big dance productions and a knowledge of the elements that go into staging these performances.

Starting in 1944, Victor Jessen went many times (hundreds?) to videotape countless segments of his favorite dance show at different venues. After about ten years, he spliced the pieces together as best as he could to try and synch up with a single musical recording (which he also made) from a 1954 performance. The result is truly amazing: a composite film of Gaite Parisienne, with scenes toggling from one performance to another--even with different casts!

There are four parts to this DVD:

THE PERFORMANCE (37 minutes). Video-wise it's literally low-budget, all b&w, with dance numbers that do not always sync up with the sound due to the incredible number of film snippets that had to be spliced together. Some of the camera angles would up chopping the heads off the dancers, but many others provided an audience perspective that creates a nice intimacy from an unusual vantage point. Think "documentary," and I'm confident you'll be okay with all the technical shortcomings. I'd strongly recommend turning on the explanatory subtitles and audio commentary (by Frederic Franklin, who danced the lead role of the Baron). It's a lively show, with lots of expressive choreography by Leonide Massine. Of course, the music is total fun.

FREDERIC FRANKLIN INTERVIEW (36 minutes). As one of the lead characters in the ballet, Mr. Franklin had tons of insight to virtually every aspect of the performances. He talks at length about his own experiences in creating roles and dancing the part of the Baron in Gaite Parisienne, Massine's influence on the production and the Ballets Russes de Monte Carlo (beginning in 1938), numerous noteworthy dancers in the show, the vagaries of touring, and other characteristics of dance in the 1930's and 1940's. The interview with producer John Mueller took place in Cincinnati in October 2004; Mr. Franklin is still alive as of this writing (b. 1914).

SAGA OF VICTOR JESSEN (12 minutes). Perhaps the most amazing twelve minutes of any performance documentary I've seen. I won't spoil the surprise, but you will not believe how Mr. Jessen was able to be so prolific in filming his favorite dance company, over and over again, using crude equipment.

PRODUCTIONS FILMED BY JESSEN (2 minutes). Numerous lists of performances captured on film by Mr. Jessen over more than a decade.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

Be the first person to comment on this review.

[Add comment]
Post a comment
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Amazon will display this name with all your submissions, including reviews and discussion posts. (Learn more)
Name:
Badge:
This badge will be assigned to you and will appear along with your name.
There was an error. Please try again.
Please see the full guidelines here.

Official Comment

As a representative of this product you can post one Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
The following name and badge will be shown with this comment:
 (edit name)
After clicking the Post button you will be asked to create your public name, which will be shown with all your contributions.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.  Learn more
Otherwise, you can still post a regular comment on this review.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
 
System timed out

We were unable to verify whether you represent the product. Please try again later, or retry now. Otherwise you can post a regular comment.

Since you previously posted an Official Comment, this comment will appear in the comment section below. You also have the option to edit your Official Comment.   Learn more
The maximum number of Official Comments have been posted. This comment will appear in the comment section below.   Learn more
Prompts for sign-in
  [Cancel]


Review Details

Item

Reviewer

J. Lizzi
(REAL NAME)   

Location: Costa Mesa, CA

Top Reviewer Ranking: 253,519