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Cinderella - Birmingham Royal Ballet


List Price: CDN$ 42.99
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Cinderella - Birmingham Royal Ballet + Delibes - Coppelia / Australian Ballet
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Product Details

  • Format: Classical, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: All RegionsAll Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: NR
  • Studio: Kultur
  • Release Date: May 3 2011
  • Run Time: 109 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004LXBKC4
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #37,824 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)

Product Description

Award-winning choreographer David Bintley creates his own stunning new Cinderella fairy story, with an unsettling edge of darkness, reflecting Prokofiev's searing score.

Designer John Macfarlane conjures up a magical world to bring this much loved fairytale to life. He transforms the cold grey kitchen into a dreamlike fantasy, all magical and shimmering; the glittering coach, brought on by mice and lizards, gleams with frost; the ball scene is a feast of swirling decadence; and Cinderella vanishes at the stroke of midnight through the whirring mechanism of a simply amazing clock. The piece ends with a vast celestial body melting on to the stage.

Elisha Willis's forlorn Cinderella is brutally treated by her two bullying stepsisters in their grim kitchen, encouraged by their elegant but superbly cruel mother. The sisters tread a nimble line between comedy and nastiness, while never descending to caricature. Their raucous behavior, as they attempt to attract the attention of every eligible bachelor they see, is brought to life with hilariously faulty footwork. But the show is made truly heartwarming through the vision of Cinderella's suffering being transformed into deserved joy as she meets her Prince and lives happily ever after.

'This Cinderella is a theatrical banquet for the eyes' THE TELEGRAPH

' ...a potent, imaginative and emotionally intoxicating version of an oft-told tale' THE STAGE

' ...the real achievement is Bintley's, for uniting a 17th-century fairy tale and a bittersweet 20th-century score in a production of real emotional resonance' GUARDIAN

'In ballet terms, this is a good Cinderella; as theater, it is sensational' EXPRESS

Director and Choreographer: DAVID BINTLEY
Set and Costume Designer: JOHN F. MACFARLANE
Stage Lighting Design: DAVID A. FINN
Music: SERGEI PROKOFIEV
Cinderella: ELISHA WILLIS
The Prince: IAIN MACKAY
Skinny: GAYLENE CUMMERFIELD
Dumpy: CAROL-ANNE MILLAR
Cinderella s Stepmother: MARION TAIT
The Fairy Godmother: VICTORIA MARR
Spring: MOMOKO HIRATA
Summer: LEI ZHAO
Autumn: ANGELA PAUL
Winter: DELIA MATHEWS
Prince s Friends: JAMIE BOND, JOSEPH CALEY, ALEXANDER CAMPBELL, MATHIAS DINGMAN
ROYAL BALLET SINFONIA
Conductor: KOEN KESSELS


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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews

By Patrick Garai on Nov. 11 2013
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
My favorite story as a child now in an adult version! And the concept was fresh the way it was presented. Love it!
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By K. Ryan on July 22 2012
Format: Blu-ray
Absolutely breathtaking. I could fill this whole review with superlatives and I wouldn't be overstating how much I enjoyed this production. This is easily my favorite Cinderella, and probably in my top 5 for ballets I've seen, on disc or live. Elisha Willis is an absolute joy as Cinderella. Her emotion is enthralling and extremely believable, and her dancing is graceful, smooth and effortless. The stepsisters are perfectly executed, and very funny.
The set design and costumes are magnificent, I wish all ballets had sets and costumes this beautiful. I enjoyed the substitution of the dances of the four seasons instead of the ethnic dances.
The editing was appropriate, with closeups (mostly) chosen well. One tiny quibble, I would have liked to have seen a wide shot of the huge clock as it comes together on stage. I think overall, the editing was very well done - everyone is going to have different tastes as to how much close up work they would like to see.
This Cinderella is a must own for any ballet library. Buy it - you won't regret it.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By riddimdaddy on May 1 2012
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
AFTER READING A REVIEW OF THIS PERFORMANCE OF CINDERELLA , I BOUGHT THE BUL RAY .

THE PERFORMANCE IS VERY TECHNICAL AND WELL LAID OUT .

I WOULD PREFER MORE EMOTION BETWEEN THE TWO MAIN DANCERS .

COSTUMES ARE BRIGHT AND COLORFUL , SETS ARE ARE IN STEP AND LEND TO THE STORY .

VIDEO IS A 9 AUDIO IS A 10 .

I WOULD RECOMMEND THIS VIDEO AS A TEACHING TOOL AND ANY AGE WILL ENJOY THE PERFORMANCE .

HOWEVER , I CAN NOT SAY THIS PERFORMANCE IS A DEFINITIVE VERSION .

RIDDIMDADDY.......
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 38 reviews
43 of 45 people found the following review helpful
Spectacular Traditional Cinderella! May 8 2011
By J. M WILINSKY - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The Cinderella ballet is one of those ballets that takes many different forms in the hands of various choreographers. Take for example the variation from the Monte Carlo Ballet Cinderella to Nureyev's Paris Opera Ballet version: barely recognizable as the same ballet, except for the music. This Birmingham Royal Ballet version follows the traditional story with the focus on Cinderella, herself(pretty much an essential) and her two stepsisters. Here, the stepsisters are named Skinny and Dumpy. Dumpy wears a fat-suit. Both sisters dance on pointe and almost steal the show. They are given very aggressive, athletic choreography and pull it off with perfect technique and humor. They are about the funniest stepsisters I have seen in a Cinderella ballet. Cinderella is equally impressive. She dances barefoot except when she dresses up for the prince's ball, and then she dances on pointe. The shoe she leaves at the ball when she scurries off is a pointe shoe, similar to the Nureyev version. Included in this Cinderella are the dances of the four seasons, often left out of many productions. We also get lots of impressive dancing from the prince, and there is also the role of the ballet teacher. What is excluded? The role of Cinderella's father has been cut out with the exception of a very brief appearance in the prologue. After that, he is never seen, a rather unusual occurrence in this ballet. Also, the prince's search for Cinderella is not very extensive. He doesn't search in foreign lands, for example, and so there are no ethnic dances. There was only one moment that I found very strange. When the prince finally finds Cinderella he is, of course, very happy, but when he notices that she is dressed in tattered clothes, for a moment, he thinks perhaps he is making a mistake. I think the ballet could have done without that strange moment, since it reflects badly on his character. All in all, the story is very traditional. The dancing, costumes, and sets are great. Being a recent stage performance, the image and sound are excellent, as is the camerawork. We don't get too many productions from the Birmingham Royal Ballet, so this is a very welcome addition to the available Cinderella productions.
25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
A Dreamlike Cinderella July 23 2011
By Energeticus - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
There have been several performances of "Cinderella" available on disc, and I think they own them all. They have all had problems: poor production values, poor camera work (in the Frederick Ashton version), poor direction, etc. Thus, when I attended the Pacific Northwest Ballet's wonderful version last year, with Carla Körbes in the lead role, I thought that just maybe I would never see a better Cinderella. The person with whom I attended the PNB version still likes that one better, but I would have to go for this BRB blu-ray. The main reason is Elisha Willis. She is the ideal Cinderella. She really comes across very well as an "everygirl." Her acting is very convincing and not even all that stagy...which makes the way she lights up at the ball even more amazing. Anyone watching this production sympathetically, male or female, will kind of fall in love with Cinderella. And Willis's dancing is first class, worthy of any great ballet company. Iain Mackay as the Prince is adequate. I think he was picked mostly for his princely looks, but that's OK. Cinderella is the one who really matters.

The choreography is mostly perfect: a kind of abridged, playful, sometimes speeded up version of the more serious Petipa classicism. It makes the whole work seem like something of a ballet in miniature. In one of the Prince's solos, a few mazurka steps are added at the very end where you don't expect them, which adds a feeling of lightness. One of Cinderella's solos is something of a summary of one of Aurora's in Sleeping Beauty-which I don't take as plagiarism but rather as a clever tribute. It's as if Cinderella were Aurora's little sister. My friend who preferred the PNB version cited the superior choreography given there to the ball dancers, and I don't think I can argue with that.

One of the reviewers criticized the sets, and I suppose I can agree that the kitchen set is awfully dingy. However, in this version the stepmother and her daughters do come off a bit more like pretentious hillbillies with a bit of spending money, especially at the ball, so maybe the shabby kitchen is dramatically appropriate after all. Be that as it may, I absolutely loved the sets for the ball and the finale. Their lack of realism was perfect for making the whole story seem like a dream: the way the night sky blends into the architecture of the palace...and especially the finale set's spectacular abstract sunrise combining many colors but centering on gold...and the highly color-blended lighting that bespeaks ecstasy. If you want something totally literal, then don't go for this. If you want a dreamlike ballet, then this is for you.
30 of 36 people found the following review helpful
A Very Interesting Ballet Movie Classic! July 5 2006
By J. M WILINSKY - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
First of all, this is from 1961 and is a very fine example of the Russian cinema from that period. It is in color with beautiful camera work, special effects of the period, and great acting. The camera gives us many closeups to show facial reactions. The image and sound quality are very good and typical of movies from that period. If you have been spoiled by the technical perfection of image and sound quality of today's digital products, you may not want this. I have met many people that tell me they refuse to watch any of the older movies for this reason! I, for one, am very glad to have these classics available to me(as I was growing up, I only heard about classic movies, but could never see them!). The performance, itself, is quite good with very interesting choreography. All the female parts are danced on pointe, including the ugly sisters, the mother and even the fairy godmother. We are also given the fairies of the seasons here with solos for each of them. The famous ballerina, Yekaterina Maximova, dances the role of the Spring fairy. The Prince is played by Gennadi Lediakh and he gives a very impressive performance with some extremely challenging solo variations(his opening solo includes an eleven-turn pirouette!). This was the period at the Bolshoi that was strongly influenced by Asaf Messerer(Maya Plisetskaya's uncle) who helped bring the Bolshoi into the modern age of classical technique. Cinderella is danced by Raisa Struchkova and she shows us a very convincing and spirited character. Keeping in mind that this is from a bygone era, I highly recommend it!
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
timeless June 25 2007
By maiden pa. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I was really scared to buy this after reading the other reviews. I bought it anyway and I don't regret it. The film is old but it has Struckova in it and that makes it worth it alone. Ekaterina Maximova plays the part of Spring in it and she is very young at the time of this production. Having Maximova is a bonus. Yes it is an old film,but for historic purposes alone it makes it worth it. Don't forget to buy Anyuta: Ekaterina Maximova with Vasiliev. It's fantastic.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Radiant Raisa June 27 2000
By Deborah Brooks - Published on Amazon.com
Format: VHS Tape
Raisa Struchkova dances the role of Cinderella. While she is not as famous in the West as some other Russian ballerinas of her day (e.g., Plisetskaya, Maximova), she was very respected and loved in Russia. I saw first saw this movie when it was new and I was about 12. I loved it then, and despite my usual criticisms of old Russian ballet films (outdated/corny special effects, not the best filming, sometimes melodramatic acting), I was very happy to find this version of the ballet on video, as I think Struchkova's dancing is underrepresented on video. She radiates such warmth and love of dancing that it always makes me just feel good to watch her.
Her prince is Gennadi Lediakh, who, typical of his generation, displayed more virility and power than refinement of technique. However, he is a dashing and believable prince and an excellent complement to Struchkova.
Besides Struchkova's performance, my favorite part of the ballet is the dances of the Fairies of Spring (the lovely and future great Ekaterina Maximova), Summer, Fall and Winter, with their beautiful costumes and set.
Look for other productions of Cinderella by the Berlin Comic Opera Ballet, the Paris Opera Ballet and the Royal Ballet.


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