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Tchaikovsky - Swan Lake / Makarova, Dowell, Royal Ballet Covent Garden

Natalia Makarova , Anthony Dowell    NR (Not Rated)   DVD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 42.99
Price: CDN$ 30.17 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Tchaikovsky - Swan Lake / Makarova, Dowell, Royal Ballet Covent Garden + Tchaikovsky - The Nutcracker / Baryshnikov, Kirkland, Charmoli + Romeo and Juliet (Royal Ballet)- Rudolf Nureyev and Margot Fonteyn
Price For All Three: CDN$ 90.66

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Product Description

Product Description

It is difficult to believe today that Swan Lake was a failure on its production in 1877 and was not successful until the Petipa/Ivanov version of 1895. Today it is regarded as one of the greatest works in the art of ballet. The magic of Tchaikovsky’s music, embodying the love of Prince Siegfried for the enchanted Swan Queen, has greatly contributed to making this the best loved of all classical ballets. This production, with designs by the late Leslie Hurry, stars Natalia Makarova as Odette-Odile and Anthony Dowell as Prince Siegfried. Prince Siegfried celebrates his twenty-first birthday; his mother tells him it is time to marry, but he prefers to go hunting. Alone, by a lakeside, he sees a swan who turns to human form. She is an enchanted princess who can be saved only by true love. He promises this, but is tricked by the wicked magician who disguises his own daughter as the swan-maiden. In despair, Siegfried and the swan-maiden leap to death together and their sacrifice destroys the evil power.

Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exceptional Performance March 28 2014
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This performance shows the highest standard of Principal Dancers, Character Artists and Corps de Ballet. The sets and filming were so perfect for this way of viewing, both for full stage and close-up scenes. I particularly loved how the dance, lighting and facial expressions were so befitting the scenes, be it swans who remain serene but for the wicked smiling one summoned by the magician or dancers at Royal events in the castle ballroom scenes. All round superb version that will please all, be they dancers themselves or those who simply love ballet at its finest !
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4.0 out of 5 stars It is good ! Jan. 9 2014
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I did not personally used the product, as it was my gift to my sister. She told me she like it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Swan Lake July 26 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
A beautiful performance, everone can enjoy it from their armchair. Excellent Sound and Picture!!!! It is like you are right there in the theater, even better, because of the close up shots.
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5.0 out of 5 stars ballet at it's best July 9 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This was one of the most beautiful performances I've seen......and I've seen a lot. It was a gift for a friend who was a ballerina in her youth and she was so enthralled with it.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Superb effort Dec 25 2012
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Makarova is, as one might expect, superb. But I really liked Dowell as well. He has a shy, yet confident quality. All in all, one of the best ballet performances I've ever seen.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Technology is out of date Dec 22 2012
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
According to Blue Ray standards, this CD is a bit out of date. I wish I had bought a blue ray.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Overrated Jan. 27 2002
By Rick
Format:VHS Tape
I've been meaning to review this tape for quite some time, because I cannot account for what my fellow reviewers have written about it. "Swan Lake" is my very favorite ballet, and my video dance collection includes 12 complete performances, 2 abridged versions, plus numerous excerpts. Over a period of time, I've found that I rarely watch this one, as it hasn't held my interest.
This performance of the Royal Ballet was filmed live in 1980 at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden in London for an invited audience. Odette-Odile is performed by Natalia Markarova; Prince Siegfried is danced by Anthony Dowell. Choreography is by Frederick Ashton (after Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov). The tape is clearly filmed and has nice production values.
The waltz in the first act is Ashton's own choreography. I don't care for it because the steps are too loosely related to the well-known social dance for my personal tastes. In a typical Kirov performance, the waltz is an opportunity to show just how graceful the dancers are, but in Ashton's version, it evolves into a spectacle of big jumps and intricate footwork that, unfortunately, doesn't fit the character of the music very well. The highlight of the first act is Anthony Dowell's variation, which is beautifully performed.
The ballerina makes her appearance in the second act. Makarova certainly has a lovely quality to her adage, featuring nice leg extensions and graceful movements, however, there are other areas of her dance that are not nearly as polished. Makarova isn't an accomplished jumper; for instance, her sissonnes in Odette's solo near the end of the second act are the most lethargic I've ever seen on videotape. Furthermore, she's not a prodigious turner, and her supported pirouettes are often a bit rough.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Makarova was, obviously arguably.... given some of the reviews below, the Odette/Odile of her generation. I have not seen a "better" one since. Therefore, this DVD is a must: it's the only visual record we have of her performance. And, notwithstanding criticisms by other reviewers below, I think her performance is a pretty eloquent one, in technique and style. I have seen her quite a few times in the role, and though this is a bit short of the magic I know she could generate, it is fairly representative. I consider myself lucky to have it.
Now, as to the rest and why I think, in general, this performance is disappointing. Dowell was a very fine dancer: crisp, clean lines, elegant and satisfactory virtuosity, all in evidence here, as is his natural reticence which is out of place in this piece....... There is no chemistry between him and Makarova. He might as well have been reading the phonebook as he danced. In some ways he struck me as the all-purpose, highly skilled partner doing his job for the visiting ballerina of the evening. Makarova had great partners in this role throughout her career, most notably Ivan Nagy. Together they could make the second act pas-de-deux a truly moving experience. It's a pity such wasn't the case here.
Another drawback to this performance was the Royal Ballet itself. I think it was in a rather fallow period at the time. The swans sleepwalk through their part and are off-and-on sloppy. The various dances in the third act are a bore, the Spanish Dance is particularly ludicrous. Though Wayne Sleep does a very good job in the Italian number, everybody else in all the other dances reek of mediocrity, particularly the women. There's no virtuosity, no command of line or technique.... Where's the zest?
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars It was enchanting.
The first scene of the first act was pretty boring but I have to say that the scene 2 of act 1, act 2 and act 3 were the best I have ever seen. Read more
Published on Jan. 28 2007 by Rach
5.0 out of 5 stars Exquisite
On the whole, this was an excellent production. The dancing was exquisite, as well as the whole look of the production. Read more
Published on June 21 2006 by a customer
3.0 out of 5 stars A bird or a princess?
Is Odette a swan or a princess? I suppose that this has been a longstanding question for many balerinas. For my part I am inclined to think that she is first of all a princess! Read more
Published on July 1 2004 by "michaelfraydon"
4.0 out of 5 stars Good--But not the best
This is a very good performance of Swan Lake from the renowned Bolshoi. However there is an updated version on film, again under the direction of Yuri Grigorivich, performed in... Read more
Published on Oct. 19 2003 by "tamdhoang"
4.0 out of 5 stars Where are the feet?
The performance is lovely. Makarova is simply brilliant. But I was really disappointed with the camera angle. The dancers' feet were cut off most of the time. Read more
Published on July 31 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars This version is one to own!! Great Performance!!
I nevered viewed Swan Lake until I purchased this DVD. I found the music and the ballet breathless. There were other DVDs of Swan Lake available which I watched as well. Read more
Published on July 31 2003 by DANIEL BORN
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Swan Lake Ever
I have 8 Swan Lake videos. This is the one I like most!
Published on July 2 2003
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