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"Essential Royal Ballet" is the BBC programme introduced by Katie Derham, aired not so long ago. Basically, it was a compilataion of extracts taken from recordings already available on DVD/Blu-Ray and I guess many of us will have recorded it?

 

This from the blurb:

 

"A SPECIAL FEATURE-LENGTH PROGRAMME TAKING YOU TO THE HEART OF THE ROYAL BALLET. Katie Derham introduces highlights from the past ten years at the Royal Ballet, weaving the history of ballet through carefully curated excerpts from the past decade, and goes behind the scenes to see what it takes to be a dancer in the company of The Royal Ballet as they prepare to take to the stage. With stunning solos, passionate pas de deux and jaw-dropping numbers for the corps de ballet, it is a chance to see your favourite dancers up close, including Carlos Acosta, Marianela Nuñez, Natalia Osipova and Steven McRae, alongside rising stars like Francesca Hayward and Matthew Ball, who will introduce their favourite ballets and share stories of their life on the stage. The ballets featured include the classics Giselle, La Bayadere, Swan Lake, The Sleeping Beauty and The Nutcracker while the 20th-century heritage of The Royal Ballet is explored in works by Frederick Ashton and Kenneth MacMillan. The contemporary life of the company is showcased in works by Christopher Wheeldon and Wayne McGregor.

 

This one has now been. listed on Amazon

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I see that whilst the version of 'Essential Royal Ballet' broadcast at Christmas was an hour long, the DVD is 1 hour 45 minutes long, so there must be extra ballet excerpts and/or extra interview footage. Might make it worth a punt!

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I was about to ask whether there was more to it than the one hour, which we all thought was too short (and I was thinking was pretty short for a DVD release).  If someone buys it, please do report back on the additional bits.

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There is a more detailed list of contents of this disc on the Tower Records Japan website, it is in Japanese but you can auto-translate it.

 

https://tower.jp/item/5085673/エッセンシャル・ロイヤル・バレエ

1. "Giselle" Act 2 "Pas de Deux"... Natalia Osipova, Carlos Acosta
2. "La Bayadere" The Kingdom of Shadows”…Yuhui Choe, Yasmine Naghdi, Akane Takada, Corps de Ballet
3. “Don Quixote” “Solo of Espada”…Ryoichi Hirano
4. Act 3 of the Swan Lake “Pas de deux… Marianela Nunez, Vadim Muntagirov
5. The Nutcracker “The Waltz of the Flowers ”… Yuhui Choe, Francesca Hayward, Gary Avis, Alexander Campbell
6. The Nutcracker “The Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy” Lauren Cuthbertson .

7. Symphonic Variations... Marianela Nunez, Yasmine Naghdi, Yuhui Choe, Vadim Muntagirov, James Hay, Tristan Dyer
8. La Fille Mal Gardee "Clog Dance"  Will Tuckett,  Deirdre Chapman, Cindy Jourdain, Sarah Lamb, Laura Morera
9. “A Midsummer Night's Dream” “Pas de Deux”… Akane Takada, Stephen McRae
10. Romeo And Juliet Act 1 "Pas de Deux"... Yasmine Naghdi, Matthew Ball
11. " Mayerling " Act 2 "Pas De Deux"... Mara Galeazzi, Edward Watson
12. "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" "Madhatter's Tea Party" ... Steven McRae, Lauren Cuthbertson, Romany Pajdak, Paul Kay
13. "Infra" ... Marianela Nunez, Edward Watson
14. "Sleeping Beauty", Act 3 Finale 
15. Credits

*Before each performance, commentary by Katie Derham and comments by Kevin O'Hare Artistic Director, stage director Christopher Kerr, and dancers comments

 

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14 hours ago, ChrisG said:

I see that whilst the version of 'Essential Royal Ballet' broadcast at Christmas was an hour long, the DVD is 1 hour 45 minutes long, so there must be extra ballet excerpts and/or extra interview footage. Might make it worth a punt!

 

The disc cover (rear) gives a running time of 1 hour 28 minutes. 

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14 hours ago, Naomi M said:

There is a more detailed list of contents of this disc on the Tower Records Japan website, it is in Japanese but you can auto-translate it.

 

https://tower.jp/item/5085673/エッセンシャル・ロイヤル・バレエ

1. "Giselle" Act 2 "Pas de Deux"... Natalia Osipova, Carlos Acosta
2. "La Bayadere" The Kingdom of Shadows”…Yuhui Choe, Yasmine Naghdi, Akane Takada, Corps de Ballet
3. “Don Quixote” “Solo of Espada”…Ryoichi Hirano
4. Act 3 of the Swan Lake “Pas de deux… Marianela Nunez, Vadim Muntagirov
5. The Nutcracker “The Waltz of the Flowers ”… Yuhui Choe, Francesca Hayward, Gary Avis, Alexander Campbell
6. The Nutcracker “The Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy” Lauren Cuthbertson .

7. Symphonic Variations... Marianela Nunez, Yasmine Naghdi, Yuhui Choe, Vadim Muntagirov, James Hay, Tristan Dyer
8. La Fille Mal Gardee "Clog Dance"  Will Tuckett,  Deirdre Chapman, Cindy Jourdain, Sarah Lamb, Laura Morera
9. “A Midsummer Night's Dream” “Pas de Deux”… Akane Takada, Stephen McRae
10. Romeo And Juliet Act 1 "Pas de Deux"... Yasmine Naghdi, Matthew Ball
11. " Mayerling " Act 2 "Pas De Deux"... Mara Galeazzi, Edward Watson
12. "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" "Madhatter's Tea Party" ... Steven McRae, Lauren Cuthbertson, Romany Pajdak, Paul Kay
13. "Infra" ... Marianela Nunez, Edward Watson
14. "Sleeping Beauty", Act 3 Finale 
15. Credits

*Before each performance, commentary by Katie Derham and comments by Kevin O'Hare Artistic Director, stage director Christopher Kerr, and dancers comments

 

 

I don't see anything here that isn't on the recording I took of the BBC4 airing. I suppose the extracts might be longer on the disk. Hopefully, as Alison suggesed above,  someonewill report back in due course.

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It would hardly be the first time the Royal Opera House has released "clip shows" on DVD (or VHS, come to that) ;)  (And isn't there more than one "Essential Royal Ballet"?)  Perhaps it's a good introduction for people who aren't sure yet, and/or who just like the highlights?

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On 03/09/2020 at 08:55, David said:

I don't see anything here that isn't on the recording I took of the BBC4 airing. I suppose the extracts might be longer on the disk. Hopefully, as Alison suggested above,  someone will report back in due course.

 

There do appear to be some additions, highlighted here, which were not in the BBC transmitted version. 

 

1. "Giselle" Act 2 "Pas de Deux"... Natalia Osipova, Carlos Acosta
2. "La Bayadere" The Kingdom of Shades”…Yuhui Choe, Yasmine Naghdi, Akane Takada*     & Corps de Ballet
3. “Don Quixote” “Solo of Espada”…Ryoichi Hirano
4. Act 3 of the Swan Lake “Pas de deux… Marianela Nunez, Vadim Muntagirov
5. The Nutcracker “The Waltz of the Flowers ”… Yuhui Choe, Francesca Hayward, Gary Avis, Alexander Campbell
6. The Nutcracker “The Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy” Lauren Cuthbertson .

7. Symphonic Variations... Marianela Nunez, Yasmine Naghdi, Yuhui Choe, Vadim Muntagirov, James Hay, Tristan Dyer
8. La Fille Mal Gardee "Clog Dance"  Will Tuckett,  Deirdre Chapman, Cindy Jourdain, Sarah Lamb, Laura Morera
9. “A Midsummer Night's Dream” “Pas de Deux”… Akane Takada, Stephen McRae
10. Romeo And Juliet Act 1 "Pas de Deux"... Yasmine Naghdi, Matthew Ball
11. " Mayerling " Act 2 "Pas De Deux"... Mara Galeazzi, Edward Watson
12. "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" "Madhatter's Tea Party" ... Steven McRae, Lauren Cuthbertson, Romany Pajdak, Paul Kay
13. "Infra" ... Marianela Nunez, Edward Watson
14. "Sleeping Beauty", Act 3 Finale 
15. Credits

 *presumably the Shades variations

 

The transmission included extracts from Viscera (Scarlett) and Woolf Works (McGregor) which seem to have been omitted from the Disc, if the above list is accurate.

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Do you think there's any chance there might be slightly different versions for Japan and elsewhere?  I understand that Japanese ballet audiences tend to be rather conservative in their tastes, and the apparent additions and deletions might be perceived as tailoring the DVD more to those tastes.

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1 hour ago, alison said:

Do you think there's any chance there might be slightly different versions for Japan and elsewhere?  I understand that Japanese ballet audiences tend to be rather conservative in their tastes, and the apparent additions and deletions might be perceived as tailoring the DVD more to those tastes.

 

Viscera might have been omitted due to the recent unpleasantness. 

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6 hours ago, alison said:

Do you think there's any chance there might be slightly different versions for Japan and elsewhere?  I understand that Japanese ballet audiences tend to be rather conservative in their tastes, and the apparent additions and deletions might be perceived as tailoring the DVD more to those tastes.

I don' think so, as this in mentioned as an imported disk and is retailed by Naxos Japan which usually do not make a Japanese modified version.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I see Naxos is issuing Teatro dell'Opera Di Roma's production of Choreographer Jiří Bubeníček’s Carmen on 9th Oct. I do not know it and would be grateful for any opinion/advice from someone who does. This from the blurb:

 

"Choreographer Jiří Bubeníček’s Carmen celebrates the incredible inspiration of Bizet’s timeless music in a completely new two-act ballet that also includes music by Albéniz, Castelnuovo-Tedesco and Falla, orchestrated and adapted by Gabriele Bonolis. The production emphasises aspects of the original drama, heightening erotic atmosphere of the cigar factory and Carmen’s wild spirit, and including a spectacular on-stage horse. The sensational choreography closely depicts the storyline of Prosper Mérimée’s original novella in a production that was hailed by critics as a triumph."

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The Theatre setting is stunning, but the stage set looks rather spartan. This is a full length ballet, longer than most previous attempts at Carmen. The producer has thrown away previous protocol, having gone back to the basics of the original book. He has also added other composers works to the Bizet score, with elements of Flamenco and Gypsy music. The cast appear to be very competent with lush traditional costumes. It appears that there are no big names, with the principle roles being selected from the corps de ballet at the last minute. The on stage horse idea is taken straight from the production of War Horse, with the dancer needing to ride it on stage. The ballet appears to be mainly classical in style, with the selection I have seen appearing very well choreographed.

Overall it appears to be of interest, but without seeing the complete performance, I cannot say whether or not this interest would endure a full length ballet. Much depends on the stage presence of the selected principles and they look the part in selected scenes.

 

 

 

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Thank you Stevie, that's helpful.  The teaser on YouTube isn't very encouraging but the reviews following its premiere were very positive  and it certainly sounds very different from the usual narrative, apparently beginning with Don Jose's execution by hanging and them telling the story of his passion for Carmen in flashback, with no Escamillo or Micaela.

 

I'm in two minds whether to splash out on it - I might just hold off for a while and see how the disk is received.  

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Surely DVDs should be being replaced by online pay-to-view versions?   I know one can already do this with some existing DVDs.

 

For instance the RB Sleeping Beauty - Alina Cojocaru, Federico Bonelli and Marianela Nunez (Lilac Fairy) - is free-to-view on Amazon Prime Video for prime subscribers.  Non-subscribers can rent it for £3.49!

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You currently have all these choices without penalty, so why would anyone wish to limit themselves  and others to only one choice. Where there is healthy competition, it is best for the consumer market. You can be sure that prices would escalate if such restrictive practices were introduced. If you prefer streaming, then go for it and if someone prefers disc to keep his favorite productions, than he is currently able to do so. That is the beauty of market diversity. 

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1 hour ago, FionaE said:

Also POB Cinderella is available to rent or buy on Prime Video

 

just remember that if you buy a digital copy, in the US at least, you don't actually own it (books as well). It can be withdrawn at any time and for pretty much any reason

 

From the US Amazon T&C -" i. Availability of Purchased Digital Content. Purchased Digital Content will generally continue to be available to you for download or streaming from the Service, as applicable, but may become unavailable due to potential content provider licensing restrictions or for other reasons, and Amazon will not be liable to you if Purchased Digital Content becomes unavailable for further download or streaming."

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15 hours ago, oncnp said:

 

just remember that if you buy a digital copy, in the US at least, you don't actually own it (books as well). It can be withdrawn at any time and for pretty much any reason

 

From the US Amazon T&C -" i. Availability of Purchased Digital Content. Purchased Digital Content will generally continue to be available to you for download or streaming from the Service, as applicable, but may become unavailable due to potential content provider licensing restrictions or for other reasons, and Amazon will not be liable to you if Purchased Digital Content becomes unavailable for further download or streaming."

Europe is the same for Amazon, i-tunes and others. Also if you, or Amazon close your account, you lose the ability to stream your purchase. If you buy a movie on disc, it usually comes with a digital code, so you get own the disc without it being taken away from you at any time plus you can stream it free whilst your account remains valid and the streaming is available. You can watch the disc without buffering, lost internet connection, you can loan it to friends, play it without access to an account and sell it on used to get money back. 

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2 minutes ago, Stevie said:

..... Also if you, or Amazon close your account, you lose the ability to stream your purchase. .....

You interest me strangely - have you tried closing an account on Amazon - despite the reams of advice on-line it is virtually impossible or so I found when I last tried. In the end I just stopped using it and it remains up there gathering dust for all eternity. It's a salutory thought that thousands of years hence future generations will be able to gaze in wonder on my purchasing history! Or were you talking about closing Prime?

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