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I don't think that anyone has mentioned that a documentary about Tanaquil Le Clercq was issued in 2014. It has some fascinating archive footage mainly taken from television showing Le Clercq in excerpts from Robbins' Afternoon of a Faun and Balanchine's Symphony in C and Western Symphony . I bought it on Amazon's German site for quite a bit less than I would have had to pay on the UK one.Unlike the UK site where you have to check because so many of the vendors are selling Region 1 DVDs this seems to be less of a problem on the German site.

 

If anyone is interested the DVD is called Afternoon of a Faun and its German title is Der Nachmittag Eines Fauns.

 

The site, like the French one, is interesting because while much of the stock is similar to the material available on the UK site there are lots of things which are not that easy to find here in a format which is playable in Europe. In addition there are recordings which are assumed to be of interest to purchasers in those countries but of little interest to purchasers here, presumably because their algorithms told them that they would not sell here. 

Edited by FLOSS
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The site, like the French one, is interesting because while much of the stock is similar to the material available on the UK site there are lots of things which are not that easy to find here in a format which is playable in Europe. In addition there are recordings which are assumed to be of interest to purchasers in those countries but of little interest to purchasers here, presumably because their algorithms told them that they would not sell here. 

 

Really, Floss?  Thank you for that - I've tried looking for work-related things on Amazon.de before (and probably ought to do so again), but hadn't thought to try it for "play"-related items.  How does the international postage work out?  I bought something from a German company once and the postage was horrendous. I've not tried Amazon.fr at all, I don't think.

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Just bought the blu-ray of Two Pigeons for £22.95 from MDT Mail Order - ordered it yest and it arrived today! This is a useful supplier - they don't always stock what I want but when they do, it's usually with a goodl discount!

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Thanks for that, David.  I hadn't heard of MDT before - I don't suppose they're anything to do with the late lamented Music Discount Centre?  Is there some easy way of narrowing down the DVDs on offer?  I can't see any categories for ballet, contemporary dance and so on.

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I have had to pay three Euros postage for individual items that I have bought from German Amazon but in each case the DVDs were considerably cheaper than they were here and they were clearly sold  as either all regions or region 2 because I added that requirement into the search engine. I found it saved me loads of time because I was not picking my way through lots of apparently cheap offers which turn out to be region 1 on close inspection which is so often the case with Amazon UK.

 

The great advantage with Amazon Germany is that it has a separate English language site. I am more wary about Amazon France because when it comes to books while they will post to  France, Monte Carlo, Switzerland and French overseas territories they won't post books to England. However the web site is useful if only to tell you what is available on DVD the selection is different and on occasion it includes recordings which are only available as zone 1 recordings from the US here but are sold as either zone 2 or playable anywhere. I am trying to add to my collection of Balanchine recordings and I have found a couple of documentaries that are of real interest the LeClercq documentary is one of them.  

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 I hadn't heard of MDT before - I don't suppose they're anything to do with the late lamented Music Discount Centre?  Is there some easy way of narrowing down the DVDs on offer?  I can't see any categories for ballet, contemporary dance and so on.

It's a small company, been around for about 16 years, one I automatically check when searching for a best price. If you type "ballet" into its search box that'll give an idea of the kind of prices they offer. They don't stock many of the arts disks  but when they do the discount, even with the postage, can be up to about £6/7 cheaper on the £29.99 blu-ray price. 

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I'm afraid so, although of course there is the Penney/Dowell one from an earlier era.  Personally, I'd have loved to have had the Cojocaru/Kobborg one which was relayed to the big screens as well, but I don't see that ever happening.  There haven't been that many broadcasts of the ballet, actually, have there?

No, which surprises me. I just can't understand why the ROH are happy to release Fille multiple times - there are four casts currently available on DVD, including Osipova/McRae - but won't release an up-to-date Manon. The Lamb/Muntagirov broadcast from 2014 was wonderful and presumably still fairly straightforward to release. It wouldn't be so annoying if there were any recordings starring leads who are current RB Principals.

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Does Lady MacMilillan  have any say in the matter of which performances are released on DVD? If she does have some say  in the matter perhaps she thought that Dupont's performance of Manon was of more general interest,

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Does Lady MacMilillan  have any say in the matter of which performances are released on DVD? If she does have some say  in the matter perhaps she thought that Dupont's performance of Manon was of more general interest,

 

I assume you're being sarcastic coz if true it would reveal a worrying lack of judgement on her part. And yes, the  Lamb/Muntagirov broadcast from 2014 would be a very welcome addition to the recorded repertoire!

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I don't think that anyone has mentioned that a documentary about Tanaquil Le Clercq was issued in 2014. It has some fascinating archive footage mainly taken from television showing Le Clercq in excerpts from Robbins' Afternoon of a Faun and Balanchine's Symphony in C and Western Symphony . I bought it on Amazon's German site for quite a bit less than I would have had to pay on the UK one.Unlike the UK site where you have to check because so many of the vendors are selling Region 1 DVDs this seems to be less of a problem on the German site.

 

If anyone is interested the DVD is called Afternoon of a Faun and its German title is Der Nachmittag Eines Fauns.

 

This is not a DVD of the original American documentary but a version specifically aimed at the German speaking audience. I also got it from Amazon Germany.

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Does Lady MacMilillan  have any say in the matter of which performances are released on DVD? If she does have some say  in the matter perhaps she thought that Dupont's performance of Manon was of more general interest,

 

Since the DVD in question is being issued by the Opéra, there is a completely straightforward explanation here, no need to blame Lady MacMillan. Dupont have been for 2 decades a darling of Madame Lefèvre (to the detriment of some stunning dancers of the company who were never recorded on DVD despite the fact that they were a lot more interesting), and now she is directing the company herself.

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There wasn't - unfortunately.

My brain at fault, sorry. Dd and I saw Lamb and Muntagirov live at the ROH when Lamb stood in for an injured Cuthbertson.

 

I distinctly remember seeing a live cinema broadcast in 2014 though, because the close ups of Gary Avis' terrifying gaoler were amazing. Anyone remember who danced Manon?

 

Edited to add: Found it - Nuñez and Bonelli. http://www.roh.org.uk/showings/manon-live-2014

 

I asked ROH via Twitter if they would release it on dvd to be told "no demand". :(

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They refused to issue the recent Nunez/Muntagirov Giselle as well - and they could hardly claim 'no demand' for that! There was a positive clamour for it.

I remember. At least they could justifiably say there are already two recent-ish Giselles on DVD, one with Cojocaru and one with Osipova. They don't have that excuse with Manon. :(

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There wasn't - unfortunately.

I think I'm getting confused between the live cinema relay on the 16th Oct 2014 with Nunez and Bonelli and the performance on 5th Oct when Lamb replaced Cuthbertson dancing with Muntagirov. Such details apart I agree with the general feeling that we need a new Manon recording. Presumably we must wait for the next run. If so, while I am a great fan of Osipova, I hope it will be with a different Principal - Either Lamb, Cuthbertson or Nunez though by then it could well be Hayward!

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Since the DVD in question is being issued by the Opéra, there is a completely straightforward explanation here, no need to blame Lady MacMillan. Dupont have been for 2 decades a darling of Madame Lefèvre (to the detriment of some stunning dancers of the company who were never recorded on DVD despite the fact that they were a lot more interesting), and now she is directing the company herself.

The point about the relationship between Madame Levevre and Dupont is interesting and explains a lot. However, my understanding is that Lady MacMillan continues to exercise firm control over what is performed/recorded of the MacMillan works, irrespective of the performing or recording company -  if so Floss's point holds and I'd be surprised if the Paris Opera Performance or the Belair Classiques Manon release could have happened without her approval.

Edited by David
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You are making a good point, David. I understood FLOSS' comment, however, differently, namely that Lady MacMillan could be the one who made the decision which recent recording of Manon to choose for being issued on DVD. I find this unlikely. This is very different from giving an approval when approached by a party intending to issue such a recording for sale. In fact, denying an approval would require some serious reservations about the quality or integrity of the production that is supposed to bear her late husband's name.

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You are making a good point, David. I understood FLOSS' comment, however, differently, namely that Lady MacMillan could be the one who made the decision which recent recording of Manon to choose for being issued on DVD. I find this unlikely. This is very different from giving an approval when approached by a party intending to issue such a recording for sale. In fact, denying an approval would require some serious reservations about the quality or integrity of the production that is supposed to bear her late husband's name.

 

Yes - you're quite right of course.

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i was not suggesting that Lady M did not like the RB's performances of Manon, if that were the case she would have withdrawn the company's right to perform it as she did when the Mariinsky corrected all of MacMillan's choreographic "faults" rendering the work totally unrecognisable in performance. As far as I can see there is no likelihood of that happening as the company often performs one of his full length works when it tours which makes it a sort of living advertisement for the ballets.

 

I was not suggesting that Lady M had any malign influence over which ballets the RB issues on its DVDs merely that if she does have some say over which of her late husband's ballets appear on DVD she might have been making a  hard commercial decision in this case. Having thought about it again it is not that long since the Rojo, Acosta recording was issued so perhaps it is thought that insufficient time has elapsed since the last DVD of the ballet was issued..If the company sticks to its performance cycle then Manon will be danced again during the 2017- 18 season.Perhaps a new recording will be issued then.

 

As a general comment while I understand the commercial reasons for issuing the performances of star dancers on DVD I think that it is a great shame that we are more likely to see their performances preserved for posterity than those of great interpreters.

Edited by FLOSS
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As a general comment while I understand the commercial reasons for issuing the performances of star dancers on DVD I think that it is a great shame that we are more likely to see their performances preserved for posterity than those of great interpreters.

 

I agree to the extent that there is too much recording of some dancers. But surely there are 'star dancers' who are also great interpreters?

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I am really sorry that no DVD exists of Sylvie Guillem as Manon (provided it was directed properly). I hold my memory of her performances in this role as amongst the finest I ever saw. That would be a real marriage of great interpreter and true star.

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I agree to the extent that there is too much recording of some dancers. But surely there are 'star dancers' who are also great interpreters?

 

I would even go further and risk to say that some of those much recorded dancers are not so "star", while some of the ones never recorded were actually greater stars to public and professionals alike.

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i was not suggesting that Lady M did not like the RB's performances of Manon, if that were the case she would have withdrawn the company's right to perform it as she did when the Mariinsky corrected all of MacMillan's choreographic "faults" rendering the work totally unrecognisable in performance.

 

Ugh, please don't remind me.  Manon as Classical ballet :(

 

I was not suggesting that Lady M had any malign influence over which ballets the RB issues on its DVDs merely that if she does have some say over which of her late husband's ballets appear on DVD she might have been making a  hard commercial decision in this case. Having thought about it again it is not that long since the Rojo, Acosta recording was issued so perhaps it is thought that insufficient time has elapsed since the last DVD of the ballet was issued..

 

IIRC, that was one of the three ballets released under Decca's "Acosta" contract?  Not that I'm altogether complaining, since it recorded Rojo's Manon for posterity, but one might then think there was more reason to release another recording on Opus Arte.

 

Existing recordings: Penney/Dowell - RB; Australian Ballet; Rojo/Acosta - Royal Ballet; Paris Opera Ballet.  Am I missing any others?

 

As a general comment while I understand the commercial reasons for issuing the performances of star dancers on DVD I think that it is a great shame that we are more likely to see their performances preserved for posterity than those of great interpreters.

 

Quite.  Give me the great interpreter any day - or maybe the first cast of a new ballet - rather than a big name who may be ill-cast.

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I would even go further and risk to say that some of those much recorded dancers are not so "star", while some of the ones never recorded were actually greater stars to public and professionals alike.

 

I would agree with that more in an historical context but you have to remember that the video/DVD is a fairly modern innovation and I think it is catching up with demand now.  Personally I'm always more interested in the actual ballets as there are a number that remain unrecorded.  As for the cast, everyone has a preference but no one is going to film umpteen versions just to please the fans, commercially it wouldn't make sense.

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