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As usual, in addition to the Jury ratings we also conducted a survey into whether Jury members want to see this production again, would buy or recommend the disc and how they feel it compares with “being there”.
Here are the main findings for “Midsummer Nights Dream” by the Pacific North West Ballet from Opus Arte.
"Would you like to see this production again, on TV or in the cinema?"
88 % answered "Significantly better, rather better or comparable.
NB: This Jury included at least 8 frequent opera/ballet-goers.
50% of them found this experience better than a live performance.
18 / 09 / 2010
Further exploring the Shakespearean theme, here is something perfect to contrast with the drama and intensity of Wagner’s “Ring” - Mendelssohn’s delightful, fairytale setting of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”.
Choreographed by an artistic genius, George Balanchine, Shakespeare’s comedy of magic and love’s delusions is sure to delight audiences of all ages.
The Pacific Northwest Ballet (based in Seattle)displays all the vitality, brilliance and versatility of its wonderful dancers in this award–winning production of Balanchine’s first original full-length ballet.
This performance was filmed at London’s Sadler’s Wells Theatre.
This delightful ballet attracted several newcomers to our Jury. Despite the rather conventional staging (or perhaps because of it) it was generally well received, particularly by the children (many of them taking dancing lessons themselves) brought by their parents. A wonderful opportunity for them to see a first-class ballet production under ideal conditions!
I have no way of judging the technical expertise, but I enjoyed this traditional staging of the ballet more than I expected. Superb music!
I appreciated the quality of the image. Puck and Titania were particularly good.
Very attractive and well performed. The choreography did not stretch the dances. Very conventional staging.
The costumes were gorgeous and the dancers were both elegant and graceful. We have never been to the ballet, nor have I ever watched it, but I enjoyed this a great deal even though I didn’t quite understand it at times.
The staging was marvellous! Titania was huge, and so was Puck. But I liked the corps de ballet best of all. Their performance was outstanding.
Perhaps it was my place in the front row, or perhaps it was the filming, but some of the scenes were physically difficult to watch. I would prefer to see the entire stage from a rather more distant viewpoint.
A production of great quality with magnificent dancers, although it was all a little too academic.
A great deal of freshness and gaiety in the staging with some outstanding dancers (particularly Puck). However, it was all very conventional. Too many close-ups in the second act.
This production is extraordinary, and I really enjoyed it a great deal. The staging, the costumes and the choreography were all superb, the dancers — both men and women— were gracious and the music was in perfect harmony with the dance.
I love Balanchine, and this ballet in particular. Operadou is an amazing place, and this has been a magical experience.
As an academic, traditional, conformist and conventional interpretation, this is perfect. But couldn’t Maestro Balanchine show a little creativity and invention, surprise and emotion? For goodness sake, this isn’t the reign of Diaghilev and Petipas! For me, this production lacks modernity in the spirit of the scenario and the choreographic language. This would be possible without betraying the “classical” spirit of the work in its overall design. From a technical point of view, the artistes are absolutely top!
Some of the group scenes (especially those with children) seemed very busy and hectic. The sets were very attractive, particularly the giant Victorian roses. Dancing was excellent, although the cast would have smiled a little more.
A visual festival! I liked everything!
Singing / performance: B+
HDVD production: B -
Overall ranking: B