, December 2013
TCHAIKOVSKY, P.I.: Nutcracker and the Mouse King (The) (Dutch National Ballet, 2011) (Blu-ray, HD) (version with video samplers) 108087
PROKOFIEV, S.: Cinderella (Dutch National Ballet, 2012) (Blu-ray, HD) OABD7126D
The Dutch National Ballet, the sole classical company in The Netherlands, is doing well on home video. Both Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker and Prokofieff’s Cinderella are of course popular favorites, yet the Dutch productions boast plenty of individual qualities to justify their purchase. While cast in a traditionally classical mold, the ballets reviewed here are not only spectacularly staged with grand sets and magnificent costumes that benefit from the high definition transfer in widescreen, they are also splendidly danced.
[In] The Nutcracker…the overall skill and zest of the large cast, including dozens of eager children, are irresistible, while van Schayk’s opulent and accurate period designs make the production a feast for the eye…the leading roles are performed by two of the company’s most attractive principals, Anna Tsygankova and Matthew Golding, whom by themselves would warrant the price of admission.
Cinderella released by Opus Arte features both Tsygankova and Golding in the lead as well and with more screen time they are even more impressive here. The joined talent of the British theatre designer Julian Crouch, the American video projection designer Daniel Brodie and the puppeteer Basil Twist created a magical, colorful and often visually dizzying canvas wherein Wheeldon’s choreography moves the action forward in a fluent, almost cinematographic manner.
Both productions considered here can compete with the best around. They beautifully demonstrate the talent and strength of the Dutch National Ballet dancers, and will offer hours of enjoyment for young and old. © 2013 Classical Net Read complete review