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Ballet Talk for Dancers

DVD/Videos: Coppelia DVD

Guest balletandsynchro

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My DD is performing a variation from Coppelia, I believe the wedding variation. Unfortunately, the video she was loaned is of very poor quality, so she asked me to buy one. I checked the Kultur video website, and they have three different DVDs from the following companies: the Kirov Ballet, Australian National Ballet (2002) and a third one with the late Fernando Bujones as Fritz. The website doesn't state when the Kirov Ballet was filmed. Any suggestions? Thanks in advance! :)

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There's also one with the Royal Ballet - Leanne Benjamin and Acosta, I believe.


And for comparison, the grand pas is on Baryshnikov at the Wolf Trap, with a very very very tiny Gelsey Kirkland.


I have the Australian one, and I *may* have the RB one somewhere in my pile of stuff (I just moved yesterday and only started unpacking a few hours ago). If you'd have any specific questions/details you are looking for, I'd be happy to zoom through them to have a look (although I'm sure there are many here who know these dvd's better than I).


There might also be some opinions of these dvds on the Ballet Talk board.

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the royal ballet version should be the most 'traditional' one and the ABT/kirkland should help.

the kirov version is not ideal at all. it's a video of vinogradov's 'eccentric' and very non-traditional version. it's also very 'eccentric' regarding camera work.

i don't know the australian version, but it might be ok.

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I have both the Australian ballet and the Royal Ballet. The Royal Ballet version is dleightful and the dancing is gorgeous! It's the most traditional of all the versions, but if you can't get that then the Australian is also fairly traditional and very well danced. When I taught some repertoire solos from the ballet, I actually lent both versions.

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It also depends on what version of the Swanhilda Variation is she doing. Does the variation start out with grand jete or polka on pointe? I love the Australian Ballet version it is traditional and their technique is really nice. The costumes are heavy and difficult but they dance really beautifully.

Thanks for the tip on the kirov version I just ordered it but will cancel. :)


And for comparison, the grand pas is on Baryshnikov at the Wolf Trap, with a very very very tiny Gelsey Kirkland.


There might also be some opinions of these dvds on the Ballet Talk board.


Sorry but I watched the Baryshnikov at Wolf Trap and wonder what version she was doing. Looked like a combination of things and perhaps her improvising somewhat. I recognised the pas de deux and his variation but hers was all over the place. (I realize that she was not well when that was taped). I would certainly not use that as a guide to any version of the Swanhilda Act 3 variation. IMHOP.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I have a Vienna State Opera ( I think) version of Coppelia with Suzanne Kirnbauer as Swanilda and Irmtraud (sorry, forgot last name) as Coppelia. Very mimed, very cute. I also really like dancing the first variation, the Valse Lente is music I loved from childhood.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi, I'm a very new total beginner, so I can't comment on the technique side of things. I own a copy of the Kirov Coppelia on video and have just bought a copy of the Royal Ballet version. I take it that the Royal Ballet version is the original story and that the Kirov's is a different variation? The two are distinctly different all the way through. For example, In the Kirov version Franz didn't catch and pin a butterfly and the part about listening to the wheat was ommitted. The Coppellia doll dances in the village market square on her own and with Franz's friends. Dr. Coppellius is not set upon, dropping a key and didn't try to drug and use magic on Franz. Swanhilde's friends remain in Dr Coppelius's workshop disguised as dolls. In the Royal ballet version, Swanhilde performs the dances of the foreign dolls by herself, but in the Kirov version, the foreign dolls dance alone in turn.


As an ignorant newcomer, it's very interesting thinking about what works well from a story-telling point of view looking at different approaches. I'm curious to learn about traditions and thinking in the ballet world about making changes to the classics.


If you needed to stick to the most traditional version the Royal Ballet DVD could be the right choice of these two?? I really loved the Kirov version and would reccommend adding it to a Christmas list. The character acting side of it was just wonderful. Swanhilde is perfectly cast and really believable as the ring leader fiestiest, prettiest girl in the village. She takes the lead and directs her friends. At one point the friends rush in after she's shown it to be safe, almost like a pack! (as opposed to the Royal Ballet version it looks as though the friends have more courage than Swanhilde). Dr. Coppellius is likeable as he politely deals with an unsteady drunken love-struck Franz, or indicates to the lads that they can't come up and see Coppellia because it's her bedtime :-) Later, the to and fro between Swanhilde and Franz as she rejects him and he tries to get her to forgive him after his misdeeds is lovely. Boys v. girls!

Edited by pas de chat
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Another point about the Kirov version is that it's not performed in front of an audience and you don't see the orchestra. I actually liked the fact that the cameras could get in close to show every facial expression and gesture.

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  • 1 year later...

I love the Royal version. I didn't know Benjamin previously, but I thought she did a very good job. Of course, Carlos is outstanding! I wish there was more of him in it. All in all, it is nicely done. Recommended!

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