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Ballet Classics Worthy of Investment

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I would like to expand my collection of ballets on dvd (actually most are vhs, but I'm loking to buy dvds lol). Any suggestions? Your favorites, the classics, least expensive, etc. I just borrowed a copy of The Children of Theatre Street, about the Kirov school in Russia, and it is my new favorite. I'm looking for either documentaries, interviews, or just dance (I already own The Turning Point, Center Stage, etc.). Thanks!

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Ballets Russes is a wonderful documentary to own, in my opinion. I also like the Criterion Collection edition of The Red Shoes (1948). Born to be Wild is another great documentary. I have a number of dance videos that my son is in love with. The ABT production of Don Quixote featuring Baryshnikov as Basilio, for instance. He also really enjoys the Royal Ballet's Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella, and I think Romeo and Juliet, featuring Angel Corella and Alessandra Ferri. There are others as well, but I am forgetting them.

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Etoiles, Ballet Russes, The Glory of the Kirov, Elusive Muse.

Also, check out this thread from our sister site:

List of Essential Videos

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1) Backstage at the Kirov

2) Dancer


The others that have been mentioned above are also in our collection and are really good.

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http://dancingflix.com/default.php This has been a great way to preview DVDs before we actually purchase them. It works like netflix. Some DVDs I was glad I watched first because I really didn't like them (Giselle-Kirov). Here's my favorites that I have either purchased or put on my wish list. Others have already been mentioned.


White Nights

The Dream - ABT

Dmitri Roudnev- Partnering Secrets of Russian Training

Le Corsair - Kirov Asylmuratova and Ruzimatov

Le Corsair- ABT

Vaganova Classes - Produced by Vladimir Issaev (this is not a class on video but a documentary about the classes)



Removed from wish list:

Classical Ballet Lesson -Vaganova- Class 1

Had some very good information but moved painfully slow both in the class demonstrations and the discussion. Also not a class. Very expensive series. Glad I watched it first. Lots of good info but not worth buying IMO.

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I would HIGHLY recommend:


Romeo and Juliet (Ferri/Corella)

Giselle (Makarova/Baryshnikov)

Balanchine's Nutcracker

Don Quixote (Harvey/Baryshnikov or Terekhova/Ruzimatov)

Etoiles (Paris Opera Ballet)

La Sylphide (Jeppesen/Hubbe Royal Danish Ballet)

The Dancer (follows a student at the Royal Swedish Ballet School-very inspiring!)

Kirov Classics (excerpts from Paquita with Makhalina & Zelensky(!), Le Corsaire, Markitenka, The Fairy Doll, and Les Sylphides)


I think that the above videos are so moving and always offer something new each time you watch it. They are must-haves!

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I treasure my "Classic Kirov Performances", from Kultur, for its clips of Pavlova doing Dying Swan. I think Lesley Collier, in the Royal Ballet's "La Fille mal gardee", is just so cute. And then there are my Finis Jhung videos--always inspiring and informative.

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What about Born to be Wild, about Malakhov, Carreno, Stiefel, and Corella at ABT?

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A second vote for Nutcracker with Baryshnikov & Kirkland, I love that version & have it on DVD, it was not released on DVD until within the last 5 years I believe. I also love The Company featuring Joffrey dancers and Neve Campbell; however this is mainly contemporary ballet, there are maybe 2 classical pieces in it...I also like Save the Last Dance but that does not have much ballet in it; however if you like Center Stage you might like it. Interestingly, STLD features a cameo performance by Joffrey dancers.

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I thought this thread might make a good STICKY!!!

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Just one word concerning the word "investment". There are currently no video media which truly meet the archival standards for permanence. They are more long-lived than taped media, but even though manufacturers claim lives of 50 to even 100 years for DVDs, and one even 300 years, they are all kind of fragile, depending on all sorts of temperature/humidity and storage orientation (vertical or horizontal) issues. They aren't as subject to deterioration as the old laser disc format, which used to come down with "disc rot", but the archivists are still out on protecting media for long-term use. You'll still get a long life out of them, given most household conditions, but there still is no video medium with the longevity of, say, a Gutenberg Bible.

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