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The Video Dictionary of Classical Ballet – Kevin McKenzie and Georgina Parkinson – The essential video dictionary of all classical ballet movements. 4 1/2 hours on two DVDs shows over 800 variations in Russian, French, and Cecchetti styles, many in slow motion with multiple camera angles and voice-over narrative description. The complete language of ballet positions—Barre, Linking Steps, Center Practice, Pirouettes, Adage, Allegro, Batterie, Pointe, and Musical Enchainements.
New York City Ballet: The Complete Workout, Vol. 1 and 2 – Fitness videos from the New York City Ballet Workout Volumes 1 and 2 designed to help develop the strength, grace and poise of a dancer. The videos try to strike a balance between art and fitness in creating a workout for any age or fitness level. Good luck….
Ballet Class for Beginners – David Howard and Lee Kraft – introduces the beginning dance student to the technique and vocabulary of classical ballet with the emphasis on posture, placement, and movement potential.
Ballet 101 – A Beginner’s Class – Jennifer Nunes and Angela Russ – a simple beginners video that challenges both adults and children who wish an introduction to ballet. Dancers are taken on a step-by-step journey that begins with preparation and warm-up, and paces them through easy ballet moves that focus on the barre.
Baby Ballet – Rosemary Boross – for ages four through six. The video contains all aspects of a formal ballet class including a barre warm-up, stretches, center practice and across the floor combinations. The movements are explained step-by-step, followed by a performance of the steps by Rosemary Boross and her beginning pre-school students.
Simply Ballet: A Master Ballet Class For Beginners – American Ballet Theatre ballerina Michelle Benash instructs young students in this easy to follow along master class. Progresses from barre, chasse` to center combinations and a variety of leaps and turns. For those who already know the basics.
The Ballet Workout – Melissa Lowe – Floor work, barre work and center work to help condition the body. Level I is designed for those with little or no previous ballet experience. Previous ballet experience is helpful but not necessary for level II.
Element: Ballet Conditioning – Elise Gulan – Ballet Dancers always have slender bodies that are both strong and lean with lovely proportion and gorgeous body lines. In this unique program your muscles will work smoothly in unison to create a long streamlined silhouette with flat abs a lean lower body and beautifully defined curves.
Pure Barre: Ballet, Dance & Pilates Fusion – Carrie Rezabek – The Pure Barre Technique (PBT) is the fastest, yet safest way to change your body. PBT fuses dance, Pilates and Lotte Berk exercises while utilizing the ballet barre to create the most intense and effective 55-minute workout that exists.
Ballet Boysis a well-made documentary which follows three male ballet students in Norway as they pursue ballet careers. It’s beautifully photographed and the story moves along at a very calm, even pace that is somehow also fascinating. As the documentary progresses it gains more and more interest and definitely provides insights into the dance lives and the training regimen of male dancers. The 72 minute documentary goes by quickly and, while full of drama, it’s refreshingly free of melodrama. Anyone interested in ballet should add this documentary to their collection.
Suzanne Farrell – Elusive Muse – Jacques d’Amboise, Jorge Dunn, Paul Mejia and George Balanchine – the life of Suzanne Farrell as told by those who know her. Lengthy film excerpts of her in many ballets created for her by Balanchine.
Balanchine – Through rare archival audio and video footage, interviews, film, and photographs, this program traces Balanchine’s life from his youth at the Maryinsky Theater, through his work for Hollywood and Broadway, to his ultimate creation of the New York City Ballet. Interviews with the choreographer himself and selections from many of his ballets such as Chaconne, Agon, Symphony in C, Serenade, Apollo, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
Prima Ballerina – directed by Laurent Gentot is one of the best ballet documentaries ever. It consists of two portraits—one of Svetlana Zakharova and one of Ulyana Lopatkina. The videos are as perfect as the ballerinas themselves. Long dance sequences, beautiful photography and brilliant quotes from the dancers. Really a must have. Very highly recommended.
The Dancer – Erland Josephson, Katja Bjorner, and Anneli Alhanko. A brilliant documentary about the Royal Swedish Ballet which focuses in on one young dancer, Katja Bjoerner. It is an intimate look at a ballet company that is very well done. Some of it is with subtitles; some of it is in English. It’s good!
Ballets Russes – By following the history of the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo in the early 1930s, this brilliant documentary reveals the roots of every modern dance company in the world. Film clips and interviews with dancers from the original company. Includes an interview with Dame Alicia Markova, who was a prima ballerina with the original Ballet Russe under impresario Sergei Diaghilev. Definitely worth watching.
Ballerina – directed by Frenchman Bertrand Normand follows the careers of five Russian prima ballerinas—Alina Somova, Svetlana Zakharova, Diana Vishneva, Ulyana Lopatkina, Evgenia Obraztsova. In the documentary, we see what a young girl must do to become a top ballet dancer and thus the video is not just a portrait of the dancers but of the Russian ballet tradition. It is brilliantly photographed with great dance sequences and great quotes from the dancers. Ballet documentaries often disappoint. This one won’t. Very highly recommended.
Etoiles: Dancers of the Paris Opera Ballet – Another well-done European documentary, this one about the dancers of the Paris Opera Ballet. In the interviews, the dancers really talk straight. It’s definitely worth seeing.
Paul Taylor: Dancemaker – Excellent documentary about modern dancer and choreographer, Paul Taylor. Great camera work on the dances and the dancers and informative interviews. If you like modern dance, this is a must-see.
The Children of Theatre Street – The Story of the Kirov Ballet School – This academy award-nominated documentary about the Kirov Ballet and its school, the Vaganova Choreographic Institute, is narrated by the late Princess Grace of Monaco. There are no subtitles–all translations are done by voice-over. Theatre Street is the popular name for Rossi Street, on which the entrance to the Kirov’s school is located. Entrance exams are held annually. Thousands of children, aged 10-12, apply; only 20 are selected.
Prima Princessa Presents Swan Lake – The fairy ballerina, Prima Princessa, transports a group of pre-school girls to see the ballet, Swan Lake, performed by the Paris Opera Ballet. Prima Princessa narrates the story of Swan Lake to the girls. In between each act, the children return home and learn a simple ballet step. The young dancers are from the School of American Ballet.
Amazon’s Best Selling Ballet and Dance DVDsClicking here brings you to Amazon’s best selling DVDs in ballet and dance. Browse through. The DVDs cover a wide range of dance subjects and are suitable for a variety of ages but there’s usually something interesting. The list is updated hourly.
New York City Ballet: Bringing Back Balanchine – New York City Ballet – ‘New York City Ballet: Bringing Ballachine Back’ follows the New York City Ballet, lead by Master in Chief Peter Martins to the Mariinsky theater in St. Petersburg, where ballet legend and NYC Ballet co-founder George Ballachine, along with other greats, took their first ballet steps. The eagerly anticipated trip is the first for the company since 1972 and is gracefully illustrated with both behind-the-scenes and performance footage.