CHOREOGRAPHY BY BOURNONVILLE - BALLET RAMBERT; LONDON SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA; ELLENBERG; FLINDT; ALDOUS; DIXON; CHESWORTH; MARTLEW; PRO ARTE ORCHESTRA
Flindt · Aldous · Dixon · Chesworth
31 JANUARY & 2 FEBRUARY 1961, BBC STUDIO, LONDON
FLOWER FESTIVAL IN GENZANO
PAS DE DEUX
Nureyev · Park
15 DECEMBER 1974, SADLER’S WELLS THEATRE, LONDON
LA SYLPHIDE – ACT II PAS DE DEUX
Flindt · Von Rosen
10 JULY 1960, BBC STUDIO, LONDON
Following studies in Paris as a young man, August Bournonville became a solo dancer at the Royal Ballet in Copenhagen. From 1830 to 1877 he was choreographer for the Royal Danish Ballet, for which he created more than fifty ballets admired for their exuberance, lightness and beauty.
The bewitching ballet La Sylphide is his ‘best work, incorporating a unity of dance and drama that can transform its apparent charm into a special grandeur’. NEW YORK TIMES
Widely considered to be the first ‘romantic’ ballet, La Sylphide brims with features of the romantic literature of the time, such as elements of the supernatural, the loss of innocence and a deep sense of sadness.
The story tells of the doomed love between a beautiful Sylph and the soon-to-be-married farmer, James. The Scottish setting is perfectly evoked by the folk-infused score of Danish composer, Herman Severin Løvenskiold.
Originally created by Filippo Taglioni in Paris in 1832, La Sylphide was the first ballet to include dancing en pointe as an aesthetically important feature, rather than merely an impressive stunt. Transformed later in the century by Bournonville, the new choreography contains several elements typical of his ballets, including mime, quick footwork and the elevated importance of the male protagonist. In this production, the male lead is portrayed by Flemming Flindt, who was among the ‘finest classical dancers of his generation’ (The Telegraph), while the role of the Sylph is danced by Lucette Aldous, whose technically dazzling performance also provides an incredibly moving end to the work.
This film, recorded in 1961, seeks to provide a close representation of the ‘Bournonville style’, as a lack of dance notation in the 19th century leaves us without an authentic record of the original choreography. The film is an important record of the history of Bournonville’s La Sylphide, which has been dubbed as ‘one of the most enchanting ballets of all time’. (New York Times)
Also featured on the DVD is the pas de deux from Flower Festival in Genzano, another Bournonville creation and a hugely popular piece for ballet companies. It was recorded for the BBC ‘Gala Performance’ series, where they managed to secure Rudolph Nureyev and Merle Park, both on sparkling form.
This is the first release of this material on DVD.
Sound format: Enhanced Mono
DVD format: NTSC
Picture format: 4:3
Running time: 80’
Menu languages: English