CriticalDance Forum

La Sylphide - DVD
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Author:  ksneds [ Mon Mar 27, 2006 5:29 pm ]
Post subject:  La Sylphide - DVD

I received my copy of the "La Sylphide" DVD. A few initial comments follow...

This is the Brenaa version, filmed at the Royal Theatre in Copenhagen in 1988, which I believe was briefly available on laserdisc. The cast includes Nikolaj Hübbe as James, Lis Jeppesen as the sylph and Sorella Englund as Madge. Other treats include solos by Lloyd Riggins and Silja Schandorff.

It appears that this DVD comes from a tape that was originally filmed for televsion. Initially the editing is very jagged, but it smooths out after a few minutes and is reasonable, given the limitations of camera movement. During the highland dancing at the end of the first act, we are even treated to some interesting side angle views.

I do prefer these sets to the current ones, and in the DVD the men are actually wearing the kilts properly! Lis Jeppesen is a very innocent, sweetly naive sylph - a sylph that doesn't realize the harm she is causing by drawing a man away from his bride. A petite dancer, Jeppesen appears as light as air and looks as natural walking along on pointe as she does on flat foot.

The opportunity to see a young Nikolaj Hübbe is one of the real pleasures of this DVD - he's taller, I believe, than the current James (Blangstrup, Lund and Sakurai), but he moves with an airy crispness and his beats are clean and clear. He perhaps underplays the drama a bit, but it works beautifully because every look, every movement tells a story on it's own.

There a number of familiar faces in the corps - mostly current character dancers and principals. At least one of the children looked familiar - they would be in their mid to late twenties - and I wonder if any are in the company today.


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