Dido and Aeneas is an opera that moves me every time I hear or see it. I loved this film, which incorporates dance as well as music and singing. The costumes and sets are simple but effective to look at, while the photography is superbly rendered throughout. The staging is spare but still effective, the final scene especially really haunted and moved me in the way you'd expect it to. And I have nothing to criticise about the dancing either, it is florid, graceful and passionate, matching Purcell's beautiful but somewhat angular music to perfection. The musical side is just as good, the orchestral playing has all the style and nuances needed for Purcell and Baroque music in general and the conducting is energetic while also allowing the dancing to breathe. The singing of Russell Braun and in particular Jennifer Lane as Aeneas and Dido is just beautiful and deeply felt. But it is Mark Morris' show, his task is a daring one and one he does with great command and skill. His dancing is impeccable, placing a lot of emphasis on gesture and expression. Though as much as he dances Dido wonderfully, in regards to appearance I do think that a lot of people, myself included, would have much preferred a woman in the role. All in all though, a beautiful and really quite excellent dance-opera film. 9/10 Bethany Cox
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