One intensely moving and hauntingly beautiful ballet production
One of the best seen recently actually. Although familiar with the story of La Dame Aux Camelias through Verdi's opera La Traviata and the Greta Garbo film Camille, the ballet was a very recent discovery. If you have yet to discover the ballet yourself, it is well worth the unearthing. There is some starkness in the production values, but it is also very handsome and very well suited to the mood. Chopin's music is just gorgeous in how it's composed and in the atmosphere that it creates, through his music there is a real sense that this story is romantic, intense yet also incredibly poignant. It is just as beautiful as the music in La Traviata and perhaps a little more soul-searching, the sensitive orchestral and appropriately intimate-sounding piano playing really helps bring that across. The choreography from John Neummeier matches the music's richness and complexity, it looks so graceful and you certainly feel that intense romanticism, emotional drama and bright yet subtle comic moments(also cabaret-like). The video directing doesn't detract at all, and the picture and sound quality are equally very good. There is some stage noise, but when you have seen so many ballet and opera productions, whether video/DVD or live you get used to that. Marcia Haydee dances exquisitely, looking so elegant and poised throughout, and her gestures and emotional range is so vulnerable and so vast that she breaks your heart. Ivan Liska is an ideal dance partner, youthful and ardent with good chemistry with her, his acting doesn't quite have the same degree of emotional range as Haydee but he is hardly a blank either. The supporting roles are a good mixture of witty and sympathetic, and the dancing is top-drawer across the board. Overall, moving, haunting and simply beautiful ballet production. 10/10 Bethany Cox
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