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Tribute to Jerome Robbins / Kessels/Paris Opera Ballet, Gilbert, Gillot [DVD]

Album Summary

>Various : Work(s)
Performers Conductor Ensemble Composer

Notes & Reviews:

Ten years after his death, the Paris Opera Ballet paid homage to the American choreographer who considered the Paris Opera as his second home after the New York City Ballet. The three pieces performed here illustrate not only the diversity of the choreographer's repertoire and sources of inspiration, but also his love of music and his all-embracing attitude to the performing arts. Jerome Robbins brought new energy to classical dance, introducing 20th century urban rhythms, confirming its status as a modern entertainment form and instilling it as a force of contemporary theatre.

En Sol, set to Maurice Ravel's Concerto, provided Jerome Robbins with an opportunity to reveal the relaxed, fluid feel so emblematic of his style.

In the Night and The Concert are two tributes to Chopin. Robbins transforms Les Nocturnes into In the Night, a long and poetic pas de deux built like a metaphor of love in all its states. The Concert joins the ranks of the few comic ballets in the history of dance. Taking as its point of departure images inspired by some of Chopin's more fancifully entitled scores, Jerome Robbins' piano recital is a comic plea for the cause of human vulnerability.

Lastly, Benjamin Millepied, who made his dance debut with Robbins in New York, dedicates his second creation for the Paris Opera Ballet, Triade, to him. "Dance is composed of human relations", Robbins used to say. A worthy heir to his master, Benjamin Millepied matches this credo through a fruitful dialogue with composer Nico Muhly. --LAURE GUILBERT

Notes & Reviews:

Run Time: 111 min.
Region: All
Picture Format: NTSC, 16:9, Color
Sound Format(s): LPCM Stereo,


A Fantastic Tribute to Jerome Robbins
'Tribute to Jerome Robbins' contains some excellent ballets by Jerome Robbins; En Sol, In the Night, and The Concert. This is one of the most perfect collections of his genius, showing one of his lighter ballets, an emotional and genius one, and finally, a comedic one. The music, a collection of Ravel and Chopin, is played exquisitely. The first of these ballets, En Sol, is a Broadway musical-esque balletic scene of a day at the beach, with somewhat abstract scenery and costumes. The ballet is fun, exciting, light-hearted, and touching. Ravel's music stunningly fits into every single movement of Robbins' dance. Marie-Agnès Gillot is excellent here, as well. The next ballet by Robbins is In the Night, a testament to his genius. It is emotionally complex, yet so simple and effective - an amazing effect for the viewer. The ballet is based on the structure of Les Sylphides - to the music of Chopin, in a series of 'atmospheric variations'. The scenery is of a starry night sky, with costumes accompanying each pas de deux, with each representing a different stage of romance, or life in general. One has to see it to feel the emotional charges accompanying it; it's something inexplicable and stunning, especially with such amazing dancers (notably Nicolas Le Riche, Agnès Letestu, Clairemarie Osta, and Benjamin Pech). The last of his ballets on this DVD is The Concert, a laugh-out-loud funny 'interpretation' of the music of Chopin. It all begins with a curtain, were the viewer sees a cartoon theater within a theater (viewed from within a theater). The pianist (Vessela Pelovska, who is absolutely genius) walks on and provides a hilarious introduction to her beautiful music, as various spectators come see her play. Each spectator is a caricature of very typical people who go to such concerts. Throughout her playing (and the orchestra's occasional intervening), the spectators have their own daydreams - wether it's trying on hats, walking in the rain, a classical showpiece (which goes somewhat wrong), or a battle of butterflies, among other things. This ballet is hilarious and could lift anyone's mood. All of the dancers here are beautiful, especially in such unflattering costumes (which make everything even more hilarious).

Unfortunately, the DVD hits a weak spot, in my opinion. Triade, with music commissioned from Nico Muhly, and choreography by Benjamin Millepied is a very dull and typical contemporary showpiece. This has nothing to do with Jerome Robbins (albeit the fact that he says it does), and doesn't belong on a DVD entitled 'Tribute to Jerome Robbins'. Of course, the dancers here are all stunning, and the orchestra plays very well - it's just a matter of the creativity of Millepied and Muhly. There's no hope in matching the genius of Jerome Robbins - so why even try?

Otherwise, the DVD is filmed in stunning HD, and looks great on a big screen. The DVD case itself is in the shape of a small book, with a small biography of Robbins, and a description of each of the ballets included, with the DVD at the end of the book. 'Tribute to Jerome Robbins', featuring the Paris Opera Ballet and Orchestra, is an excellent collection of ballets by a genius, danced impeccably. I recommend this to any fan of dance, even though it should belong in anyone's film collection.
Submitted on 03/23/12 by danrubin06 
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Works Details

>Various : Work(s)
  • Performers: Dorothee Gilbert (Dancer); Marie-Agnes Gillot (Dancer); Nicolas Le Riche (Dancer); Agnes Letestu (Dancer)
  • Conductor: Koen Kessels
  • Ensemble: Paris Opera Orchestra