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1. Dancers
$12.99 $5.84 list($14.95)
2. Center Stage
$29.95
3. American Ballet Theatre Now: Highlights
$9.86 list($14.95)
4. Center Stage
list($9.95)
5. Center Stage

1. Dancers
Director: Herbert Ross
list price: $14.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 6301016998
Catlog: Video
Sales Rank: 13110
Average Customer Review: 2.73 out of 5 stars
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Description

Film about a dance company preparing a new production of "Giselle."Julie Kent is the young dancer who becomes infatuated with the artistic director of the company, Baryshnikov, and like Giselle suffers a breakdown. ... Read more

Reviews (15)

4-0 out of 5 stars It's the dancing that makes this so special
I have watched this movie a LOT!! I own it in the VHS format. It's not a great storyline... it's not an intriguing plot.... but... it is a lovely story of a jaded dancer meeting innocense for the first time in a very long time. I think that the story itself is cute, not mesmerizing but..... the dancing, especially by Baryshnikov is unbelievably heartstopping. There is no other dancer who makes my heart pound and my soul cry out for more. For sure.... the ballet itself is the highlight of this movie but.... watch it without high expectations regarding the plot and story line and you will not be disappointed.

3-0 out of 5 stars A Guilty Pleasure for Ballet Lovers
This movie is, more than anything else, a peek inside the Baryshnikov-era ABT. The plot is weak (loosely structured around Giselle, it's nothing interesting or surprising), but dance-lovers will enjoy the setting and the who's-who, as well as getting to hear the dancers speak and seeing them out of character.

Nonetheless, I must own this in DVD! It's poorly scripted and acted, but the dancing makes it all worthwhile.

2-0 out of 5 stars Lightweight, forgettable
Remember when Pavarotti made a movie sometime back in the 80's? Lightweight stuff, totally forgettable. Unfortunately, its the same thing here. As far as Baryshnikov on the big screen goes, WHITE NIGHTS is a far better deal for your dollar. On the positive side with this one though, you do get the entire second act of GISELLE virtually uninterrupted... and that's a good thing.

4-0 out of 5 stars Great Dancing, Lousy Story
I recently rewatched this movie, which I've owned for years, and I must agree with the other reviewers that the plot is absolutely
laughable, especially the scene in which Julie Kent has a mild breakdown on stage during the Mad Scene. Julie Kent is lovely and a fine dancer, but her voice is annoying and she can't act.

The subplot between Wade & Nadine (Victor Barbee & Leslie Browne) is barely touched on and is much more interesting. The baby is gorgeous. I would have thought by now, though, that Barbee would have lost his North Carolina accent!

It's nice to see Tommy Rall again. He was so good in Kiss Me, Kate.

Lynn Seymour's scene in which she explains her pantomime is also very interesting.

The dancing is outstanding from beginning to end. Victor Barbee's Hilarion is finely drawn and sympathetic, far from a villain but rather a nice guy who finishes last with a death he does not deserve. Leslie Browne, who portrays Myrtha, Queen of the Wilis, is a wonderful dancer and a very capable actress both in the ballet and in the story. I wish there had been more dancing, as there were parts of the ballet left out, including the peasant pas de deux. But take the advice that others have offered--fast forward through the story & just watch the dance.

1-0 out of 5 stars Simply horrible movie - much better dance films out there
Yes, it *does* star Misha, but his acting is so bad that the dance sequences can't make up for it. The plot (and I use that term loosely) of the movie is equally bad. I love a good dance flick, but this movie is truly awful. If you want to see Misha, good dancing, *and* good acting (plus a fairly good plot), I highly recommend that you bypass "Dancers" and buy "The Turning Point" instead. ... Read more


2. Center Stage
Director: Nicholas Hytner
list price: $14.95
our price: $12.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00004WMDT
Catlog: Video
Sales Rank: 3059
Average Customer Review: 4.41 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

The primary appeal of dance movies is the dancing, with some added emphasis on the romance the art expresses. Center Stage wins on these counts, despite its reveling in overly familiar characters and formula plotting. Or maybe this reveling is responsible for what goofy fun this film is. The arduous task of becoming a professional ballet dancer is incarnated by many good-looking teens, all stock dance-film characters affectionately portrayed mostly by newcomers. But center stage holds Jody Sawyer (Amanda Schull), who may never be a great ballerina, but she's certainly one sexy jazz dancer. Then there's the arrogant genius (Ethan Stiefel), the dictatorial impresario (Peter Gallagher), the demanding instructor, the bulimic, the stage mother, etc. As we follow these characters, the message develops that one should let go and do what feels good. Jody may not be ballet material, but she scorches the stage when she's uninhibited. And that's really the fun of this movie, which is never seriously interested in ballet to begin with. One ludicrous scene depicts one of the dancers quitting because she realizes she never wanted to be a dancer to begin with but was pushed into it by her overbearing mother. She stands up to mom in the lobby of the auditorium where she's supposed to be performing, the music of her piece providing a syrupy backdrop to her little drama. When she's finished talking, she walks off to the audience's unwitting applause. The scene is so ham-handed you can't help but laugh at its audacity, if that's what it is. The rest of the film is not so overdone, but it's all fun. --Jim Gay ... Read more

Reviews (203)

5-0 out of 5 stars I watched this movie six times in three days!
I really enjoyed this movie. It was about a girl(Jody) who dreams of dancing in the American BAllet Company(ABC) when she gets invited to dance at the American Ballet Acadamy(ABA). Jody is behind in ballet tecniqe, has bad feet, doesn't have enough turnout, and doesn't have the "ideal" body type for classical ballet. Unsurprisingly the director, Jonathon Reeves, doesn't think she'll ever beable to be dancer in any company. With her best friends, a bolimic roommate, and an idiotic dancer/choregrapher/boyfriend this movie is very realistic. Being a dancer I can relate to the "abused" pointe shoes and competative atmosephere. The dancing at the end left me hungry for more. On DVD the main character(Jody, played by Amanda Shull) looks and sounds completly different in some of the scenes. I would reccomend this movie to anyone who wants a good plot.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great fun and inspiration
Regardless of cliches, being labeled as teen-flick, etc. this movie is certainly very enjoyable. If nothing else, see it for Ethan Stiefel's amazing dancing. I've seen him live before, but never in hip-hop or jazz roles. Very exciting to see him show off his versatility in Center Stage! I've danced ballet for years and I don't care about the little discrepancies in the film; it's still great. I particularly enjoyed the portrayals of the daily drudge of class. The fact that Hytner used real dancers (except for Maureen's character, which is fine) was the real kicker for me. I'm still dancing and sometimes I watch this movie as reminder of what fun you can have when you dance for the love of it.

4-0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable and fun
Even though I feel like the acting is strained and forced at times, I still really enjoy this movie and have watched it multiple times. Of course I have a fascination with the dance world, which I know nothing about personally. The dancing sequences are fun and impressive and there are some glimpses of what it might be like under that pressure physically and emotionally.

4-0 out of 5 stars So the acting is crap, the dancing ROCKS
This movie is all about the dancing, and everyone seems to agree it is great dancing...yet not many people give credit to the Choreographer...let's just hear it for the amazing Susan Stroman, choreographer extraordinare! she is always amazing! I hope the writers thanked her for saving their movie.

1-0 out of 5 stars Boasts every cliché you¿ve ever associated with dancing
"Center Stage" tries desperately to be an entertaining, insightful look into the world of ballet dancers, but fails miserably. The acting by almost all of the actors is wooden and laughably bad. The dialogue is ridiculous without an ounce of believability. The dance sequences, which, if well-done, could have made this film so much more enjoyable, were dull and overly flashy.

As for the story, think of every cliché you've ever associated with the dance world and I guarantee you'll find it in this movie. Let's see, we have the Young, Beautiful Dancer in awe of the big city who falls in love with a hot star dancer. Then we have the Arrogant Girl ("I am the best goddamn dancer in the American Ballet Academy. Who the hell are you? Nobody") with an eating disorder and problems with her mother ("It's your dream... and it means more to you than it ever did to me"). And then there is the Rebellious Dancer with an attitude who refuses to conform to her instructor's direction. Lastly, of course, we have the Cute, Thoughtful Male Dancer whom Young Beautiful Dancer is secretly in love with. Yeah, okay. If this sounds interesting to you, you may enjoy this trite little soap opera set against the glamorized backdrop of the American Ballet Academy in NYC. ... Read more


3. American Ballet Theatre Now: Highlights from the ABT Repertoire
Director: Judy Kinberg, Thomas Grimm
list price: $29.95
our price: $29.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1561278599
Catlog: Video
Sales Rank: 18460
Average Customer Review: 4.92 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (12)

5-0 out of 5 stars A great show of variety
This is the first video that has shown me how great acompany can be. Anyone who has an interest in ballet should own this video. This video shows such wonderful claassical numbers such as Swan Lake and a couple modern numbers as well. I enjoyed watching Susan Jaffe and Jose Carreno dance the Black Swan pas de deux but the highlight of the video for me was the Don Quixote pas de deux danced by Paloma Herrera and Angel Corella. Corella is one of the up and coming male dancers today. I had the opportunity to see him dance recently and needless to say I was amazed. This video is a must for any ballet lover.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great company! Great repertoire! Great transfer to DVD!
Finally, this thrilling gala performance is available on DVD! The transfer is crisp and the dances are nicely indexed so you can jump to your favorites...not that you'll want to skip even one of them. But I'm sure every balletomane will have her or his favorite. Mine is "Remanso", a pas de trois for men based on a Garcia Lorca poem. Taped in 1998, these performances feature many of ABTs upcoming stars (Corella, Carreno, Herrera, Stiefel) as well as seasoned veterans (Jaffe, Bocca, Hill, McKerrow). Angel Corella delivers breath-taking turns in his pas de deux with Paloma Herrera from "Don Quixote."

Although comprised of eight separate dance performances, each segment is intercut with fragments of backstage interviews with the dancers and artistic director Kevin McKenzie. Nothing momentous is revealed, but it's nice to hear the dancers express their enthusiasm for the works they perform and for the company that have the priviledge to dance for. Introduced by prima ballerina assoluta Natalia Makarava (looking great in a maroon silk and velvet gown by Gianfranco Ferre), it moves quickly and is the type of DVD you'll want to watch over and over. Far superior to ABTs other recent offering on DVD, "Le Corsaire," in which the dancers make fun of ballet (with justification) in between-the-acts interviews...and which is difficult to watch more than once.

I never understand why "fine art" DVDs offer so few "extras" (in this case, none). If you go to a live performance of a ballet, you get program notes on the music and choreography and short biographies of each principal dancer. Is that so difficult to transfer to a bonus material section on a DVD? Are there copyright issues? Anyway, don't let the absence of extras deter you, this DVD really delivers the goods. Buy it, watch it, love it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great dancing of some of ballets best known scenes
The title of this DVD really fits perfectly; "Variety and Virtuosity" features not only some of the classical standards of ballet but also a few modern works to show off the talented dancers that make up the American Ballet Theatre. In this disc the group performs ensemble sets as well as several Pas de Deux.

Although the DVD only lasts 83 minutes it contains some real gems: just to mention a few......

- the great athletic and dancing skills (along with the colorful costumes) of Angel Corella and Paloma Herrera in Minkus's Don Quixote.

-Alessandra Ferri and Julio Bocca do a wonderful interpretation of young lovers in their balcony scene Pas de Deux from Prokofiev's Romeo and Juliet. Their dancing and expressions are so sensitive that you could almost feel the love that their characters had for one another. In addition, Ferri has in some way, an indescribable allure to go with her infectious smile that draws your eye to her.

-However, the highlight of the entire disc was, to me, the husband and wife team of Amanda McKerrow and John Gardner in The Leaves are Fading . ( choreography by Antony Tudor, music by Antonin Dvorak) This is one of those ballets that combine the perfect music with the perfect dance; and McKerrow and Gardner simply do a magnificent job in expressing the quiet joy and subtle sadness of this masterpiece by Mr. Tudor. I have watched this particular dance frequently since I got this DVD and I seem to see something new with each viewing. The ending is so exquisitely beautiful and peaceful it near moves me to tears. It has gotten to the point that I cannot imagine this music being played without this dance accompanying it.

All in all, this fabulous disc is a must have if you have any interest in great ballet. Highly recommended.

4-0 out of 5 stars ABT All-Stars perform the hits; solid dancing; so-so camera
"Variety and Virtuosity" is a very good DVD that will provide any dance fan with excellent entertainment value and an easy way to view some classic Pas de Deux. The all-star American Ballet Theatre cast (1998 version) is enjoyable to watch, and performs admirably. The dialogue between the pieces is a nice way to provide a little background about the dances as well as a little insight into the personalities of the performers.

Aside from the opening three-minute "Polonaise" (lots of walking around) leading to the introductory words by Natalia Makarova, there are seven dance numbers performed. Five feature a Pas de Deux, and only one shows a dance in its entirety, "Remanso," choreographed by Nacho Duato (not to be missed; it's awesome). The partnering is very good: the younger Jose Manuel Carreno provides a strong complement to the seasoned Susan Jaffe in a number from "Swan Lake," husband and wife John Gardner and Amanda McKerrow are likewise well-matched ("The Leaves are Fading"), and Julie Kent and Robert Hill convey interesting straight-faced emotion in a work ("Cruel World") choreographed specifically on them by James Kudelka. Julio Bocca comes across as a little overly sappy in the Balcony Pas de Deux with Alessandra Ferri (one of my favorite ballerinas), but it's still great to watch. The most exceptional pair is Paloma Herrera and Angel Corella, in the Grand Pas de Deux from "Don Quixote," who elicited the loudest cheers for their combination of energy, athleticism, grace and balance. As mentioned earlier, "Remanso" was unbelievable; I was spellbound (also check out "Three by Duato," one of the best modern dance DVDs). The 3rd Movement from "Bruch Violin Concerto No. 1 was pretty good."

I'd give this DVD a 5-star rating were it not for a few little negatives which combined to knock it down a notch. First, with a run time of 83 minutes, there's very little dancing left after the introduction (not necessary, but typical for an episode of "Great Performances") and interviews with the director and dancers. Secondly, I was frustrated by camera work and editing that was a little spotty, with too many instances of dancers running in and out of the picture ... I wasn't seeing where my eyes wanted to look. Lastly, there are zero DVD extras (included in most other performance discs) that would have provided some welcome extra dimensions to the viewing experience (e.g., biographies, more behind-the-scenes footage).

Overall, this is a nice compilation of highlights for anyone wanting an good introductory look into ballet. Also, it's great for seasoned ballet fans, especially those of ABT.

5-0 out of 5 stars If you know ballet you you love this
I am a ballerina myself and I love this. I found the big prblem with the dancing videos are the camera angles..you always get the wrong one. With this you won't have a problem. The dancers are on the music and the dancing is great. You get both the classics and modern works. Along this the dances you also get behind the scences and short interviews from the dancers. This is really good. ... Read more


4. Center Stage
Director: Nicholas Hytner
list price: $14.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00004XPQ3
Catlog: Video
Sales Rank: 89018
Average Customer Review: 4.41 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Reviews (203)

5-0 out of 5 stars I watched this movie six times in three days!
I really enjoyed this movie. It was about a girl(Jody) who dreams of dancing in the American BAllet Company(ABC) when she gets invited to dance at the American Ballet Acadamy(ABA). Jody is behind in ballet tecniqe, has bad feet, doesn't have enough turnout, and doesn't have the "ideal" body type for classical ballet. Unsurprisingly the director, Jonathon Reeves, doesn't think she'll ever beable to be dancer in any company. With her best friends, a bolimic roommate, and an idiotic dancer/choregrapher/boyfriend this movie is very realistic. Being a dancer I can relate to the "abused" pointe shoes and competative atmosephere. The dancing at the end left me hungry for more. On DVD the main character(Jody, played by Amanda Shull) looks and sounds completly different in some of the scenes. I would reccomend this movie to anyone who wants a good plot.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great fun and inspiration
Regardless of cliches, being labeled as teen-flick, etc. this movie is certainly very enjoyable. If nothing else, see it for Ethan Stiefel's amazing dancing. I've seen him live before, but never in hip-hop or jazz roles. Very exciting to see him show off his versatility in Center Stage! I've danced ballet for years and I don't care about the little discrepancies in the film; it's still great. I particularly enjoyed the portrayals of the daily drudge of class. The fact that Hytner used real dancers (except for Maureen's character, which is fine) was the real kicker for me. I'm still dancing and sometimes I watch this movie as reminder of what fun you can have when you dance for the love of it.

4-0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable and fun
Even though I feel like the acting is strained and forced at times, I still really enjoy this movie and have watched it multiple times. Of course I have a fascination with the dance world, which I know nothing about personally. The dancing sequences are fun and impressive and there are some glimpses of what it might be like under that pressure physically and emotionally.

4-0 out of 5 stars So the acting is crap, the dancing ROCKS
This movie is all about the dancing, and everyone seems to agree it is great dancing...yet not many people give credit to the Choreographer...let's just hear it for the amazing Susan Stroman, choreographer extraordinare! she is always amazing! I hope the writers thanked her for saving their movie.

1-0 out of 5 stars Boasts every cliché you¿ve ever associated with dancing
"Center Stage" tries desperately to be an entertaining, insightful look into the world of ballet dancers, but fails miserably. The acting by almost all of the actors is wooden and laughably bad. The dialogue is ridiculous without an ounce of believability. The dance sequences, which, if well-done, could have made this film so much more enjoyable, were dull and overly flashy.

As for the story, think of every cliché you've ever associated with the dance world and I guarantee you'll find it in this movie. Let's see, we have the Young, Beautiful Dancer in awe of the big city who falls in love with a hot star dancer. Then we have the Arrogant Girl ("I am the best goddamn dancer in the American Ballet Academy. Who the hell are you? Nobody") with an eating disorder and problems with her mother ("It's your dream... and it means more to you than it ever did to me"). And then there is the Rebellious Dancer with an attitude who refuses to conform to her instructor's direction. Lastly, of course, we have the Cute, Thoughtful Male Dancer whom Young Beautiful Dancer is secretly in love with. Yeah, okay. If this sounds interesting to you, you may enjoy this trite little soap opera set against the glamorized backdrop of the American Ballet Academy in NYC. ... Read more


5. Center Stage
Director: Nicholas Hytner
list price: $9.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00005AX7F
Catlog: Video
Sales Rank: 47141
Average Customer Review: 4.41 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Reviews (203)

5-0 out of 5 stars I watched this movie six times in three days!
I really enjoyed this movie. It was about a girl(Jody) who dreams of dancing in the American BAllet Company(ABC) when she gets invited to dance at the American Ballet Acadamy(ABA). Jody is behind in ballet tecniqe, has bad feet, doesn't have enough turnout, and doesn't have the "ideal" body type for classical ballet. Unsurprisingly the director, Jonathon Reeves, doesn't think she'll ever beable to be dancer in any company. With her best friends, a bolimic roommate, and an idiotic dancer/choregrapher/boyfriend this movie is very realistic. Being a dancer I can relate to the "abused" pointe shoes and competative atmosephere. The dancing at the end left me hungry for more. On DVD the main character(Jody, played by Amanda Shull) looks and sounds completly different in some of the scenes. I would reccomend this movie to anyone who wants a good plot.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great fun and inspiration
Regardless of cliches, being labeled as teen-flick, etc. this movie is certainly very enjoyable. If nothing else, see it for Ethan Stiefel's amazing dancing. I've seen him live before, but never in hip-hop or jazz roles. Very exciting to see him show off his versatility in Center Stage! I've danced ballet for years and I don't care about the little discrepancies in the film; it's still great. I particularly enjoyed the portrayals of the daily drudge of class. The fact that Hytner used real dancers (except for Maureen's character, which is fine) was the real kicker for me. I'm still dancing and sometimes I watch this movie as reminder of what fun you can have when you dance for the love of it.

4-0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable and fun
Even though I feel like the acting is strained and forced at times, I still really enjoy this movie and have watched it multiple times. Of course I have a fascination with the dance world, which I know nothing about personally. The dancing sequences are fun and impressive and there are some glimpses of what it might be like under that pressure physically and emotionally.

4-0 out of 5 stars So the acting is crap, the dancing ROCKS
This movie is all about the dancing, and everyone seems to agree it is great dancing...yet not many people give credit to the Choreographer...let's just hear it for the amazing Susan Stroman, choreographer extraordinare! she is always amazing! I hope the writers thanked her for saving their movie.

1-0 out of 5 stars Boasts every cliché you¿ve ever associated with dancing
"Center Stage" tries desperately to be an entertaining, insightful look into the world of ballet dancers, but fails miserably. The acting by almost all of the actors is wooden and laughably bad. The dialogue is ridiculous without an ounce of believability. The dance sequences, which, if well-done, could have made this film so much more enjoyable, were dull and overly flashy.

As for the story, think of every cliché you've ever associated with the dance world and I guarantee you'll find it in this movie. Let's see, we have the Young, Beautiful Dancer in awe of the big city who falls in love with a hot star dancer. Then we have the Arrogant Girl ("I am the best goddamn dancer in the American Ballet Academy. Who the hell are you? Nobody") with an eating disorder and problems with her mother ("It's your dream... and it means more to you than it ever did to me"). And then there is the Rebellious Dancer with an attitude who refuses to conform to her instructor's direction. Lastly, of course, we have the Cute, Thoughtful Male Dancer whom Young Beautiful Dancer is secretly in love with. Yeah, okay. If this sounds interesting to you, you may enjoy this trite little soap opera set against the glamorized backdrop of the American Ballet Academy in NYC. ... Read more


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