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Lots of stuff is still broken, but at least reviews can now be looked up and read.
PLEASE NOTE: Michael D's is currently in READ ONLY MODE. Anything submitted will simply not be written to the database.
Lots of stuff is still broken, but at least reviews can now be looked up and read.
Essential Ballet (Kirov Ballet) (1993)

Essential Ballet (Kirov Ballet) (1993) (NTSC)

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Released 4-Jun-2001

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Ballet None
Rating Rated G
Year Of Production 1993
Running Time 116:14
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (57:43) Cast & Crew
Start Up Programme
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By None Given
Floral Street
Universal Pictures Home Video
Starring The Kirov Ballet
Case Flexbox
RPI $36.95 Music The Kirov Orchestra
The Moscow Radio Symphony Orchestra

Video (NTSC) Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English Linear PCM 48/16 2.0 (1536Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 480i (NTSC)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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Plot Synopsis

    I know almost nothing about ballet, except for a recent viewing of Billy Elliot, so this is the first full ballet that I have ever seen. I volunteered to review this disc, primarily as a learning experience. I wanted to sample some classical music and also have a chance to view a dance genre that I have somehow managed to avoid in the past. I'll stick pretty much to describing the content and the quality of the video and audio. I'll not pass any judgement on the quality of the actual dancing as it could be good or bad and I still wouldn't know it.

    Essential Ballet contains two separate features. Feature One sees the Kirov Ballet performing at Covent Garden in London, with musical accompaniment from the Kirov Orchestra. This was filmed in 1992 in the presence of HRH Diana Princess of Wales and is a very formal occasion. The following pieces are presented;

    Feature Two sees an outdoor gala performance in Moscow's Red Square, with music from the Moscow Radio Symphony Orchestra. This is a less formal occasion as many of the audience appear to be your average Muscovite out for a good night. The following pieces are presented;

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Transfer Quality


    Essential Ballet is presented in an aspect of 1.33:1 and is therefore not 16x9 enhanced. This is an NTSC disc, so your display device will need to be capable of displaying this format.

    Sharpness and shadow level are excellent, although there certainly isn't much variety in terms of lighting or camera angles to show up any inadequacies.

    Colours are quite muted, with little vibrancy. Most of the dancers' costumes are white and except for a couple exhibiting minor colour bleeding they are well-rendered.

    There were no MPEG artefacts or any other video problems noted.

    This is an RSDL-formatted disc, with the layer change occurring between the two features at 57:43.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


    There are two soundtracks present on this disc; a Dolby Digital 5.1 track and a PCM Stereo 2.0 track. I listened to both tracks in about equal portions. Both are excellent, though the centre and surround use on the second feature provide a fuller and wider soundstage that seems to capture the variety of the orchestral instruments more.

    There are no dialogue problems as there is obviously no dialogue!

    The music presented is a nice variety of classical music for the novice listener such as myself, with a mixture of unfamiliar pieces and a couple of instantly recognisable classics on offer.

    Surround use was mostly evident during the second feature with significant amounts of the orchestra playing through the rears in addition to most of the audience sounds. The subwoofer had little use.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use


    There are no extras.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    This is a multi-region disc, and is the same the world over.


    Essential Ballet is a good disc to use as an introduction to ballet and classical music as it presents some variety with lesser known pieces in addition to some instantly recognizable pieces such as The Nutcracker. The quality of the video is consistent with my expectations given the source material. The quality of the audio is excellent. There are no extras at all, which is disappointing.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Darren Walters (It's . . . just the vibe . . . of my bio)
Monday, July 02, 2001
Review Equipment
DVDToshiba 1200, using S-Video output
DisplayLoewe Calida (84cm). Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationHarmon/Kardon AVR7000.
SpeakersFront - B&W 602S2, Centre - B&W CC6S2, Rear - B&W 601S2, Sub - Energy E:xl S10

Other Reviews NONE