La Bayadere (Ballet de L'Opera de Paris) (1994)
Biographies-Cast & Crew
|Year Of Production||1994|
|RSDL / Flipper||RSDL (66:26)||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||2,3,4,5,6||Directed By||Alexandre Tarta|
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||English Linear PCM 48/16 2.0 (1536Kb/s)|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||1.66:1|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.66:1||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
The broad story here is one that often forms the basis of stories, be they films, plays, ballets or operas. Love, jealously, subterfuge, betrayal, sacrifice. Nikiya (Isabelle Guerin) is a Bayadère, a dancer (really original for a ballet) in love with Solor (Laurent Hilaire), a warrior for the Rajah (Jean-Marie Didière). Unfortunately, the High Brahmin (Francis Malovic) is also in love with Nikiya. Things get a tad complicated when the Rajah offers Solor his daughter Gamzatti's (Elisabeth Platel) hand, whereupon the High Brahmin reports the secret liaison between Solor and Nikiya, and Gamzatti forces the issue between them and plots to eliminate Nikiya.
Well I may not like ballet, but I can appreciate the enthusiasm of the Parisian audience for the performance and there is no doubting the quality of the score. Fans of ballet will probably rejoice, even if I don't.
The transfer is presented at an aspect ratio of 1.66:1, but it is not 16x9 enhanced.
This is a wonderfully rich and vibrant transfer, full of detail and definition. Wonderfully sharp throughout apart from one very minor loss of focus early on in the ballet, and of course the deliberately grainy introductory piece. Shadow detail is quite exquisite given that this is a stage performance, not just a recording performance. There was no low level noise apparent in the transfer, and overall this is an amazingly clear transfer.
The colours come up wonderfully rich in tone, very nicely saturated without any hint of oversaturation, not even with a predominantly blue background during Act III. This is a quite gorgeous looking transfer colour wise.
There did not appear to be any significant MPEG artefacts in the transfer. The only film-to-video artefact noticed was some shimmering in the backdrop during Act III, and this was not really that noticeable. There were no readily apparent film artefacts, suggesting that this may be a video source not a film source.
This is an RSDL format disc, with the layer change coming at 66:26. The layer change is quite noticeable and mildly disruptive to the flow of the ballet, although better than a flipper obviously. However, barring some technical reason that I am not aware of, I would have thought that the break between Acts I and II would have been a more logical place for the layer change.
You should note that the subtitles available on the disc are only operative during the introductory piece that precedes the performance itself.
There is only the one audio track on the DVD, an English Linear PCM 48/16 soundtrack. One note: the packaging displays a Dolby Digital logo but there is no such track on the disc.
The music is generally clear and understandable in the soundtrack, and the quality can be further judged by the fact that you can hear the patter of feet on occasions. Nifty!
The soundtrack is essentially a stereo effort that does not make much use of the surround channels. However, that is not to say that the soundtrack is automatically poor - far from it, this is a very nice orchestral sound and rivals some ballet compact discs I have for enjoyment. If you choose to turn the vision off and just listen to the music, the rewards are great indeed.
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
A fine video transfer.
A very good audio transfer.
The extras need some work.
|DVD||Pioneer DV-515, using S-Video output|
|Display||Sony Trinitron Wega (80cm). Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.|
|Speakers||Energy Speakers: centre EXLC; left and right C-2; rears EXLR; and subwoofer ES-12XL|