I went on a DVD buying expedition to my local Mega-Emporium of Shiny Discs For Movies and Music last night. The object of my quest was to find the new two disc remaster of The Adventures of Robin Hood with Errol Flynn and Olivia de Havilland, with perhaps an option on Singin' In The Rain, The Band Wagon, or even Casablanca. I had some free time yesterday afternoon during a software installation and got to read an article about the amazing job Warner Bros. Home Video is doing on a new round of digital film transfers. I always was a big fan of the Errol Flynn movies as well as the Astaire and Kelly musicals growing up (to which Mrs. Geek invariably replies "I am so so glad I know you aren't gay..."). The last print of Robin Hood I saw was showing its age and I had sudden eagerness to see what the wizards at Warner Bros. had done to save it.
Alas, I could not find it.
What I did find (but did not buy) is the DVD shown above. I had certainly heard of the New York City Ballet Workout before, but never actually saw the DVD or video. When I originally found out about the idea, I thought "oh wow... ballet is very athletic, and ballet dancers have that long, lean look and dancer's carriage... the pilates crowd will eat this up!". I think that's what the marketing folks would love for us to believe.
What I did not realize until I actually held the DVD above in my hands is that the workout is not for mere mortals, like me. It is probably only truly useful to people who have been dancing or doing yoga/pilates for over a decade. Take a look at the pose being held by the ballerina in the lower left corner of the image. That pose on the DVD front cover was relatively simple compared to the four poses on the back. I think my college yoga instructor would have trouble with some of the poses on the back, and she was one of the most fit, flexible people I've seen in the last 10 years. No, I have no prayer of being able to do the NYC Ballet workout for a long, long time.
In the end, I opted to buy DVD's of two musicals: Singin' In The Rain and Seven Brides For Seven Brothers (one of Mrs. Geek's favorites.) I've only watched the Singin' In The Rain DVD so far, and it is amazing. The new digital transfer is so crisp and clear that you can see the Donald O'Connor's blue eyes in nearly every scene... and the sound has been re-mastered in Dolby 5.1. In all breathtaking.
on 2005-03-04 at 8:46 p.m.
The Wayback Machine - To Infinity And Beyond