Shout! Factory will release the ballet movie Coppelia as a Blu-ray/DVD combo pack Oct. 19.
The visually opulent fairy tale is based on tales by E.T.A. Hoffmann, putting a twist on a story that was first made into a ballet in 1870, combining animation and live-action dance in a modern retelling of the love story between Swan and Franz, jeopardized by Dr. Coppelius and his uncannily beautiful protégée Coppelia.
Coppelia stars ballet superstar/author/and inspirational activist Michaela DePrince, and a cast including one of the world’s most in-demand principal dancers, Daniel Camargo, alongside international dance stars Vito Mazzeo, Sasha Mukhamedov, Igone de Jongh, Irek Mukhamedov and Darcey Bussell.
This unconventional adaptation sees Dr. Coppelius (Mazzeo) as a cosmetic surgeon, whose lure of superficial beauty poisons the town. Swan (DePrince) must uncover the truth about the popular newcomer who puts her community and the life of her beloved Franz (Daniel Camargo) in danger. When everyone in town falls under the spell of the Coppelius, feisty Swan must act to save her sweetheart Franz, before his heart is used to spark life into Coppelia — the “perfect” robot-woman Coppelius has created.
Modern and fast-paced, the dialogue-free film features a blend of musical influences from classical to electronic. As the townspeople come to learn, in the age of social media and an increasingly image conscious culture — it’s never been more important to be yourself.
Extras include a look behind the scenes with DePrince, plus interviews with the cast and filmmakers courtesy of Citia Annecy Festival.
Stars of the film Center Stage, including Amanda Schull, Zoe Saldana, Sascha Radetsky and Ethan Stiefel, will gather Sept. 1 for a virtual fundraiser in support of American Ballet Theatre’s Crisis Relief Fund, which provides aid for dancers, production crew, musicians, ballet staff and faculty impacted by canceled tour engagements due to COVID-19.
During the pre-recorded reunion, moderated by “CNN Newsroom” anchor Poppy Harlow, the actors will look back at the making of the film that spawned two sequels and helped bring the ballet world into the pop culture spotlight.
Center Stage, which celebrated its 20th anniversary earlier this year, follows a group of ballet students in the competitive world of professional dance where they must devote themselves to their art with the rigor of Olympic athletes. While experiencing the joys, sorrows and conflicts of youth, they vie for a place in a prestigious ballet company and strive to take center stage. The film has inspired two sequels, Center Stage: Turn It Up and Center Stage: On Pointe, as well as an upcoming series in development with Sony Pictures Television. Center Stage is available now on disc and digital.
American Ballet Theatre will also be hosting a ticketed pre-event reception via Zoom, beginning at 6:15 p.m. ET. Moderated by ABT dancer Erica Lall and ABT Accelerator co-chair and Gagosian Gallery director Sarah Hoover, the reception will feature an exclusive conversation with Sascha Radetsky, former ABT soloist and artistic director of ABT Studio Company, and Ethan Stiefel, former ABT principal dancer and current faculty member. Tickets, benefitting the ABT Crisis Relief Fund, will start at $150; for more information please email email@example.com.
Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment will release The Nutcracker and the Four Realms on Blu-ray, DVD, 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray and digital Jan. 29.
Inspired by E.T.A. Hoffmann’s short story “The Nutcracker and the Mouse King” and the ballet The Nutcracker, the film tells the story of 14-year-old Clara (Mackenzie Foy), who travels along a golden thread, presented at Drosselmeyer’s (Morgan Freeman) annual party, eagerly searching for a one-of-a-kind key that will unlock a music box that holds a priceless gift. When she enters a mysterious parallel world, Clara encounters a Nutcracker soldier named Phillip (Jayden Fowora-Knight), a gang of mice and three Realm regents, including the Sugar Plum Fairy (Keira Knightley). Ultimately, she must brave the Fourth Realm, home to the tyrant Mother Ginger (Helen Mirren), to retrieve the key and return harmony to the unstable world.
Blu-ray extras include: “On Pointe: A Conversation with Misty Copeland,” in which the actress discusses playing The Ballerina Princess; “Unwrapping The Nutcracker and the Four Realms,” a look at the production design, sets and costumes; five deleted scenes; and music videos for “Fall on Me” by Andrea Bocelli featuring Matteo Bocelli, and Tchaikovsky’s “The Nutcracker Suite” performed by Lang Lang.
Another featurette “Unwrapped: The Visual Effects of The Nutcracker and the Four Realms,” will be available exclusively with the digital edition.