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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » New York City Ballet Workout
New York City Ballet Workout
Palm Pictures // Unrated // March 27, 2001
List Price: $24.95 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Gil Jawetz | posted April 14, 2001 | E-mail the Author
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C O N T E N T
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A U D I O
E X T R A S
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THE STRAIGHT DOPE:
The New York City Ballet Workout is unlike other home workout videos. In fact, the workout is probably the least interesting aspect. Narrated by famed ballet director Peter Martins (after an extremely brief introduction by Sarah Jessica Parker), the exercises resemble serious ballet warm-ups and routines. I have it on good authority from a former ballet student that many of this material will leave the average leg-lifter in the dust. However, for those with some ballet experience or those willing to work through the material slowly over time, there could be some benefits (the opening warns that a physician should be consulted before doing this routine, which is why I didn't try it. Well, that and I'm lazy).

Beyond the exercise, however, are a number of interesting features, discussed below, which make this disc more worthwhile.

VIDEO:
The video looks pretty good. I realize that it hardly matters, but from a cinematographic standpoint, there is more subtlety to this than, say, Sweatin' to the Moldies. The lighting is professional and smoky. Does this help the workout? Who knows.

AUDIO:
There are an unbelievable number of audio options: Classical music 5.1 and 2.0, Contemporary music (read: new-age) 5.1 and 2.0, plus all those options with or without Martins' narration. They all sound good, with the 5.1 tracks having more punch than the 2.0 ones.

EXTRAS:
Here is where the disc hides its best features. Video diaries and personal segments give in depth looks at the lives of the four dancers in the video as well as Martins and others. This is invaluable to those interested in the world of ballet. The New York City Ballet is one of the world's most prestigious and this kind of content could easily fill a disc on its own.

A behind the scenes segment reveals that the piece was not even shot in New York, but on a North Carolina soundstage, giving the viewer an unexpected peek at that area where many feature films and TV shows are shot.

Sports options break the exercises into segments that concentrate on movements beneficial to football, racquet sports, and skiing. This could be very useful to people who just want to improve in those areas.

A music video-style segment called "Dance and the City" cuts together footage from the actual ballet company and neighboring Julliard school with footage from around New York City. Again, fans of ballet will probably like this segment.

A generous DVD-ROM portion offers photos, a trailer, a video glossary, and more, although you need a DVD-ROM drive to access it.

FINAL THOUGHTS:
While the exercise might not be as appropriate for mass consumption as other general interest exercise videos, the The New York City Ballet Workout seems to have something to appeal to a lot of different people.

Gil Jawetz is a graphic designer, video director, and t-shirt designer. He lives in Brooklyn.

E-mail Gil at buskerdog@yahoo.com
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