10 essential DVDs for ballet lovers

Whether you are a confirmed ballet lover or a beginner, whether you are looking for a famous production or for a forgotten gem, you will find here a selection of the most beautiful dance DVD (and Blu-rays) released by Bel Air Classiques…

Demonstrations of the Paris Opera Ballet School [DVD & VOD]

Paris Opera Ballet School (2020)

The Demonstrations of the Paris Opera Ballet School are a traditional checkpoint for the institution: they consist of a performance where the audience can appreciate the beautiful and rich education of classical dance taught at the Paris Opera. This moment unveils the teaching methods of a traditional artistic knowledge. Led by their teachers, the students display the different skills necessary to master the codes of classical dance and the French style.

BONUS : The School of Dreams, a documentary film revealing the many secrets of the most famous dance school in the world.

Swan Lake [DVD, Blu-ray & VOD]

Yuri Grigorovich | Svetlana Zakharova | Denis Rodkin | Bolshoi Ballet (2015)

With Tchaikovsky’s famous lyrical score, Swan Lake depicts the tragic love between Princess Odette and Prince Siegfried, and will no doubt be performed to perfection by the unparalleled virtuosity of Russia’s great Bolshoi Ballet. This universal and enchanting masterpiece of love, deception and drama is a must. With wonderful ballerina Svetlana Zakharova, one of the most beautiful Odette / Odile of the time, Denis Rodkin, Artemy Belyakov and Bolshoi Ballet.

The Nutcracker [DVD, Blu-ray & VOD]

VALERY KOVTUN | PIOTR ILYICH TCHAIKOVSKY | Ballet Company of the National Opera of Ukraine (2018)

On Christmas Eve, a young girl has a dream… Emotional awakening, physical transformation, childhood that slowly merges into adulthood… behind what seems to be a tale for children slowly emerges a danced initiatory journey. And while children revel in Drosselmeyer’s magic tricks and enjoy a good scare with the apparition of the Mouse King, the adults notice all the finesse that pervades this narrative and admire the virtuosity of the choreography. A first class company, the Ballet Company of the National Opera of Ukraine has toured all around the world : from the United States to Europe and Asia. Thanks to its rich classical heritage, the Company has managed to win the hearts of its audience thanks to its amazing technique and artistic maestria, and as in every good dance company, the whole is equal to the sum of its parts.

The Sleeping Beauty [DVD & Blu-ray]


When she is finally released from an evil spell by the kiss of a young prince, the Sleeping Beauty awakes and is – in spite of a hundred years of sleep – as beautiful as a young woman. The love of the prince is simply stronger than the curse that rests on the haunted princess. The artistic director of the Staatsballett Berlin, Nacho Duato, has brought new life to this beloved classic, which itself is over a hundred years old and for which Tchaikovsky has composed the unforgettable music. This production demonstrates that Nacho Duato can also tackle classical ballets with dance en pointe with great success. Nothing in this production is old and dusty, rather the entire choreography looks fresh and is bursting with vitality and brings an air of spring to the stage.

Stravinsky et les Ballets Russes [DVD & Blu-ray]

The Rite of Spring | Firebird| Mariinsky Ballet | VALERY GERGIEV (2008)

In celebration of the Ballets Russes tour in Paris in 1909, a wonderful Stravinsky night at the Mariinsky (ex-Kirov) with the original Nijinsky version of the Rite of Spring for the first time on DVD and the Firebird both conducted by Valery Gergiev.


  • Documentary about the Ballets Russes
  • Interviews with Millicent Hodson and Kenneth Archer

New York City Ballet in Paris [DVD & Blu-ray]


The New York City Ballet, with its collection of extraordinary dancers and its unique repertoire, is one of the most prestigious dance companies in the world. This exceptional production, performed in Paris after eight years of absence, revolves around three great French composers who inspired NYCB founder George Balanchine : Charles Gounod, Maurice Ravel and Georges Bizet… A spectacular tribute to Balanchine, beautifully served by the breath-taking technique of these American dancers, who rank today among the best in the world !

Play [DVD & Blu-ray]


A sparkling personality on the contemporary dance scene, Swedish choreographer Alexander Ekman has been invited for the first time to work with the dancers of the Paris Opera Ballet. His language, both visceral and tinged with humour, combining theatricality, and classical and contemporary vocabulary alike, perfectly resonates with the incredible versatility and stage presence of the Ballet : the result is Play, a piece that evokes the world of childhood and its careless pleasures. But beyond pure entertainment, this performance contemplates the meaning and the importance of play when we become adults…

L’Histoire de Manon [DVD & Blu-ray]

Aurélie Dupont | Roberto Bolle | Kenneth McMillan | Paris Opera Ballet (2015)

Since it was first published in 1731, L’Histoire du Chevalier Des Grieux et de Manon Lescaut has been the object of numerous adaptations for both stage and screen. In the 19th century, Daniel-François-Esprit Auber, Jules Massenet and Giacomo Puccini used Abbé Prévost’s novel as the theme for their respective operas. After 1912, cinema transposed the story of Manon and the Knight into films of varying degrees of melodramatic intensity.

Orpheus und Eurydike [DVD & Blu-ray]


Orpheus and Eurydike is Pina Bausch’s masterpiece and the ultimate symbol of the genius of this German choreographer, who died in June 2009. From the outset it had been Gluck’s wish that Orpheus and Eurydike should have a dance accompaniment; and it was Pina Bausch’s respect for his dramatic power that led her to transform the work into a tanzoper, a danced opera. Her version tackles the genre head on in its expression of Orpheus’s suffering, the suffering human beings must overcome in confronting unquenched desire.

Don Quichotte [DVD]

VIENGSAY VALDÈS | ALICIA ALONSO | Ballet nacional de Cuba (2007)

Founded by “prima ballerina assoluta” Alicia Alonso over fifty years ago, the National Ballet of Cuba – one of the world’s best companies – gives an insight into its extraordinary talent with Don Quixote. This joyous, sparkling work is perfectly suited to the company’s mix of classicism and panache – a style that combines Russian technique and American rapidity with a thoroughly Latin sensibility. Performed in the original Alicia Alonso version, Don Quixote devotes all of its two hours to authentic Spanish dance: sensational portés, vertiginous leaps, splendid pirouettes, sublime solos and stunning variations.

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