Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Vladimir Ponomarev, Leonid Sarafanov, Olesya Novikova, Anton Lukovkin, Igor Petropy
Director: Brian Large
Genres: Music Video & Concerts, Musicals & Performing Arts
A breath-taking ensemble performance of Marius Petipa's popular Don Quixote, loosely based on Cervantes famous novel, from the world-renowned Mariinsky Ballet. The Mariinsky's top principal male, Leonid Sarafanov (the Prin... more »
Pretty, well-danced, if not spectacular video of this classi
Ivy Lin | NY NY | 07/22/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
""Don Quixote" is a classic staple of the ballet repertoire, and its individual set pieces are very well known and often used in galas and ballet competitions. Despite the title, the ballet has only a passing resemblance to Cervantes' great novel. It focuses on one vignette from the novel, which is the attempts of the lovers Basil and Kitri to marry in the face of parental opposition. At its best it's a high-spirited, exhilarating ballet sure to put a smile on your face. At its worst, it can seem silly and shallow. Minkus's score is tuneful and a favorite of ice skaters.
The leads in this new video, which was filmed in 2006, are stars of the Mariinsky Ballet. Olesia Novikova is the Kitri. She's pretty, doll-faced, and a good turner (in the grand pas de deux coda she throws several doubles in addition to the 32 single fouettes). However, she doesn't quite have the sauciness and personality that can really light the stage on fire. To see how exciting this role *can* be, watch excerpts of Maya Plisetskaya, or, on youtube, the recent Bolshoi phenom Natalia Osipova. Novikova's fan coda is the most disappointing -- indifferently danced. She chooses to do the "bouree" variation rather than the "grande jete" variation, but her bourree's do not sparkle and are not well-articulated, and she doesn't do much with her fan either. She also doesn't have the elevation (Kitri is a big jumping role) to make the most of her solos. She is perhaps the best in the Dream Sequence, where her sweet stage presence is the most obvious.
Leonid Sarafanov, blond and boyish looking, is the closest the Kirov has today to a male superstar. His elevation is incredible, and he certainly knows every trick in the Ballet Bravura book. His weakness is that he can be an indifferent partner and is too slight of build to make much of the many lifts the role requires. The famous one-handed lifts in Act 1 go for nothing. Still, he's an undeniably exciting performer.
The strength of a company can often be judged not just by the lead performers, but the quality of the small solo variations in a ballet. In this case, the Mariinsky shows its depth. Andrei Merkuriev (no longer with the company) is a handsome, dashing Espada. The Street Dancer is danced with glamour, style, and verve by the red-haired, tall Ekaterina Kondaorova. On the other side of the coin the tiny, adorable Evgenia Obraztsova is Amour. The one disappointment is Alina Somova's Dryad Queen. Somova has enormous flexibility (makes Sylvie Guillem look positively rusty) but little else. Her turnout is weak and her solo in the Dream Sequence is distinguished only by her determination to touch her arm to her toes in each Italian fouette.
The corps de ballet of the Mariinsky is always the real star. In the Dream Sequence, children of the Vaganova school dance along with the Mariinsky corps de ballet and the similarity in training and the unison between the children and the corps is a delight to watch. It makes me understand why Balanchine, one of the Vaganova Academy's most famous alumni, when he started a ballet company in the United States said, "But first, a school."
I do wish the Bolshoi would release a Don Quixote with Natalia Osipova. In the meantime, this video is a welcome addition to a balletomane's library."
W. Lee | Iloilo City, Philippines | 07/23/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Yes! I Agree im waiting for the Natalia Osipova - Don Quixote, i think she's the best role for Kitri to light the stage on fire.And i also saw her Flames of Paris PDD in the youtube! well its a breathtaking performance. But for the meantime, i will enjoy this one, until they could release the Osipova - Don Q., anyway this DVD is also nice, Great leads and spectacular to watch!"
Robert Vargo | USA | 01/11/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"An energetic, classic interpretation of Don Quixote. Fluid and masterful; wonderfully colorful and appealing. Excellent video and audio; unfortunately not available in blu-ray format as of my review. This sometimes ignored masterpiece deserves a serious viewing by all lovers of the dance...."
Beautiful Dancing - Awful rendition of music
Satish Kamath | 12/10/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)
"The Choreography, Dancing, Dancers and Filming are just great. No doubt about that... The music... woooo.... Minkus must be turning in his grave.
Just listen to the Paris Opera rendition with Aurelie Dupont in the Lead; or Even Paul Connelly conducting the Baryshnikov rendition (Connelly was cursed more by poor recording than his own conducting). You will immediately know the difference. If there was a way I could superimpose some well conducted and recorded piece of the same with someone else competent performing it, I would have rated this 5 star.
No wonder you dont hear too much about the conductor who was in charge of this one."