Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Indie & Art House, Special Interests, Educational, Musicals & Performing Arts
A Great Ballet Classic Available At Last On DVD!
J. M WILINSKY | teaneck, NJ United States | 09/16/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The Armenian born, Soviet composer, Aram Khachaturian, created music for the ballet, Gayne(also transliterated as Gayane and Gayaneh, taken from the Armenian, a female name meaning lovely and elegant--it is pronounced guy-yah-NEH, with the stess on the last syllable) in the first half of the twentieth century. He actually created two versions: a long version and a shorter one. The performance on this DVD is actually the shorter one, but it is still 81 minutes long(this DVD also includes 47 minutes of extras, so don't worry, you'll get your money's worth!). Gayne has only been seen rarely in the West, but is very popular in Russia and the rest of the former Soviet Union. One scene from Gayne actually is well known everywhere, and that is the famous Sabre Dance. Yes, the Sabre Dance is from Gayne! The importance of this ballet in the history of ballet makes this DVD all the more welcome.
This version is choreographed by Boris Eifman and performed by the Latvian Opera And Ballet Company. The choreography is wonderfully intense and impressive, danced to perfection by this Latvian company. In the typical style of Soviet ballet in the twentieth century, Gayne contains an abundance of male dancing, perhaps even more than female, but there is plenty of female dancing, mostly on pointe.
This performance was recorded live, in 1980, at the Bolshoi Theatre(yes, companies other than the Bolshoi perform at the Bolshoi Theatre, even the Kirov Ballet!). The image quality is not as good as today's, but it is quite good, nevertheless, and in color. The sound is in mono, but of good quality.
The lighting is also typically Russian, with a rather dark, colorful background and spotlights on individual dancers and dancer combinations.
All the curtain calls are included, and they have prepared a little choreography for some of them, which is rather charming.
Surprisingly(actually, VAI, the studio that produces this DVD, is often generous with their extras!), 47 minutes of extras are included. The first one is an older, black and white segment, with remarkably excellent mono sound, of the entire last act of the longer version of Gayne(yet another version of the Sabre Dance is in this segment--this version has the Sabre Dance in the last act, whereas the Latvian performance has it in the second act, which seems to make more sense in terms of the story), performed by the Bolshoi Ballet and conducted by Khachaturian, himself. There is yet another extra from an older Gayne, and also two segments from the Spartacus ballet(also by Khachaturian), all performed by the Bolshoi Ballet, and all in black and white, except for the last one of Spartacus, which is in color.
With all this DVD has to offer, this really deserves to be in any serious ballet video collection."
Exciting and lovely
Ian Mackay | Albany, WA Australia | 02/11/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I found this performance a little gem - I almost withheld the fifth star, because the picture is not quite as crisp as one would like - but the fact that we HAVE it on DVD at all, and so well danced, with the music so thoroughly and powerfully Armenian, forced me to give all five. THE DANCERS: all the principals move well and have remarkable steps which they execute with consumate grace and skill; Tuisova is lovely as Gayne - vulnerable and very beautiful - her surprisingly slender legs and loins give her an extraordinary air of youthful freshness - utterly loveable; Gorbanev as Armen is magnificent - explosive and graceful both at once, with Rumyantsev as Giko only very slightly behind; Machak, angry, angular and ugly, and well danced by Maris Koristyn, brings in all the tension expected from him. The villagers perform with great energy - this is especially effective in the Sabre Dance. I am very happy I bought this production - I like it more each time I watch it. A good performance to have at hand - heartily recommended."
May be your only chance to see this ballet
John A. Smith | north fort myers, fl. | 03/20/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Everyone knows the music from this ballet but few have seen it. This production is good BUT the photography is often fuzzy and the music recording is muddy. The orchestra playing is mediocre. The dancers are fine. For dedicated ballet buffs only!"
Disappointing in every aspect
J. Shaver | Hot Springs, VA USA | 06/27/2010
(2 out of 5 stars)
"I waited for years to get a recording of the entire ballet on CD and finally was able to order one from Europe. Therefore I was delighted to see the ballet finally on DVD. Of course no one would want to see the original version celebrating life on a collective farm, but the version here is certainly not inspired. I saw a different version in Denmark many years ago in which a young officer was captured by a hill tribe and taken back to their camp where he fell in love with the chieftain's daughter who eventually freed him. That was much more imaginative than this version. The choreography is often downright silly. In addition it looks as though we are watching everything through gauze or out of focus as the picture is fuzzy. Then there is the sound! Not only is the sound poorly recorded, it is also poorly played. As a result, my disappointment is immense. I will stick to my CDs until such time as Gergiev or some other conductor records it with a new choreographer and some spectacular dancers."