Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|The Kirov Ballet The Firebird/Petrushka|
Actors: Stravinsky, Kirov Ballet, Fedotov, Tsarevich
Genres: Indie & Art House, Music Video & Concerts, Musicals & Performing Arts
An unwatchable mess
kaream | 09/03/2006
(1 out of 5 stars)
"All too often, good and important items will inexplicably go out of print for no discernable reason, but at other times you have to wonder why it was ever first issued to start with. This DVD of two Kirov productions of Stravinsky is in the second category.
Actually, I can understand and sympathize with wanting to preserve a record of these performances, because the staging, choreography and dancing -- what the viewer can make out of them -- are unique and pretty interesting.
"The Firebird" stars the lovely Gabriella Komleva with Vadim Budarin in a modernistic 1977 production choreographed by Boris Eifman; Viktor Fedotov is the conductor. While Fedotov can be a wonderfully lush interpreter of Tchaikovsky, Stravinsky is not his forte. However, this is without question the worst soundtrack transfer ever committed to DVD, bar none; the only way I could even watch it was with the audio turned nearly off. Still, the main problem is with the filming. It's frequently hard to tell what the dancers are supposed to be doing, because the director indulges throughout in silly trick photography and truly bad special effects, unusual in their quantity and dreadfulness even for a Russian film; nor does it help that the video transfer leaves a lot to be desired.
"Petrushka" stars the wonderful Andris Liepa in a 1990 production choreographed and staged by Oleg Vinogradov; whereas Fedotov is a brilliant but not always sympathetic conductor, here Renat Salavatov demonstrates his complete lack of understanding of Stravinsky's music. In this film, with much better -- but still not very good -- audio transfer (all the better to hear Stravinsky being butchered), the direction and camera work are not so much juvenile as in the earlier work, as just fairly incompetent, with only the usual amount of distracting and unnecessary special effects in a Russian film; again, the video transfer is pretty poor. I also must admit that I've never seen a Vinogradov production, of any ballet at all, that I liked very much. Where the Eifman "Firebird" is interesting, this "Petrushka" is mostly just plain dull.
Both films were originally made for Russian TV. Except for the opening ballet titles, all credits are in Russian, but the liner notes come in English.
Even while Andris Liepa was participating in this 1990 Vinogradov "Petrushka," he was working on a major project of reconstructing the original 1910 Michel Fokine choreography for Serge Diaghilev's Ballets Russes, of several ballets, including both of these two which Stravinsky had written for Diaghilev. With his own ballet troupe "Les Saisons Russes," Liepa mounted entirely different and much more successfully realized versions of these two ballets beginning in 1992. They are available, together with the Diaghilev/Fokine version of Rimsky-Korsakov's "Scheherazade", on an excellent DVD called "Return of the Firebird." Although I downgraded that DVD to 4 stars due to Liepa's unwillingness to forgo all cinematic trickery in his film, it's otherwise perfect in nearly every respect."
The Kirov Ballet - Stravinsky The Firebird - Petrushka
J. Poblete | Chile | 10/02/2007
(1 out of 5 stars)
"The Kirov Ballet: The Firebird/Petrushka
A quite a poor production, inimaginable for a 2006 edition; not worth the money paid for it.