Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Maya Plisetskaya - Diva of Dance|
Actors: Maya Plisetskaya, Raymonda Romeo Juliet Swan Lake Ballet, Theatre Royal de la Monnaie Brussels Bolero Bolshoi
Genres: Music Video & Concerts, Special Interests, Educational, Musicals & Performing Arts
A new DVD?
Marcial Fernandez | New York | 02/25/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This newly released DVD has 12 selections danced by this genius of the 20th centry ballet, 9 of which have been available on two other DVDs for a while.
6 of these selections are taken from a marvelous black-and-white, 70-minute documentary film originally released in 1964 with the title "Maya Plisetskaya", then released on DVD format in 2003 with the title "Plisetskaya Dances". The excerpts are from the ballets:
1) Romeo and Juliet.
2) Swan Lake.
3) Don Quixote.
4) The Dying Swan.
6) Walpurgis Night.
The other 3 selections are from a 1973 color movie, released on DVD not long ago with the title "Carmen Suite":
8) Prelude (Bach).
The only new releases on DVD format that we can find in "Maya Plisetskaya, Diva of Dance" are the following 3 selections:
10) Spartacus: the pas de deux, a color take which is obviously not from the 1964 film.
12) Bolero de Ravel.
For those who already have the other 2 DVDs, this "new" DVD is worthy only for the last 2 excerpts, "Isadora" and "Bolero", and for the second half of the DVD, which brings "Maya Plisetskaya in Conversation", a recently recorded documentary in which the diva and her husband, the composer Rodion Schedrin, talk about her long career.
Prima ballerina assoluta!
Ivy Lin | NY NY | 03/04/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Maya Plisetskaya was named "Prima Ballerina Assoluta" by her home company, the Bolshoi, but she might as well be PBA of the entire ballet world. Her influence can be seen all around the ballet world. Maya, with her blazing red hair, broke all the rules of classical ballet. She famously took class with the men. Instead of dainty jumps, she flew onto the stage in grand jetes that would make the men jealous. Her ultra-flexible back and legs pushed the limits of the traditional classical line. And those arms! Everyone tries to emulate Maya's completely boneless arms, and no one succeeds.
This tribute to the great ballerina is a fitting one. It is divided into two parts -- there's 70 minutes of dancing, and 50 minutes of an interview with Maya (as well as her husband, the composer Rodion Schedrin). The 70 minutes of dance were IMO somewhat disappointing. For one, there's no dates given of any of the footage. Many of the dancing clips can be seen on VAI's film "Plisetskaya Dances." An uninterrupted clip of Plisetskaya dancing "Bolero," choreographed by Maurice Bejart, is entirely new. It was recorded in 1977 and Maya P, over 50 years of age, is still absolutely incredible both in terms of technique and charisma. There's also a clip of Maya and Nicolai Fadeyechev dancing from Bach's Prelude and Raymonda that were new to me. But we also get predictable stuff, like Maya's iconic Dying Swan. Although it's impossible to get too much of Maya's Dying Swan, which IMO remains unmatched. (Although obviously I never saw Anna Pavlova.)
More interesting to me is the interview with Maya. Now 80, still as beautiful and lively as ever, Maya recounts her incredible career. She is still every inch a ballerina -- like many dancers she cannot communicate without using her arms to demonstrate. And when Maya unfolds those long arms, you swear she's become a bird again. She dreamily recalls her debut in Raymonda by humming the Raymonda melody -- her eyes literally seem to go back in time, and she smiles happily. I'm reminded of that dialogue from The Red Shoes. "Why do you want to dance?" "Why do you want to live?" Maya talks about being called in at the last minute to dance Swan Lake for Chairman Mao, and the fact that Joseph Stalin apparently saw her dance, but incognito, and then died the next day. Incredible stories, which Maya tells with a mix of pride and contempt for the old Soviet government. For those who have read Maya's autobiography, you know that Maya's life was anything but easy. Her childhood was fraught with terror -- her father executed, her mother imprisoned. She was tailed constantly by the KGB for much of her career. But Maya in this interview mostly wants to focus on the good stuff, which is understandable, given her incredible career. Only her husband Schedrin interrupts the feel-good interview a bit at the end by saying, "Maya's life wasn't just bouquets of roses." And he talks a bit about Maya's childhood, and how Maya and her husband could hear the KGB snoring in cars parked outside their apartment. What an amazing lady.
So mostly, this is a great tribute to this truly legendary ballerina."
Andromeda | Chicago | 06/21/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This DVD about the dance legend is beautiful to watch, especially the interview with this still beautiful woman and how she feels about dancing. She lives through dancing and she makes dancing live, as only a handful of people can do. It is fortunate we have a record of this piece of ballet history."
A common man's point of view.
Richard Rawls | Dublin Ga USA | 11/17/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Just the picture on the cover of the booklet accompanying this DVD is almost worth it's cost. If not, then her 20 minute ballet of "Bolero" certainly is.
Be advised that one reviewer incorrectly stated the Russian language interviews of her and her husband Rodion Shchedrin have no English subtitles. The subtitles are accessable from the main menu, and most likely, from the DVD player remote control.
There are many things about this DVD that make it 5 star quality. Two are listed in my first sentence. Another is the rarity of any recordings of this remarkable ballerina who has been awarded the very highest honors by a fairly stingy Russian hierarchy. One, Prima Ballerina Assoluta among others. I guarantee you wont be able to keep from smiling along with her as she reminisces on some of her happier remembrances, and you might tear up with her as she describes an occasion when she was invited by actor Jean Vilar to dance at a ballet festival in France, and during the performance it was announced that Jean Vilar had died suddenly. She tells us that her "Dying Swan" ballet was being dedicated to him. The event was outdoors and during her dance it began to rain. She was soaked, the audience was getting soaked, her tutu was sagging, and she said, "It was as if tears were falling from the sky". She doesn't know exactly how many times she has danced "The dying Swan", but thinks it would be 20,000 to 30,000 times. Think about that.
I admire Maya Plisetskaya. When she hummed the tune from Raymonda, I had to get it out to watch the entire ballet. It didn't star Maya, but it starred a contemporary of hers, Irina Kolpakova, whom Maya mentions in her autobiography. Even though this DVD has dances repeated on other "Maya" DVDs it is worth having.......Richard."