Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|New Year's Eve in St Petersburg |
Genres: Indie & Art House, Musicals & Performing Arts
Disappointing mismash and a missed chance
Marc Haegeman | Gent, Belgium | 05/27/2008
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Admirers of Russian ballet had to wait a long time before new video material from either the Mariinsky or the Bolshoi Ballet started to appear on DVD. Most ballet DVDs so far were reissues from the early 1990s or older, but finally the first attempts at bringing something new seem to have been made. As was this 2006 New Year's Eve gala filmed live at the Mariinsky Theatre. The question is, though, have we been waiting for this?
What we get here is the 3rd Act of "The Sleeping Beauty" (in the magnificent reconstruction by Sergei Vikharev of Marius Petipa's 1890 original), interrupted by a performance of Fokine's "Dying Swan" and concluded by a fragment of Rossini's "Il Viaggio a Reims", which uses the same music as Tchaikovsky for his Apotheosis of "Beauty." The whole thing is conducted by director Valery Gergiev (which doesn't exactly improve matters for the ballet) and what may have worked in the theatre as a festive event, doesn't necessarily work on film, let alone can stand repeated viewing. How many times do you want to see Gergiev surrounded by artists of the theatre drinking champagne on the stage of the Mariinsky?
The performances itself are nothing exceptional, although fans of Uliana Lopatkina will cherish her brief appearance as the Swan, and it's still a treat to see the stunning production of this new/old "Sleeping Beauty." Why we were not given the complete ballet, instead of this disappointing mishmash, is beyond me. It's also a shame to see that the producers of this DVD couldn't even get all the names of the dancers right (Daria Pavlenko is still credited as Princess Florine, while in fact it is Yulia Bolshakova.)
A missed chance.
Spectacular Act III Sleeping Beauty
Eric Henwood-Greer | Victoria, BC CANADA | 01/16/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The previous review is spot on about what's disappointing in this release... It's a bizarre mix of programs and I wish we had at least got the spelndid reconstructed original apotheosis BEFORE the Champagne toasts in complete, BUT...
For die hard Russian ballet fans like myself the opportunity to see nearly all of Act III of the glorious reconstruction of the 1890 original Sleeping Beauty (plus the brief second scene of Act II), this DVD is not to be missed. With the reconstruction no longer being performed as of this season (apparantly due to the wishes of the new director of the ballet) this may be our only chance. Yes I wish the whole ballet had been filmed (why hasn't it???) but I'm thankful for what we get. By the way you can get abotu 15 minutes of Act II (the full Nereid number) as a bonus on the interesting Mariinsky documentary Sacred Stage."