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Paul Czinner: The Bolshoi Ballet [DVD Video]
Paul Czinner The Bolshoi Ballet
DVD Video
Actors: Galina Ulanova, Raissa Struchkova, Nikolai Fadeyechev, Gennadi Rozhdestvensky, Dying Swan Walpurgisnacht Rachmaninoff
Director: Paul Czinner
Genres: Special Interests, Educational, Musicals & Performing Arts
NR     2007     1hr 40min

VAI DVD 4426. Paul Czinner's 1956 film, Giselle (Adam) (abridged) Galina Ulanova, Nikolai Fadeyechev Scenes from 5 other ballets. 95 min., Color, All regions.


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Movie Details

Actors: Galina Ulanova, Raissa Struchkova, Nikolai Fadeyechev, Gennadi Rozhdestvensky, Dying Swan Walpurgisnacht Rachmaninoff
Director: Paul Czinner
Genres: Special Interests, Educational, Musicals & Performing Arts
Sub-Genres: Dance, Educational, Classical, Ballet & Dance, Musicals
Studio: Video Artists Int'l
Format: DVD - Color
DVD Release Date: 04/24/2007
Original Release Date: 01/01/1956
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/1956
Release Year: 2007
Run Time: 1hr 40min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 2
Edition: Classical
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

To Dance | new jersey | 05/09/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I have owned this video on VHS for many years now, and was surprised and delighted that it has been released on DVD. For any and all Ballet lovers, this is a must have for your dance library.This is The Bolshoi at its peak, The Bolshoi that was denied to the Western world until this London tour in 1956 and subsequent tours to the USA in 1959 and '62.I was fortunate in my youth to see Ulanova in 1959 at the old Metropolitan Opera House,truly a great artist, not to be forgotten! The VHS version offers 7 selections, although I noticed that the DVD offers only a total of six.
1-Dance of the Tartars from The Fountain of Bakhchiserai
2-Spanish Dance from Swan Lake
3-Polonaise and Cracovienne from Ivan Susanin
4-Walpurgisnacht from Faust (Raisa Struchkova..WOW)
5-Spring Water
6-The Dying Swan (Ulanova,another WOW)
7-Giselle (Ulanova/Fadeyechev, abridged version)
Remember, this is 1956 audio/video technology but so what,the entire program is a classic treasure."
"Giselle" as it must be on the ballet stage. | Michigan, USA | 05/10/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Arnold Huskell, an english ballet critic, did not applaud Ulanova because he was affraid of destroying the harmony which Ulanova created on stage. It is hard to write something about Galina Ulanova in "Giselle": the opinion would be too banal and it would be soundless in the chorus of praised opinions. If the human civilization and culture would suddenly disappear from the face of the Earth the role of Galina Ulanova in "Giselle" would be one of the masterpieces of harmony with the aid of which people could restore the definition of beauty, harmony and pure love."
One of the most exciting ballet films ever
Marc Haegeman | Gent, Belgium | 07/17/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Without doubt this is one of the most exciting ballet films ever. Paul Czinner's justly famed film of the Bolshoi Ballet's historical first-ever tour to the West, at London's Royal Opera House Covent Garden in 1956, is thanks to VAI now available in DVD-format.
The main part of the programme consists of the truncated performance of "Giselle" filmed at Covent Garden with Galina Ulanova, Nikolai Fadeyechev and Rimma Karelskaya in the leads. The remainder is a divertissement of Russian goodies which, as much as "Giselle", help us to understand why the Bolshoi dancing had such an impact on western audiences back then. After the Dance of the Tatars from "The Fountain of Bakhchisarai" and the Spanish dance from "Swan Lake" features the rousing "Spring Waters" duet (danced here by Ludmilla Bogomolova and Stanislav Vlasov), the Polonaise and Cracovienne from Glinka's opera "Ivan Susanin", an irresistible "Walpurgisnacht" led by Raissa Struchkova and Alexander Lapauri, and "Dying Swan" danced by Ulanova with incomparable serenity.

Even 50 years after date this film continues to astound, whether it is Ulanova's expressive veracity, Struchkova's daredevil bravura, Karelskaya's stylish authority, the scale and cohesion of the Bolshoi corps de ballet, the zest of the caractère dancing, or the overall theatrical eloquence of the ensemble. My only question remains how "abridged" this "Giselle" really was, and how much was actually edited for previous releases but exists somewhere in the vaults. That VAI lists a peasant pas de deux allegedly danced by Bogomolova and Evdokimov, but not appearing in the film, does sound like bad news.

Shot in colour, the 50-year old print unavoidably looks its age with the saturated brownish tint (especially in "Giselle") and many artifacts. Yet, just as the artistry of the Bolshoi dancers remains inspiring, the filming can still serve as a model of how to shoot a ballet. Many recent directors have done far worse with fake artistic close-ups of unnecessary body parts and frantic editing. Paul Czinner went straight to the essence."
Quintessential Giselle | 07/22/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Ulanova in the first act of Giselle is beyond description. No other ballerina ever looked and danced the part the way she does here. The second act is somewhat more generic, but the first act is a model of the most perfect performance possible."