Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Prokofiev - Cinderella / Fonteyn Somes Ashton MacMillan Park Grant Farron Fifield Page Beriosova Sadler's Wells Ballet|
Actors: Margot Fonteyn, Kenneth MacMillan, Frederick Ashton
Genres: Special Interests, Television, Educational, Musicals & Performing Arts
VAI DVD 4296 Margot Fonteyn, Michael Somes, Frederick Ashton, Kenneth MacMillian, Sadler?s Wells Ballet (Royal Ballet). Choreography by Frederick Ashton. Music by Prokofiev. Conducted by Robert Irving. Broadcast of April 2... more »
A fine historical performance
R. G. Rosa | newark, NJ United States | 11/27/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I was really pleased to see that a copy of this 1957 TV version
of the Prokofiev/Ashton Cinderella has been released.
I must be honest, though. For me there were pluses as well as minuses associated with this DVD.
First, it's wonderful to see any footage of Margot Fonteyn who was the ballerina that really hooked me into ballet.
Yes, there were dancers with a showier technique than hers, but this shows off her beautiful line, extreme musicality and immense charm.
It's also nice to see her with one of her long time partners,
Michael Somes. I also enjoyed the very brief glimpses of Svetlana Beriosova, a beautiful dancer from the 50s and 60s.
Another plus for me, although others may look at this in a very different way are the cuts. The version of the ballet, as presented in this TV edition, is very heavily cut. Real fans of the piece may find this a drawback, however I find the complete version over long, and padded out with way too much of the step-sisters. Also, and again, this is a very personal view, I find Prokofiev's score a bit unimaginative, and like the choreography, somewhat padded. So I'm fine with the cuts but realize others may not be.
What's left of the stepsisters' scenes is a lot of fun and Ashton and MacMillan have wonderful comic timing .
The most serious problem is the poor quality of the picture. The original must have been in very bad shape. Although at best it is very grainy, at worst, in the Four Seasons section, the contrast is very poor. I would never have been able to recognize the young Merle Park as Spring without the credits.
There is also a slightly under-reheared air about this production.
Still, even with the drawbacks, this is highly enjoyable. I would highly recommend it even with the limitations I noted."