Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Letestu, Martinez, Nureyev, Kessels
Genres: Music Video & Concerts, Musicals & Performing Arts
Rudolf Nureyev's colorful, cinematic-dream version of Prokofiev's Cinderella retains the classic Perrault story but sets it in America during the difficult years of the Great Depression in the 1930s and 1940s. Agnes Letes... more »
Definately Worth Having
CWJ | Owings Mills, MD United States | 01/28/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I was surprised when Amazon asked me to be the first to review this ballet but, here goes.
Back about 5 years ago I went to the Kennedy Center to see the Kirov's newly redone version of Cinderella and loved it. Set in modern times with minimal scenery, Cinderella in leg warmers, the Fairy Godmother a bag lady and the four seasons variations being performed by men, I thought it was terrific. I have wished ever since that the Kirov would film and release this version.
I like the Royal Ballet version also - for different reasons but it's been a long time since it was made and I think newer performances are much needed. Being a composer of our time, I think Prokofiev's music does adapt to a version which is set in more modern times.
I have always loved Nureyev's choreography. It's clever, intricate and, I'm sure, not so easy for dancers to do. In most cases the ballets he worked on were all some of his work added to that of previous choreographers of years gone by. So, if you like Nureyev's work there's the really big reason to get this performance because this is entirely his work and I think it's fun and unique.
The basic story is the same but is set in Hollywood at a similar time to "Singing In The Rain" when movies were in their early days. The Fairy Godmother is the Movie Producer, the Prince is the Film Star and movie sets provide opportunities for a lot of great dancing. Nureyev's wicked Stepmother (as in Ashton's Royal Ballet version) is played by a man.
A very good additon to this DVD is an extra disc with a movie about the creation of the ballet and it's story. It provides great insight into Nureyev's creative process and I think it alone is worth the price.
The performances are all just what you'd expect from the Paris Opera Ballet and it was filmed in front of an audience. Again if you're a fan of the company this is worth having.
Just one very small thing. In 1987 this ballet was filmed in a French studio for television (the BBC, I think). It was released by NVC and stars Sylvie Guillem as Cinderella, Charles Jude as the Film Star, Nureyev himself as the Film Producer and Isabelle Guerin as one of the sisters. It was produced and directed by Nureyev with Colin Nears directing for TV and I actually like this version better. Possibly because it was filmed in a studio which allows for more close-ups to show expression, the performance is a little more low key than the newer version.
I hope that whoever is responsible for making these decisions will release the 1987 version on DVD and if/when they do that performance is also worth having