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Prokofiev - Romeo et Juliet / Legris, Loudieres, Jude, Delanoe, Romoli, Martinez
Prokofiev - Romeo et Juliet / Legris Loudieres Jude Delanoe Romoli Martinez
Actors: Monique Loudieres, Manuel Legris, Paris Opera Ballet
Genres: Special Interests, Educational, Musicals & Performing Arts
NR     2004     2hr 30min

Choreographed by Rudolf Nureyev, this stunning Paris Opera Ballet production was performed at the Opera Bastille. The exceptional cast was chosen by Nureyev himself, and stars Manuel Legris and Monique Loudieres. Charles J...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Monique Loudieres, Manuel Legris, Paris Opera Ballet
Genres: Special Interests, Educational, Musicals & Performing Arts
Sub-Genres: Dance, Educational, Classical
Studio: Kultur Video
Format: DVD - Color
DVD Release Date: 08/31/2004
Release Year: 2004
Run Time: 2hr 30min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 0
Edition: Classical
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

POB has great technique, but production gratuitous, overlong
Ivy Lin | NY NY | 11/15/2004
(2 out of 5 stars)

"Rudolf Nureyev contributed so much to ballet that it seems ungrateful to criticize his ballet stagings (mostly at the Paris Opera Ballet). Indeed, his La Bayadere staging remains one of the best. But this Romeo and Juliet is simply misguided in so many respects.
For one, Nureyev's staging is way too long, with too many intermittent scenes. The video runs to 150 minutes. MacMillan understood how to juxtapose crowd scenes, character-setting dances, and pas de deux. He overall keeps the ballet moving at an astonishingly fast clip, even though the ballet is very long (about 2 hours). Nureyev's Act 3 has SEVEN scene changes.
Nureyev also does not seem to trust the story itself, and adds a lot of heavyhanded imagery and symbolism. A skeleton is prominently displayed on the scrim before one act, then there is a bit with a grim reaper. Juliet has a dream with the "ghosts" of Tybalt and Mercutio. Because GET IT??? THEYRE ALL GOING TO DIE!!!!!!! Towards the end Romeo has a "pas de deux" with Paris, which is also something nowhere in the MacMillan version. All this symbolism and fatalism not only comes across as heavyhanded, but it also changes the very nature of Shakespeare's play, which despite the "star-crossed lovers" bit is really about the senselessness and miscues and poor timing that cause such pain and tragedy.
I am no prude, but I thought Nureyev was WAY too eager to emphasize the violent aspects of the story. Things do not get very unconventional until Tybalt's death. In this staging it does not seem like an impulsive act of rage on Romeo's part. Instead, there is a very prolonged fight scene, replete with choke holds and dropped swords, and the final death seems like cold-blooded murder. From then on things get more violent. Even the Bedroom Scene between Romeo and Juliet has little intimacy, and a lot of rolling around and grinding. But there's a totally pointless scene on the road to Mantua where the messenger is brutally murdered. It's very graphic and gratuitous. Granted, Renaissance Italy was a very violent time, but all the graphic violence IMO not only pushed the limits of classical ballet but made Romeo and Juliet seem much more unappealing as people, and also are confusions and distractions to the storyline.
As for the dancing, the etoiles of the POB are Manuel Legris and Monique Loudieres. They have absolutely perfect technique, with not a bent leg or misplaced foot in the entire ballet. Their precision is jaw-dropping. But in the end, I feel as if they are unable to convey the youth and romance of these teenaged lovers. They are too mature, too serious, more SEXUAL than SEXY (there's a difference). The POB corps is as usual probably the most uniform and well-trained in the world.
But Romeo and Juliet IMO requires more than accurate footwork and well-placed arabesques. This production by Nureyev simply failed to understand the timeless appeal of the story."
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Amazing, simply amazing! Manuel Legris balances as if it is nothing, places every step, connects with the audience. Monique Loudieres, I don't even know were to begin. Her passion, her drive, her technique, her feet, her facial expressions, her beautiful port de bras. Not only is she an AMAZING dancer technically she has the emotion that the role of juliet demands. You see her in the beginning, and you can tell she is still a young girl. As the ballet moves on you see her maturing right before your eyes. In third act when she finds romeo dead beside her and cries, you can see her heart breaking right in front of you. I can never watch third act with out crying.

Buy this and you will NOT regret it! Romeo and Juliet is my favorite ballet and this is the best I have ever seen."
M. N. A. Cenani | Istanbul, Turkey | 11/04/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I strongly recommend this version of Romeo & Juliet to lovers of
ballet in general or R&J in particular. Saw it first time on TV
and rushed to my notebook at the end to order it from Amazon.
You have to see it to believe it, and probably will be disappoin-
ted with any other version you see afterwards. Am planning to see
it live in Paris when it is scheduled. If you like it as much as
I did there is a separate "making of" DVD also available from
Nureyev's Shakespeare
Tony Heyes | Greater Manchester UK | 01/09/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Anyone who knows Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet" knows that Nureyev's ballet is far more faithful to the play than any other ballet version. He does not sentimentalise the story nor downplay the gorier aspects of Elizabethan England. Frigerio's sets reinforce the mood of what is, after all, a tragedy. The heart of this performance, as ever, is the dancers. The incomparable Manuel Legris and Elisabeth Maurin demonstrate once again why the etoiles of the Paris Opera Ballet are beyond compare. Few dancers could perform Nureyev's demanding and expressive choreography with such stunning grace. Not to be missed!"