Search - Prokofiev - Romeo and Juliet / Bessmertnova, Mukhamedov, Sharkov, Vetrov, Zhuraitis, Bolshoi on DVD


Prokofiev - Romeo and Juliet / Bessmertnova, Mukhamedov, Sharkov, Vetrov, Zhuraitis, Bolshoi
Prokofiev - Romeo and Juliet / Bessmertnova Mukhamedov Sharkov Vetrov Zhuraitis Bolshoi
Actors: Natalia Bessmertnova, Irek Mukhamedov, Bolshoi Opera Ballet
Genres: Indie & Art House, Special Interests, Educational, Musicals & Performing Arts
NR     2004     2hr 16min


     
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Movie Details

Actors: Natalia Bessmertnova, Irek Mukhamedov, Bolshoi Opera Ballet
Genres: Indie & Art House, Special Interests, Educational, Musicals & Performing Arts
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House, Dance, Educational, Classical, Ballet & Dance
Studio: Arthaus Musik
Format: DVD - Color
DVD Release Date: 10/19/2004
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/1989
Release Year: 2004
Run Time: 2hr 16min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 4
Edition: Classical
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)

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Movie Reviews

Bolshoi at the Bolshoi
Kevin Lew | sf,ca | 03/15/2005
(2 out of 5 stars)

"After watching a couple more times, I lowered my rating from 4 stars to 2.

The score is as demanding as the dancing. It must have been a cold night in Moscow because the orchestra downright stank. The Russian government should have executed the brass section. There were some really nasty and obvious mistakes that have been digitized for all posterity. Imagine a member of the brass section living this down. Cringingly horrid and almost killing the whole thing. I think the producers should have considered taping two or three performances and picking the best one.

Mercutio stole the show for me. He makes the purchase worthwhile. Effortless with beautiful flourishes. His death scene was awesome: (c'mon Romeo, I'm fine, mixed in with pain/anguish and somberness, Then he finally kicks the bucket). It looks like it required more technique that Tybalt's stomping and rolling around. Tybalt seemed overplayed to me. IMO he was portrayed as a really hot headed fellow who needed to sort out his attitude. Yes, its Tybalt but its overdone in this performance.

Again, the orchestra stank. This I cannot overemphasize. Please don't be practicing and tuning before the conductor calls you to order, which required pretty loud baton banging. The audience was also distracting. Please let the audience know the performance is being recorded. One or two fellows stood out with their obnoxious sounding bravos.

Video and sound quality leave lots to be desired but I guess this is an old performance."
For serious students and balletomanes only
kaream | 06/26/2006
(2 out of 5 stars)

"Having seen most of the available DVD versions of Romeo and Juliet, I still greatly prefer the more traditional MacMillan choreography, which sticks closely to Prokofiev's original conception in his scoring, to either Nureyev's idiosyncratic 1995 Paris National Opera, with Loudieres and Legris, or Grigorovich's radically revisionist 1988 Bolshoi, with Bessmertnova and Mukhamedov.

I'm not a dancer, and leave appraisals of technique and skill to other reviewers. For all I know, this late-Soviet-era Grigorovich Bolshoi production might be a dancer's delight, but it's performed bare-stage with dim lighting, uninspired costumes, acting which -- unless you count a lot of stern looks -- generally ranges from poor to nonexistent, little comprehensible story line, and a musical score frequently so pushed, pulled, and twisted out of shape (and at times simply badly played) that the film's middling audio quality and inattentive camera work are the least of its problems.

Of the three productions based on MacMillan that I know, the 1984 Ferri/Eagling Royal Ballet is the least desirable, but not at all bad. The 2000 Ferri/Corella La Scala is superb in all respects -- dancing, acting, 'chemistry', sets and costumes, orchestral conducting and playing, and filming -- but my personal favorite remains the 1966 Fonteyn/Nureyev Royal Ballet, despite Kultur's failure to bother with a needed remastering. Fonteyn at 46 shows some ravages of age for a 14-year-old, but she remains a strikingly beautiful woman, and she inhabits, rather than 'plays', the role of Juliet, with utter conviction. In this same 1966 production Paul Czinners' film direction is flawless, David Blair as the mocking Mercutio is the best on film, and Desmond Doyle's depiction of Tybalt's cold haughty rage, in his every stance and expression, is a wonder to behold. The entire fight scene is a major highlight of this production, putting all other versions to shame."
Romeo & Juliet
Gilles de Rais | Maryland, USA | 03/18/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Of a half-dozen Bolshoi performances from the 1980's that I've seen on DVD so far, I give this one the most points in all categories. You can't get better than Bessmertnova & Mukhamedov working as a team, with Mikhail Sharkov and Aleskandr Vetrov in large supporting roles. The chemistry across the entire cast, as well as the artistry, is superb. It also has some wonderfully inventive choreography.

I thought all the dancers acted out their roles very well (Vetrov is shamelessly hammy here, but it works), and the plot line was laid out very clearly with no wastage on the type of interminable filler scenes that you get in many other ballets. The black background allowed them to do the frequent scene changes (by suggestion) without distraction or interruption. With good colorful costumes and effective lighting, I didn't miss the scenery.

A terrific performance, and a must-have for anyone who's a fan of any of the principal dancers.
"
Bolshoi at the Bolshoi
Timothia | St. Louis, MO | 05/01/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This is from the Bolshoi at the Bolshoi series from 1989-90. I have the video from that period. I am happy to see the series coming out in DVD.

I liked Andre Sitnikov as Lord Capulet. In this version I finally found something I can identify with in R&J. He was so totally the stricken, heart-broken father carrying his supposedly dead daughter on to the stage on what should have been her wedding day (from her parents point-of-view)."