Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Shostakovich - Bolt|
Actors: Anastasia Yatsenko, Andrei Merkuriev, Denis Savin, Morikhiro Iwata, Pavel Sorokin
Director: Alexei Ratmansky
Genres: Music Video & Concerts, Special Interests, Educational, Musicals & Performing Arts
All The Elements Mesh Perfectly In This Fantastic Twentieth
J. M WILINSKY | teaneck, NJ United States | 07/04/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Shostakovich wrote the music for this ballet, based on a book by Viktor Smirnov, in 1931. It is a satirical look at life in the Soviet Union of the time. It basically is about individuality and love in a regimented society, disillusionment, sabotage, and betrayal. The choreography is completely classical ballet, very ambitious and complex, with plenty of solos, and groupings of every kind. The quality of the dancing is of the highest order. There is plenty of humor displayed in this ballet, including many comic dances. The sets are amazing, with full stage depth, color and impact. There are even several very large robots with light beams shooting out of their eyes, including a drunken robot sitting on the floor.
The lighting is imaginative and complements the sets. The costumes are simple but interesting and in accord with the industrial theme.
There is a metaphorical quality to this ballet as well, making some of what is represented as strange distortions of reality. for example, the purpose of the entire factory is to light a giant light bulb!
The name of the ballet, "Bolt", comes from the fact that a large bolt(we get to see it--about six inches by three quaters of an inch) is thrown into the machinery to cause it to break down. This act is discovered very soon and the factory is quickly restored to normal operation.
The choreography is wonderfully matched to the story telling and flows with the story in a most refreshing way. I never had the feeling that a dance was performed out of context with the story, and this is no simple accomplishment in using classical ballet technique, which often has a tendancy to take on a life of its own.
Shostakovich's score is very lyrical and moving, producing another perfect match to the other elements in this production.
The government authorities were not very happy with this ballet at the time of its creation. It was quickly banned for several reasons. They did not appreciate any unflattering depiction of communist life, nor did they tolerate deviations from simple realism. Many of Shostakovich's colleagues were sent to Siberia and some were executed. Why Shostakovich escaped this fate is somewhat puzzling, but certainly gratifying.
This new version is the creation of Alexei Ratmansky, and is mostly faithful to the original, with just the right adjustments for today's audiences. He discusses this process in the interviews.
Included on this DVD are two great special features: a documentary on Shostakovich's life and work, and interviews with several of the artists who produced this ballet. An informative booklet is also included.
This is highly reccomended for all lovers of twentieth century ballet."
Superb in every way
Claire Y. | Northeast USA | 11/17/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"We first saw this in high def in a movie theater. It was so great we ran home and purchased the DVD. Now I'm ordering one to give as a gift. The dance in this is extrordinary. The sets compliment the production well and some very interesting elements. But, it's not glitzy. If you are looking for Disney, this is NOT it. If you are looking for a work or art, it will take your breath away."