Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Sleeping Beauty The Classic Motion Picture With The Kirov Ballet / Alla Sizova Natalia Dudinskaya Natalia Makarova|
Actor: Alla Sizova; Natalia Dudinskaya; Natalia Makarova
Director: Kirov Theatre
Genres: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Musicals & Performing Arts
The Kirov Ballet in Tchaikovsky s Sleeping BeautyThe Kirov Ballet performs Tchaikovsky s beautiful ballet, Sleeping Beauty, in this classic color motion picture from 1965, based on the original choreography by Marius Peti... more »
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Charming and magical, despite its limitations
Ivy Lin | NY NY | 10/07/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"In 1958, the venerable Vaganova Academy had three graduates who were accepted into the Kirov Ballet. Unlike most dancers, these three young dancers never spent a day in the corps de ballet, but were promoted to principal immediately. One of the dancers was, of course, Rudolf Nureyev. The two other dancers are not nearly as well-known as Nureyev, but they were in their own way just as extraordinary. Alla Sizova and Yuri Soloviev are the stars of this severely abridged but magical film of the Kirov Ballet's "Sleeping Beauty."
Joy is maybe the only way to describe Alla Sizova's dancing. She had a buoyant jump, a beautiful smile, and her dancing has the typical Kirov elegance infused with thrilling athleticism. Watch her beautiful grande jetes! And her picture-perfect balances in the Rose Adagio. Her Aurora is bubbly and exuberant. There are not many video documents of Sizova, which makes this film a must for balletomanes. The Prince, Yuri Soloviev, was known for his extraordinary jumps. They called him the new Nijinsky. He was not a natural prince -- he was short, his face boyishly chubby rather than handsome. His dancing, like Sizova's, combines classical elegance with a natural charm. Unfortunately all was not well with Soloviev. Beneath the bubbly exterior Soloviev suffered from depression and alcoholism, and in 1977 he commit suicide. But in this film, Aurora and the Prince infuse their roles with a charming radiance, their bright smiles and perfect dancing overwhelming the cotton-candy sets.
And if you're looking for other famous names, Natalia Makarova is Princess Florine. Her part is severely abridged, but her unique style of phrasing and dancing are evident even in the brief cameo. The star of the previous generation, Natalia Dudinskaya, is an appropriately hammy Carabosse.
Speaking of abridgement, that's my main problem with the film. It was conceived as a "film" rather than a ballet, and many "unnecessary" parts of the ballet are gone, and the music is rearranged liberally. Act 1 starts not with the famous waltz, but with Aurora's Rose Adagio. The constant reshuffling of the music (and the cuts) are jarring, because Tchaikovsky's score is so symphonic. It's like playing an album where the tracks are all mixed up. The Lilac Fairy does not lead the Prince to Aurora -- he just seems to find her himself. The Act 3 divertissements are mostly gone. Also, the wedding pas de deux is filmed at the very start of Act 3, and THEN they cut to the divertissements. This changes the very structure of the ballet, in which the grand pas de deux is supposed to end the ballet in a flourish.
As annoying as the cuts and rearrangements are though, they don't detract from the overall beauty of this Beauty."
A truly beautiful ballet film shown in a bad quality DVD
balletomane | Seoul, South Korea | 01/17/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This ballet movie is simply great. I've watched seven full-act performances of the Sleeping Beauty (3 Kirovs, Bolshoi, Royal, Paris Opera, Het), and I think this Kirov's 1964 production is one of the best in terms of the classical beauty and purity. This is a film version, not a recording of a stage performance, so the set design and special effects impossible on the stage could be realized to enhance the charm of the production. Also, this film is a shortened version that lasts for about one and a half hours, with a few sequences removed and rearranged.
The two stars featured here are Alla Sizova as the princess Aurora and Yuri Solovyov as the prince Desire. Sizova was known to be the best Aurora in the world in 1960s. She was Rudolf Nureyev's favorite partner, and it is said that she's the one that could've made Nureyev want to go back to Soviet Union. She was a greatly talented ballerina, and as you can see, she was really pretty, lively, elegant and beautiful. Her smlie especially is radiant. Solovyov was an outstanding, noble dancer, an ideal partner for her. You can also see Natalia Dudinskaya, one of Vaganova's distinguished pupils, as the wicked fairy Carabosse (dancing en pointe) and Natalia Makarova as the princess Florina before she defected to the West. The Kirov's corps de ballet was, as always, graceful and in a perfect fashion. I recommend all who admire great Russian ballets should watch this film.
However, I suggest you should not buy this Kultur-manufactured DVD. The reason is as follows. The original screen ratio was in cinemascope, about 2.35:1, but Kultur has cut the left and right sides of the picture to make it look large on the ordinary 4:3 TV screen, so the dancers in this DVD are sometimes out of the screen. Also, the sound pitch recorded in this DVD is a little bit higher than normal, about a semi-tone higher, and the lower-pitched sound such as played by cellos or doublebasses is hard to hear. As a result, the music sounds harsh and in a haste. In fact, Boris Khaikin and Yuri Gamalei, the conductors in this film, played elegantly and beautifully, but you cannot feel that in this DVD. There are some noises on the screen, too. Although I am pleased that Kultur has issued a lot of Kirov's and Bolshoi's ballet performances in DVD format, it would be much better if they had made them in good quality. I cannot help but think Kultur has damaged the artistic quaity of those videos by distorting them and ignoring the technical aspects. This film deserves 5 stars, but as for the DVD made by Kultur, I'll give 3 stars.
A Japanese company called IVC, which stands for International Visual Corporation, has also issued this same film on DVD with region code 2. In contrast to Kultur, IVC did a truly great job. The picture ratio is the same as originally filmed, in cinemascope, not cut at the sides, and the picture quality is very clear, much better than that of Kultur's, so you can enjoy the beautiful dancing and scenery to the fullest. Also, the sound pitch is just correct, with balanced sound. I'd say watching this film in Kultur's DVD and in IVC's DVD was a totally different experience to me. You can buy one at Japanese internet shopping sites unless Amazon.com is going to sell the IVC DVDs. I'm not a Japanese, but no true ballet fans would hesitate to think highly of IVC's devoted efforts to make good-quality DVDs that the great ballet films deserve to be shown in."
Titus orange | 09/04/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a movie version of 'Sleeping Beauty' which captures the magical, fairytale quality of the ballet. I thought all the dancers were excellent, especially 'Carabosse' danced by Natalia Dudinskaya. This movie is only 84 minutes long so some of the music and choreography is gone. The 'Bluebird' dance is much shorter than usual with only the first part danced and no solo's. This movie was filmed in 1965 but to me it looks more like a 1930's movie. I think the imperfections of the film add a charm that a modern up-to-date DVD lacks. It's really a joy to watch and moves along quickly. There's a lot of beauty and drama to be seen and I know I'll watch this film many times."
Rare Opportunity to see the Immortal Soloviev
V. Stasov | 09/10/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Yuri Soloviev was one of the greatest male dancers of the 20th century. Searching for footage of his legendary art is like hunting for a needle in a haystack. However, a number of fuzzy clips of his mastery can be viewed on YouTube.
A premier danseur of the Kirov, he was a contemporary of Nureyev and Baryshnikov, and thought by many to be the superior dancer. His elevation was mind boggling - to such a degree that he was nicknamed Cosmic Yuri. His genius lay not only in his phenomenal jumps, but also in the softness, clarity, beauty and modesty of his technique, which was coupled with sensitive and deeply moving dramatic gifts.
While he was unhappy in the stifling conditions of Brezhnev's regime, he refused to defect. He apparently committed suicide in 1977. As a consequence of his shocking and unexpected death and Nureyev's and Baryshnikov's defection, a devastating and deep vacuum was left in Soviet dance that never really was filled.
The exquisite Alla Sizova was a perfect partner for him. Carabosse is danced by the electric Dudinskaya - a detail which I personally find far preferable to a male mime in drag. Makarova appears as Florina, along with, I think, Valery Panov, another great but hard-to-find dancer. This Sleeping Beauty has some of the most brilliant dancing I've ever seen. The fact that it's even available is a miracle."