Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Tchaikovsky Nutcracker |
Actors: Irina Golub, Anton Adasinsky, Leonid Sarafanov
Director: Mikhail Chemiakin
Genres: Music Video & Concerts, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Musicals & Performing Arts
Filmed in the Mariinsky Theatre, St. Petersburg where the ballet was first performed in 1892. The production, by world-renowned avant-garde artist Mikhail Shemiakin, is a more mature, "adult" version of The Nutcracker, hig... more »
Long Live the Nutcracker King
Joseph L. Ponessa | Glendive MT USA | 11/21/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"On the second day of the year 2007, Valery Gergiev conducted another outstanding ballet program at the Mariinsky Theater in Saint Petersburg. Mihail Chemiakin's 2001 production, with glorious sets and costumes reminiscent of Sendak, brings the action closer in plot and feeling to the original 1816 tale "Knussknacker und Mausekoenig" by ETA Hoffmann. The old chestnut comes to life again, with some new choreography by Kirili Simonov.
Fortunately the video producer, Denis Caiozzi, does not hate ballet like the producer of the recent Swan Lake video from the same stage. What a relief to see a dancer go through a whole set of interesting maneuvers without ever being interrupted by a useless video cut. There still are more half-shots than necessary. The opening pantomimes don't require any complicated footwork, but they are still dancers and still using their feet. So what benefit do we gain from seeing them cut off at the knee? See, editor guys, it is like this: high-definition programs are going to be watched on large monitors. So people don't need closeups the way we used to. Seeing the whole stage was frustrating on the small screen, but on the large screens seeing a tiny part of the stage is such a waste. So blu-ray videos need a whole different kind of camerawork. The video resolution is good enough that the naked eye can pick out details and place them in their proper context.
I know that the great city of Saint Petersburg knows the value of the long shot, because the longest film ever comprising a single, continuous take of footage was recently filmed there, at the Hermitage Museum, on 23 December 2001. In fact, Valery Gergiev makes a cameo appearance in that film, called RUSSIAN ARK, which lasts 96 minutes on a single camera take. That kind of thing requires far more intelligence aforethought than all the mindless intercutting of camera angles that pester the life out of ballet films. My dream is to see Alexander Sokurov, the genius behind RUSSIAN ARK, do a ballet film for the Mariinsky some time."
Standard Definition Camera pictures
augustus | Hungary | 12/05/2008
(1 out of 5 stars)
"Seeing the whole stage was frustrating on a large screen from a damned SD camera. Why???"
Larry R. Coffman | Reno, NV USA | 12/23/2008
(1 out of 5 stars)
"I guess the Russians have succomed to the same silliness. Why production designers have to take traditional works (yes they are museum pieces, but museums exhibit many beautiful things) and make them ugly is easy to understand. They want to be "different." Tchaikovsky's music does not go well with this production from the Marinsky (formerly Kirov)ballet. Yes, I know that E.T.A. Hoffman's original "Nutcracker" is darker than what has traditionally been presented, but Tchaikovsky wrote the music for a lighter, brighter production design. If you think giant houseflies, snow maidens dressed in black, and choruses of dead, pale childred are beautiful, you will like this atrocity. The blue-ray technology is good, but what a waste of technology!"
fouetteking | NYC | 12/16/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Very different choreography, which made me skeptical at first. But the dancing is first-class and some of the new choreography (Waltz of the Flowers sans Dewdrop) far surpasses Balanchine or Paris Opera in my opinion. Amazing display of technique and aristry by the Kirov, all presented in wonderful Blu-Ray."