The three ballets on this remarkable DVD tell no stories, but they are full of human drama. In one sense, they all tell the same story--of the vitality, daring, intelligence, and emotional depth that a great dancer possess... more »es.They are also about a brilliant choreographer?s vision of that dancer and of dance itself. As Mikhail Baryshnikov says in the breezy commentary that links the ballets, Twyla Tharp is "classical but in a new way." She has the classical artist?s regard for form and technique and a musicality that some compare to that of George Balanchine, but her approach is always personal, radical and contemporary ."THE LITTLE BALLET" Music: Alexander Glazounov. Cast: Mikhail Baryshnikov, Deidre Carberry, Elaine Kudo, Amanda McKerrow, Nancy Raffa The Little Ballet, to music by Alexander Glazounov, offers Baryshnikov, Deidre Carberry, and three other American Ballet Theatre dancers in a sweet-tempered, fluid work that makes subtle allusions to the dreamer-hero-elusive-heroine ballets of the 19th century. "SINATRA SUITE" Performed to the music of Frank Sinatra. Cast: Mikhail Baryshnikov, Elaine Kudo In Sinatra Suite, Baryshnikov and Elain Kudo express the less innocent world of Sinatra?s moody, bittersweet voice ?from the tender "Strangers In The Night" to the tough and contentious "That?s Life. ""PUSH COMES TO SHOVE" Music: Joseph Lamb, Franz Joseph Haydn. Cast:Mikhail Baryshnikov, Elaine Kudo, Susan Jaffe, Robert LaFosse, Cheryl Yeager and Members of American Ballet Theatre. Choreography: Twyla Tharp. Push Comes To Shove, created by Tharp in 1976 for American Ballet Theatre, can be seen as a witty and affectionate tribute to a major ballet company ? its casual rehearsal behavior and backstage commotion, as well as its traditional grandeur and polished performing. ? Deborah Dewitt, Village Voice« less
"This is an exquisite video. Baryshnikov is in superb form, and there's ever so faint a touch of world-weariness around the edges of these pieces, informing even Baryshnikov's copious perfection, which makes for a beautiful, rich viewing experience. Push Comes To Shove, especially, is sweet and ironic, and hearing the audience chuckle now and again adds to the depth of artistic triumph that marks each piece on this dvd. Tharp's ideas crystallize with snap and magic, and Baryshnikov delivers exactly what every moment asks. His legendary nonchalant classicism changed the world, and surely the heart of every person who ever saw this man dance, and these Tharp pieces make his insouciance ineffaceable. Amanda McKerrow wows in the Glazunov 'Little Ballet', and Baryshnikov's partnering is lithe and understated, intimate,even. Wonderful stuff. One of the greatest things you can ever see is Baryshnikov's solo tour of 'One More For The Road', at the end of the Sinatra Suite. Tharp's luscious familiarity is all over it, beginning to end, but in 'One More For The Road', Baryshnikov reaches a fusion of idea and means that flat out overwhelms. It's vivifying in its greatness: inevitable becomes irresistable. Pretty neat. It's too bad ballet is a forgotten word in any culture, but inexcusable in a rich one. People don't know what they're missing. Get this dvd and reaffirm your faith."
This is a wonderful gift
Maria Silva | Detroit, USA | 10/12/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I bought this for myself and decided to order 3 more as Christms Gifts for my friends."
If you love ballet, don't miss....
K. Martin | Boston, MA USA | 01/15/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Baryshnikov at his very best! Twyla Tharp is enchanting, and the music is amazing. Seeing these two legends perform is nothing short of breathtaking . I highly recommend this."
A relaxed mature MIkhail Baryshnikov dances a tribute to Si
R. Nicholson | 07/30/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Another marvelous look at Mikhail Baryshnikov.
This is a DVD produced by Twyla Tharp featuring a more relaxed performance by Baryshnikov. The program begins with an segmented introduction that continues on in between the three, featured dance routines. The female leads are partners Deidre Carberry in 'The Little Ballet', Elaine Kudo in 'The Sinatra Suite' and finally the corp de ballet of the American Ballet Theatre in 'Push Comes to Shove'.
This DVD features a Mikhail Baryshnikov that is somewhat older (but he really doesn't look or dance like it). The lifts and glides, the incredible sense of timing with his partners are done with such ease and grace...no effort at all...surely anyone could do that, couldn't they? Well, no most of us couldn't; what we are witnessing is Baryshnikov's athleticism, skill and balance that have endured, if not gotten better, through the years.
A comment on a few likes and dislikes about this disc...
1.)'The Little Ballet' starts off with a waltz where Baryshnikov and his partner, Deidre Carberry, only touch with their forearms; this is amazingly beautiful and erotic. The music and dance that follows just flows with a nature pace and sensitivity. I makes me wonder if dancers of this quality don't fall in love with their partners while performing these exquisite routines (well, at least for a few minutes anyway).
2.)My favorite work on this disc in the tribute to Sinatra featuring Baryshnikov and sultry looking Elaine Kudo. Using Sinatra's songs, this elegant couple do waltzes, modern dance and even a 'gangster and moll' routine. Baryshnikov finishes the set with a slow sensitive solo to 'One for My Baby' (It's quarter to three). I'm sure Mr. Sinatra would have been pleased to see his songs use as a setting for the dance skills of Mr. Baryshnikov.
3.)The third and final piece was 'Push Comes to Shove'. This work features Mikhail with the corp; it is an attempt to show some humor in dance, and while the choreography is excellent, they unfortunately decided to use a laugh track to simulate audience laughter. I assume, that because there was no 'live' audience, they felt the need to put some laughter in at the appropriate spots, however this somewhat diminished the effect of this routine because the laughter was so obviously artificial.
Conclusion: Mikhail Baryshnikov doing what only he can do, along with some exquisitely talented and beautiful partners. To be able to dance with such ease, grace and skill almost seems unfair to the rest of us mere mortals. 4 1/2 Stars (1/2 Star off for the canned laugh track)
Misha Does It Again!
Gloria Hutson | Minneapolis, MN USA | 11/07/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"At 65 yrs old and new to the world of ballet (but already have seen over 25 ballets through the courtesy of Amazon.com and my library) I am a "dyed in the wool" fan of Baryshnikov. Is there anything he has danced badly?
Baryshnikov Dances Sinatra and More is a must for anyone's library collection. I bought my DVD just a short time ago and received it last week. I've already watched it about 10 times. I love it! Baryshnikov once again shines and makes the people who dance with him shine too. The ABT dancers with him are great!
The "Little Ballet" is a serious type of ballet. Beautifully choreographed by Tharp. Dances Sinatra has 4 serious dances and one funny dance. Every one should see the "apache" type dance. It's wonderful and funny. Misha chews that gum and tosses Elaine Kudo around like she's a limp mop. She appears not to have a muscle in her body. And last but not least "Push Comes to Shove". Each time I watch this performance by Mikhail and the ABT dancers, I am literally awed by the way they make it look so easy, relaxed and fun.
If you're expecting a lot of Mikhail's twists and turns in this, you are going to be disappointed. If I remember correctly from reading his biography, he wss just recovering from a severe injury the year he did this DVD. Mainly this DVD shows Mikhail learning to dance a new way which was one of his passions. If you are looking only for classic ballet, this DVD is not for you. However if you are looking for Baryshnikov, this new way of dancing for him is really wonderful to watch.