Stunning performances by the greatest ballet partnerships of recent times. Includes pieces from Le Corsaire, Swan Lake, Romeo and Juliet, and more, danced by such luminous pairings as Margot Fonteyn and Rudolf Nureyev, Cyn... more »thia Harvey and Mikhail Baryshnikov, Darcey Bussell and Jonathan Cope, and many more.« less
"This DVD is a collection of 15 Pas de deux covering a time span of 31 years. (1965-1996). It includes such well know ballet stars as Nureyev, Baryshnikov, Makhalina, and Asylmuratova to mention a few.The entire compilation tries to focus on presenting the performers when they were in their prime. For instance the segment featuring Nureyev and Fonteyn was recorded in 1965 and although the picture is a little grainy, it is more than adequate to give us a glimpse of what these artists could do when they were at their best.Some of my favorite pieces were...- Spring Waters with Maria Bylova and Leonid Nikonov; with their fast paced,energetic leaps and lifts.- Romeo and Juliet (balcony scene) with Alessandra Ferri and Wayne Eagling; an early example of Ferri's acting and interpretation skills that we would continue to see develop, in the years to follow.- Swan Lake (Black Swan scene) with Julia Makhalina and Igor Zelensky; Makhalina show us (as Odile) just how poised, incredibly flexible and talented she really is in this role. She is simply stunning.-and last but not least the Don Quixote pas de deux with Cynthia Harvey and Mikhail Baryshnikov. This features some of Baryshnikov's world famous leaps and spins. Enough said!There were a couple of segments that I didn't enjoy as some of the others; but that would to be expected in a "sampling" of a series of pas de deux. Also a couple of dancers and choreographers were featured multiple times(3); this I found a little puzzling on a relatively short, one disc recording. An enjoyable DVD and although the video quality my change a bit from one performance to the next, you still have to feel grateful just being able to watch and appreciate some of the greatest dancers of the last century."
Great pas de deux of course, but the choice...
mother | 05/24/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The choice of the dances and the dancers is quite good, starting form the legendary Fonteyn-Nureyev partnership, extending to the creative and touching White Swan Pas de Deux of Cooper and Ambler. Incomparable masters such as Makarova, Baryshnikov and Dowell, had naturally to be present in this video when it is named daringly "Great Pas de Deux" but one wonders why a pas de deux from the wonderful Maya Plisetskaya is not there. Of course when excellence or greatness is mentioned in dance, there is one great choreography and dancing which the video is lacking: "Grand Pas Classique" from Sylvie Guillem and Manuel leGris, demonstrating the best of the classical technique, with the ideal image of a dancer and partnership. Instead of including two dances from the Prince of the Pagodas with Darcey Bussell both, a pas de deux from Paloma Herrera-Angel Corella or another great one from "Mayerling" by Viviana Durante and Irek Mukhamedov could have been chosen. It would be appropriate here to say that the choice of Bessmertnova-Mukhamedov pas de deux from "Spartacus" is excellent, and another legendary dancing and partnership I believe. And again, the choice of the Wedding Pas de Deux from "Sleeping Beauty" does not seem correct with the elderly Kolpakova in the role of the teenager Aurora. As to conclude, this video is a nice compilation of the great dancing of our age, but lacking maybe the above-stated fine-tuning and some contemporary choreographies, but very good regarding the presentation of the works and dancers, and is a pleasure to watch."
A little disappointed
gattie | Australia | 03/11/2001
(3 out of 5 stars)
"The choices were okay, not great. I found the picture on the video cover misleading. The particular pas de deux featured from the Prince of the Pagodas is not actually included in the video so I don't know why it is on the cover. The choice of dancers and ballets leaves a lot to be desired. I have seen better performances of some of the ballets by other dancers. Overall, this collection feels more like a promotional video than one of historical or artistic significance. The collection includes: "Spring Waters" Bylova and Nikonov. "Le Corsaire" Fonteyn and Nureyev. "The Prince of the Pagodas" Bussell and Cope. "Swan Lake" Cooper and Ambler. "Romeo and Juliet" Ferri and Eagling. "Nutcracker" Collier and Dowell. "Manon" Penney and Dowell. "Swan Lake" Makhalina and Zelensky. "A Month in the Country" Makarova and Dowell. "Le Corsaire" Asylmuratova and Neff. "Spartacus" Mukhamedov and Bessmertova. "The Sleeping Beauty" Kolpakova and Berezhnoi. "Don Quixote" Havey and Baryshnikov."
DVD version of earlier released video
ggagnon | Longmeadow, MA | 01/19/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This is simply a DVD version of a video released some years ago (aprox. 5-8 years ago?) so the newer partnerships mentioned in some of the reviews above, and already released on other DVDs (and copyrighted by their producers) would not have been available for inclusion. However, what is included are several exemplary pas de deux danced by some of the best dancers of the last 30+ years. If you haven't seen them live, this is a good chance to view them at their best, and be able to compare to other (more current) interpretations and see how changing forms and style have impacted ballet."
Great Pas De Deux
Ballet Aficionado | 05/09/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This was a beautiful gathering of some of the greatest dancers of the last century. It was wonderful."