One Of The Great Ballet Documentaries!
J. M WILINSKY | teaneck, NJ United States | 08/05/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
""Katia Et Volodia" are the nicknames of Ekaterina Maximova and Vladimir Vasiliev, the greatest husband and wife ballet duo in ballet history. It begins showing each of them training and dancing as teenagers. Even then, their talent was amazing and very evident. Many other glimpses are presented, including Katia coaching Elisabeth Maurin in Sleeping Beauty solos(I was impressed by her devotion to detail), and Volodia coaching Eric Vu An in Le Corsaire(Volodia covers an amazing range of points in this and I found them to be very valuable to ballet performance in general and revealing of Volodia's ballet philosophy). Most of this documentary is narrated in English by Katia and Volodia themselves(I believe this is true, but am not certain it is their voices). The coaching segments by them are done in French(they are speaking French to the dancers) without subtitles, but it is very easy to understand since they use standard ballet terms and gestures to get their meaning across(it is very common in documentaries not to supply translations in rehearsal and coaching sessions) and there are some segments where they are interviewed and speak in Russian with subtitles. Some very interesting topics are covered, including their approach to stage performance and what they try to achieve, how they felt about whether or not to defect(they didn't), how they saved their money to build their dream home, and even their feelings about religion. Volodia also speaks about his career as a choreographer. The picture and sound(mono) are perfect(although some of the clips are old so, of course, they show their age) so I can't imagine not having this rare documentary in a ballet video collection."
Artistic License | Madisonville, TN USA | 10/10/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Wonderful film following the lives and careers of two of the all-time greats of ballet. Great vintage segments of their artistry, but the most telling clips that show their consumate genius are where Maximova and Vasiliev are separately seen coaching younger dancers, who are probably very proficient technically, but have no music in their souls and no fire in their hearts, even when the two great artists are trying to ignite that in them. A film to cherish as a remarkable record of two remarkable artists."