An excellent DVD
Peter N. Breitman | St. Louis, Mo. | 12/23/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I am sorry to disagree with one of the reviewers, but I have a completely different view of this DVD. In the first place, the DVD box says the ballet lasts 101 minutes and the DVD actually does run for 101 minutes. If Amazon's review says it lasts 112 minues, then Amazon has made an error. This is no reason to blame the producers of the DVD.
With regard to other areas of complaint, I did not find the video image to be very soft, I found no details missing, there was no excess video noise, there did not appear to be any time-acceleration in sound or performance, and there were no flickers light to dark. The only item about which I agree with the other reviewer is that the applause seems to be coming from some sort of echo chamber, but I did not buy the DVD for the applause. (You can easily avoid the applause by hitting the "Next" button on your remote to take you immediately to the next track.) This is not a Kultur video. (Unlike Kultur, this video gives you a beautiful brochure with information about the ballet and a track-by-track description of the dances in the ballet.) I bought two copies of this DVD, one of which I gave to my granddaughter because she loved it so much. I think the other reviewer got stuck with a defective copy and should return it for another one.
I rate this DVD only four stars instead of five because I have two very small problems with the performance. In the first act, the boys try to annoy the girls with their trumpets. However, there is only one trumpet and no girls are around at the time except Clara. In addition, the boys are halfway across the stage from her. The second item is in the second act. In the Dance of the Mirlitons, two dancers are pulling a sheep on wheels. That part of the choreography leaves much to be desired. What happens if the sheep tips over? Luckily it didn't this time.
All in all, however, this is a marvelous disc. To the best of my knowledge, it is one of few versions that play ALL of the music COMPLETE. There are NO cuts as there are in most ballet performances of most ballets. However, the Dance of the Mirlitons and Mother Cigogne are combined into one track, which is no big deal since they are played complete. On the positive side, there is no obnoxious "ritardando" and pause at the end of the Waltz of the Flowers as is found in so many other versions. The music simply flows naturally to the end of the dance.
One of the very best "character actors" of ballet is Yuri Vetrov. He plays Drosselmeyer in this DVD. He is marvelous, as usual, and I especially love the way he lifts and moves the dolls (real people) around as if they actually WERE dolls.
The Nutcracker is a children's ballet, so much fun to watch with gorgeous music and marvelous dancing, especially in the dances in the second act. This version is beautifully performed and should be at the top of your list."
Awesome Choreography and Dancing
Douglas Cox | Palo Alto, CA USA | 12/31/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I took my grand-daughter to see the San Jose Ballet do The Nutcracker, and was reminded of how much I liked it. I used to have the old Kirov version on tape, and I loved it, but it's gone, so I bought this Bolshoi version. I love it! I also bought the Baryshnikov version, and have to say that he's a great dancer, but definitely an inferior choreographer. This version is vastly superior (I gave the Baryshnikov away). I should add that this Bolshoi version is all about the dancing, and only slightly about child entertainment. But my grand-daughter wants to be a ballerina now (she's 2 3/4), so I think the dancing is what should matter most. Of course, the music and presentation are excellent."
A FINE NUTCRACKER!
Dr. John F. Gay | 12/16/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The Tchaikowski NUTCRACKER is one of my favourite ballets. Unfortunately, I have yet to see a performance that follows the actions indicated in the muscial score; it appears that choreographers after Petipa all seek to insert their own interpretation of what the music depicts. After seeing more than a dozen productions of this ballet, I have concluded that the Bolshoi Ballet production is perhaps the finest of them all, regardless of its deviation from the action. Indeed its deviation, I suspect, enhances the production. For those who quibble about the reed flute dance using a sheep, it should be pointed out that the Tchaikovsky Russian title refers to a Shepherdess. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED."
Superior Version of the Nutcracker in the World!!!
Kevin Hart | 05/31/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Natalya Arkhipova and Irek Mukhamedov, are the "Best of the Best". Their performance in this ballet was mesmerizing. The supporting cast was also outstanding along with the fine accompainment by the orchestra.
Our entire family loves this DVD. Especially our one year old granddaughter!!
Many thanks to the Bolshoi Ballet for this fantastic rendition. They truly are the World's Best Ballet company!!!"