Excellent traditional Sleeping Beauty by the Bolshoi
Marc Haegeman | Gent, Belgium | 04/15/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This Sleeping Beauty was filmed at the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow in 1989 and is a re-release of the Japan-produced "Bolshoi at the Bolshoi" series previously available on VHS. The films were shot without an audience, but are presented with overdubbed applause.
The Bolshoi dances Tchaikovsky's second and grandest ballet in the traditional staging completed in 1973 by then director Yuri Grigorovich, after Marius Petipa and with sets by Simon Virsaladze. At the time Grigorovich's staging was much closer to the original Petipa than the Kirov's own production (available on DVD with Kolpakova/Berezhnoi or Lezhnina/Ruzimatov). This production is still performed by the Bolshoi today.
The DVD features some of the foremost principal dancers of the day: Nina Semizorova as Princess Aurora, Nina Speranskaya as the Lilac Fairy, and Alexei Fadeyechev - easily one of the finest male dancers of the Moscow School from the 1980-90's and a danseur noble if ever there was one - as Prince D?sir?. Yuri Vetrov appears as Carabosse, while Maria Bylova and Alexander Vetrov dance the Blue Bird pas de deux. The Bolshoi Theatre Orchestra is conducted by Alexander Kopylov.
As with all titles in this series, this disc is obviously a video transfer, leaving some of the movements blurred. The sound is offered in simple stereo.
The DVD release doesn't include any bonus material, but comes with a handsome three-language 20-page booklet, introducing and situating the work and the artists. An effort like this needs to saluted, however it will take a bit more accuracy than the Arthaus Musik writers are able to provide at this stage. For example, Kirov dancer, choreographer and artistic director Konstantin Sergeyev is not a son of Nikolai Sergeyev, as the booklet claims. Konstantin Sergeyev staged The Sleeping Beauty for the Kirov Ballet in 1952, but it is of course Nikolai, not Konstantin, who staged it for London's Sadler's Wells Theatre in 1939 and 1946.
Yet, to see the outstanding dancers of the Bolshoi, ballet enthusiasts needn't hesitate."
Timothia | St. Louis, MO | 05/01/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I have waited so long to find a copy of The Bolshoi at the Bolshoi series version of 'The Sleeping Beauty' that I am blind to the faults that Marc points out in his review. (Most of the rest I have as videos.)
I enjoyed it thorougly. The choices of A. Vetrov as the Bluebird (if you like him, look for 'Swan Lake' and 'Romeo and Juliet' from the same series), and Y. Vetrov as Carabosse were so appropriate.
I cannot top what Marc said about Fadeyechev as Prince Desire.
[It was Marc who told me that the DVD was out.]"
An appliance repairmans point of view.
Richard Rawls | Dublin Ga USA | 07/14/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"So what does an appliance repairman know about ballet? The girls all run around in tutus, don't they? I loved classical music long before I learned to love washers and dryers, or ballet for that matter. I've only been collecting them for less than six months but fell in love with the art form when I got a copy of "Sleeping Beauty" by the Australian Ballet Company with Christine Walsh and David Ashmole.
This performance of "Sleeping Beauty" is not the best one I have (I have five versions) but it is a good one. The music sounds good, the sets are fair, and the lighting is OK. The moving scene in front of and behind the Lilac Fairy's boat when she and the Prince were on their journey to find Sleeping Beauty was impressive. I did not like Carabosse. I like a woman in that role. After all, it is a woman's role, and in all the versions I have, a woman fits the part better. Nina Semizorova doesn't fit the role of a sixteen year old happy, flighty, full of vitality girl, especially in a 1930ish style hairdo. I know I am not supposed to look at the age characteristics of a ballerina, but I am not the the only one who does. In every review on The Sleeping Beauty with Margot Fonteyn and Nureyev, the reviewer commented on the close-ups on Fonteyn showing her wrinkles.
This is the first "Sleeping Beauty" I've seen that shows the extent to which the King went to ban needles of all sorts from his kingdom.
This copy of the ballet is worth owning but for the very best look for the Het National Ballet version with Sofiane Sylve and Gael Lambiotte.Tchaikovsky - The Sleeping Beauty / Sylve, Lambiotte, Florio, Dutch National Ballet, Amsterdam"