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What's your favorite ballet video?

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#31 Marc Haegeman

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Posted 23 January 1999 - 12:00 PM

Ballet videos that rank highly on my list are:

"The Nutcracker" with Yekaterina Maximova and Vladimir Vasiliev from 1978 at the Bolshoi. This version of the ballet by Yuri Grigorovich is one of the very few to match the sweep and ardour of Tchaikovsky's music. It also features two magnificent artists at the height of their abilities and the tranformation of the doll into the prince is one of the truly magical moments of ballet on film.

"Raymonda" with Irina Kolpakova and Sergei Berezhnoi from 1978 at the Kirov, simply because it highlights one of the really great Russian classical ballerinas. The staging by Sergeyev is a model and the Kirov-company is simply glorious. A lesson in style.

"The Sleeping Beauty" with Alla Sizova and Yuri Soloviev from 1964, also Kirov Ballet. The superb Sizova is hardly known in the West, yet her interpretation of Aurora is one of the most convincing on film, while Soloviev is considered to be the best Russian male dancer ever. Also features the famous Natalya Dudinskaya and a young Natalya Makarova. A dream.

#32 Alexandra


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Posted 23 January 1999 - 04:43 PM

I was going to post a reply to Marc's post, but this is another thread that's much too long, so I'll close it, and start Favorite Videos #2, copying Marc's post to start.


#33 kfw


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Posted 26 December 2005 - 07:02 PM

. . . "The Sleeping Beauty" with Alla Sizova and Yuri Soloviev from 1964, also Kirov Ballet. The superb Sizova is hardly known in the West, yet her interpretation of Aurora is one of the most convincing on film, while Soloviev is considered to be the best Russian male dancer ever. Also features the famous Natalya Dudinskaya and a young Natalya Makarova. A dream.


Is that the version filmed at the Place des Arts in Montreal and released in 1989? I'm doing a little Christmas gift certificate shopping here!

#34 drb


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Posted 26 December 2005 - 07:58 PM

This Sleeping Beauty was originally an 84 minute Cinemascope movie rather than a live performance. Young Makarova's Bluebird was Valeri Panov and Dudinskaya was a fabulous Carrabosse. Exceptional dancing and far superior visually to most videos from that great era. The sound, however, is pretty poor. I am referring to an old VHS tape purchased about 15 years ago (Corinth/Kultur).

#35 kfw


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Posted 27 December 2005 - 05:05 AM

Thanks, drb. I'm sold!

#36 Dr. Coppelius

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Posted 27 December 2005 - 05:57 AM

That Sleeping beauty version is now released on DVD :)
My favorite ballet videos are two old russian balletmovies "The little humpbacked horse" from 1962, and "Cinderella" from 1961.
They don't make them like this anymore, but maybe Balanchine's "The Nutcracker" also will become a classic 30 years from now.

#37 canbelto


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Posted 27 December 2005 - 01:00 PM

I have a couple of favorites that I find myself returning to again and again:
Romeo and Juliet - Fonteyn/Nureyev
La Bayadere - Asylmuratova/Mukhemedov/Bussell
Swan Lake - Makarova/Dowell
Giselle - Makarova/Baryshnikov. And I say this even though I found M.B. to be absurdly miscast. But Makarova's Giselle is one of those legendary portrayals that deserves every inch of its legendary status.

#38 sophia



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Posted 28 December 2005 - 05:06 AM

- "Pharaoh's Daughter"
- "Paquita" (Paris Opera ballet) especially for the "Pas de trois" featuring Emmanuel Thibault
- "La Bayadère" (Paris Opera Ballet and Royal Ballet): both are quite different but I love the dancers: Isabelle Guérin, Laurent Hilaire, Elisabeth Platel for the Nureyev version and Assylmuratova-Bussell for the Makarova version.

And I agree with Marc Haegeman, the Maximova-Vassiliev "Nutcracker" is extraordinary. It made me enjoy this ballet I didn't really appreciate before.

And probably others...

#39 Lana


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Posted 28 December 2005 - 01:08 PM

I can't believe this one hasn't been mentioned yet! Or perhaps it has and I missed it.

"The Children Of Theatre Street" is definitely a favorite of mine. I often wonder what ever happened to Lena, the young dancer the film centered around.

Balanchine Celebration--I have the whole thing on tape and my favorite parts are Darcey Bussell doing Agon pa, Darci's Theme and Variations...even though the way she moves her foot in fourth before EVERY piroutte is a total peeve of mine, and the Who Cares? finale. Gotta love when they all do shots at the end, too.

Also, someone mentioned the special "Ballerina" with Makarova as narrator. I loved this, too.

Lastly: Joffrey Ballet in Billboards. Just about the coolest, sexiest thing (at times) next to Agon pas de deux.

#40 Rosa


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Posted 30 January 2010 - 10:24 AM

-Swan Lake (Kirov Makhalina/Zelensky) -- The corps is stunning, and Makhalina and Zelensky make a lovely pair.
-Cinderella (POB Guillem/Jude) -- I really like Nureyev's production, and Guillem is brilliant.
-Nutcracker (ABT) -- Gelsey...can't take my eyes off her; I could watch the PDDs between her and Mikhail all day.
-Jewels (POB) -- Every time I watch this I change my mind about which gem I like best.

#41 Helene



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Posted 30 January 2010 - 11:36 AM

The Kolpakova "Raymonda" (Kirov). The "Dream" pas de deux is sublime.

The Sizova and Kolpakova "Sleeping Beauty"s.

Both Bolshoi "Raymonda"s for Gedeminas Taranda.

The PBS Balanchine biography, with so many great clips, especially the "Liebeslieder" excerpts.

Jacques d'Amboise: Portrait of a Great American Dancer with "Afternoon of a Faun" with d'Amboise and Leclerq.

"Comme les Oiseaux" for the scene where Vladimir Vasiliev coaches Loudieres in "Giselle".

"Dancing for Mr. B" and "Elusive Muse", for the interviews, commentary, and excerpts, especially the clips of Moylan as Sanguinic, Darci Kistler's graduation Odette, and Allegra Kent with Conrad Ludlow in 2nd Movement of "Symphony in C".

"New Year's Eve in St. Petersburg" for the tease Wedding Act from the reconstruction of "Sleeping Beauty".

#42 papeetepatrick


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Posted 30 January 2010 - 04:01 PM

Sizova/Soloviev SB, McBride and Baryshnikov 'Tchai pas de deux', Lezhnina SB, Evening with Royal Ballet (all of it except not too crazy about Blair/Fonteyn pairing, but love all the preceding SB in that), Davidsbundlertanze w/Martins, Farrell, Von Aroldingen, etc., Mezentseva Black Swan, RDB 'La Sylphide' with Nikolaj Hubbe, RDB 'Napoli' with Arne Villumsen, Farrell and Martins in 'Diamonds', 'Marguerite and Armand'.

#43 4mrdncr


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Posted 30 January 2010 - 10:01 PM

Giannina, NOT that it's out as a video mind you, but since you are on a Nutcracker overdose already; before Hartford Ballet's management went ballistic last year and trashed the company, Kirk Peterson choreographed a new "American Nutcracker" that was VERY VERY special. I'm not a fan of Nutcracker per se, but this was different and so beautifully done by a small city ballet company that it will be a great shame if it is not done again somewhere.

Peterson put the ballet's setting in Yosemite Valley and it involves a fictional meeting between important historical figures at the time of the 1849 gold rush or shortly thereafter. Instead of Clara you've got Lotta Crabtree (renowned actress), and there are figures such as the actor Junius Booth (father of John Wilkes and Edwin Booth), Levi Strauss, a magician Herrmann the Great, Mark Twain etc... !! Sandra Woodall (SF bay area ballet connection as I'm sure you are aware) did the decor and costumes which are all different from the usual Nutcracker. The kids are butterflies , moths, etc, a giant spider comes down on wires (great!, now that doesn't happen anymore except at POB apparently) and there are grasshopper soldiers etc. Sandra's costumes are works of art! Mother Ginger is turned into a giant Queen Bee with all her honeybees and butterflies and sunflower children. The Christmas tree is a giant sequoia.

It's different!! yet the same. I think it is a wonderful new presentation of a very nice Christmas story which is getting too familiar to be that interesting anymore (except for kids or the young at heart it is always interesting I think).

I have a Hartford Ballet Nutcracker I filmed, but it wasn't like that! The version I shot was very traditional. I still have the tapes--but don't think the playback format is available anymore, and transfers to something more current would cost too much. (But maybe some day, I can afford to get it done.)

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