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Asking for Prokofiev's Cinderella recommendationCinderella


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25 replies to this topic

#1 Roach

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Posted 08 May 2006 - 12:52 PM

Hi all,
I'm looking for recommendations on performances of Cinderella on DVD. I'm open to any ballet company but if possible would like to start with Bolshoi. But please, no studio performances . . . live with an audience only. Would also appreciate comments on multiple aspects of the DVD to include production quality as well as the performance of the dancers. Thanks! I look forward to adding to my growing collection.

PS. Let me take back the part about "no studio." I prefer live with an audience but am open to suggestions. Thanks.

#2 Roach

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Posted 15 May 2006 - 04:23 PM

Hi all,
I'm looking for recommendations on performances of Cinderella on DVD. I'm open to any ballet company but if possible would like to start with Bolshoi. But please, no studio performances . . . live with an audience only. Would also appreciate comments on multiple aspects of the DVD to include production quality as well as the performance of the dancers. Thanks! I look forward to adding to my growing collection.

PS. Let me take back the part about "no studio." I prefer live with an audience but am open to suggestions. Thanks.


Giving this a bump in hope of a response. :(

#3 drb

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Posted 15 May 2006 - 04:47 PM

The Royal Ballet in Ashton's version, with the perfect cast of Sibley and Dowell (and Ashton himself) (1969) would be hard (impossible) to beat. But be aware that this is a work of art, not a mere vehicle for star turns.

#4 Juliet

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Posted 15 May 2006 - 05:35 PM

Margot Fonteyn, Ashton and Macmillan as the sisters, Michael Somes, all-star Fairies......

it's an historically valuable performance, very different than we see now, but wonderful.....

#5 Helene

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Posted 15 May 2006 - 09:13 PM

The Ashton version with Sibley and Dowell has Ashton and Robert Helpmann as the stepsisters. Helpmann's superbly detailed and malevolent characterization, and Ashton's reactions as a beaten accomplice are perfect reflections of the music, which runs counter to a fairy tale setting. (In the Fonteyn, there's sappy period music accompanying the credits, and it is the strangest juxtaposition to hear it against the "Music by Sergei Prokovieff" credit, but that entire special adaptation is Disneyfied, the Disney of that earlier period.) They don't even need to be present for their oppressiveness to be felt.

The fairies are Georgina Parkinson as the Fairy Godmother, Jennifer Penney as Spring, Vyvyan Lorrayne as Summer, Ann Jenner as Autumn, and Deanne Bergsma as Winter. Alexander Grant is the jester (as well as in the Fonteyn version), and Derek Rencher and Wayne Sleep are the stepsister's suitors. I thought the camera work was very well done in this live version released on Kultur.

The Fonteyn/Somes version was adapted for TV by Ashton: there are narration and fanciful effects, which, unfortunately, make it difficult to see all of the dancing mainly because of the use of light costumes and tights on a light background. However, the Summer of Elaine Fifield and the Winter of Svetlana Beriosova are sublime, even if it's frustrating trying to see Fifield against a light background. It was as if she was two-dimensional line drawing that broke through to a third dimension. The stepsisters in this version are Ashton and MacMillan. MacMillan isn't as powerful as Helpmann, but that could have been a deliberate choice in a studio version with studio sets. I really like Fonteyn as an actress in this. Somes comes off as a bit of a doofus, especially at the end, but he's so physically imposing, that it's gratifying to see him push MacMillan out of the way to try the slipper on Fonteyn.

It's not really a ballet, per se, although there was dancing. Perhaps more like a pantomime? The whole concept was very creative and enchanting; even if it looks old-fashioned, it has emotional resonance, if you put aside contemporary eyes. I just wish the lighting were better.

This is a VAI DVD. (The commercials in the bonus section are a hoot.)

#6 Marc Haegeman

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Posted 16 May 2006 - 05:22 AM

As for the Russian versions, there is a film (not a live performance) of the Rostislav Zakharov production danced by the Bolshoi with Raissa Struchkova as Cinderella and Gennady Lediakh as the Prince, dating from the early 1960's. And from the Kirov there is a film (again, not a live performance) of the Konstantin Sergeyev production with Gabriella Komleva and Marat Daukaev from the seventies. Both are highly recommendable if you are fond of Soviet ballet, and you don't want your Ugly Sisters danced by men. :grinning-smiley-001: Performance-wise you won't find any better, simply because it's all there is of the Russian versions. Footage and sound quality is "historical" with lots of special effects thrown in which were already dated when these films were first published.
On another level, these films are interesting because they feature two great Russian ballerinas of the day, of whom there isn't much material available.

#7 Roach

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Posted 16 May 2006 - 09:19 AM

What a great forum! Where else can I get reliable answers except from a forum of ballet devotees like you all. Thanks for coming through for me again (I also got great help on a Swan Lake DVD trivia question before). The only downside is that I'm sold on all of the recommendations now and will have to dig a little deeper into my wallet. :(

#8 Helene

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Posted 16 May 2006 - 11:50 AM

Roach,

In summer 2004, we attempted a new feature, based on the book club concept, to watch a video and have a multi-layered discussion about it. The ballet was Ashton's Cinderella. We were only partially successful, but there are some great responses. I was having trouble finding it until today (I was searching for a thread), only to find that it was a sub-forum of the Ballet Forum, right on the home page.

The link to the threads in the forum is:

http://ballettalk.in...p?showforum=144

There are a couple of posts and threads that I think you will find particularly interesting:

In the thread Ashton's Cinderella, among the links are to lists of productions of Cinderella and info on the original production in Moscow.

#7 - Compare other Cinderellas to Ashton's.

But there are good responses in all of the threads.

#9 canbelto

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Posted 17 May 2006 - 09:40 AM

To go off the beaten track ...
Harder to find, but there was a BBC telecast of Cinderella a few years ago with Alina Cojocaru and Johan Kobborg that is a very fine performance of this ballet.
And, there was also a version of Cinderella from the POB choreographed by Nureyev starring Sylvie Guillem and Charles Jude. In this case, Cinderella is a starlet, Nureyev a movie producer, and the movie ends with Cinderella signing a movie contract. It's a concept that actually works very well. Besides Guillem and Jude, the film is stocked to the brim with famous etoiles -- Elisabeth Maurin, Isabel Guerin, Monique Loudieres among them.

#10 Roach

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Posted 19 June 2006 - 05:29 AM

Thanks again!

#11 papeetepatrick

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Posted 19 June 2006 - 07:50 AM

I like the POB 'Cinderella' too, just watched it this weekend. In fact, it's the only one I've ever seen, but I'm not worried about that. I want to see the Royal Ballet version too, but I am not going to ever love the 'Cinderella' score as much as Prokofiev's 'Romeo and Juliet,' which it reminds you of, but seems much paler on first listening. Only when the Prince and Cinderella dance is there, to my ear, music that is as stirring as is almost the entire score of 'romeo and juliet.' You should see this one if you haven't seen Sylvie Guillem, though (I hadn't) as she is rather startling and fabulous.

#12 Natalia

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Posted 10 January 2009 - 07:00 AM

Does anybody know who dances the 'Seasons Fairies' in the 1985 film of the Kirov-Sergeev version that stars Gabriela Komleva? The four solo fairies are all terrific but are uncredited in the film, perhaps because they may have been student sof the Vaganova Academy at the time of filming? Possibilities are students of Dudinskaya who graduated in the 1985/86 timeframe, who Sergeev-Dudinskaya may have cast, e.g., Veronika Ivanova & Irina Shapchits, both in Dudinskaya's graduation class of '85. Perhaps the graduating students of other professors -- Vasilieva's star pupil Yulia Makhalina -- were also cast? The tall dancer who leads Summer looks a bit like Makhalina.

Many wonderful 1970s and 80s 'Soviet' films include senior Vaganova Academy students in adult roles. It is very frustrating that the students are rarely identified in these films....such as the delightful 1974 Glazunov 'The Seasons' film, also by Konstantin Sergeev. Only Konstantin Zaklinsky, the male lead, is identified there.

#13 EricMontreal22

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Posted 15 January 2009 - 09:46 PM

Wow I didn't know there was any video recording of The Seasons at all! Was it ever released to DVD (doubtful) or even video? I'm a big Glazunov fan, and it's my favorite of his scores...

I'm new here, but was actually going to post about Cinderella on video. I admit that I'm a bit of a purist, in that i like to try to see the closest to the original production of a ballet as I can--and then see other examples. With Cinderella I'm already familiar, however, with Ashton's version--which I really enjoy although I have some problems with (I miss the around the world divertisement in the final act, for instance). It's also hard to find information on the history of the ballet.

The Rostislav Zakharov production was the first production and the one Prokofiev wrote his score to, right? Unlike the (arguably) original production of Romeo and Juliet which the Kirov still dances, I don't think the Zakharov is still performed anywhere--am I wrong? When did the Bolshoi dance it to? And was the Kirov production by Sergeyev the next (I don't believe they still perform that either). While I know critics ar emixed on Zakharov's production, was it ever filmed live on stage or is the movie the only version we have? I ask because I know the movie, at 90 minutes, must have edited out at least 30 minutes of the original. Still, I suppose it's better than nothing. I know the current Bolshoi production si quite controversial, to say the least...

#14 EricMontreal22

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Posted 21 January 2009 - 04:54 AM

Could someone tell me about this (now out of print?) DVD of Cinderella? All I know is it's meant to be the Bolshoi. I'd love to know year it was filmed, length, choreographer and leads... You knwo the basics--and if anyone would recommend it.

Here's the link: http://www.amazon.co...B...2245&sr=8-6

#15 chrisk217

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Posted 21 January 2009 - 06:39 AM

Could someone tell me about this (now out of print?) DVD of Cinderella? All I know is it's meant to be the Bolshoi. I'd love to know year it was filmed, length, choreographer and leads... You knwo the basics--and if anyone would recommend it.

Here's the link: http://www.amazon.co...B...2245&sr=8-6

I somehow have the idea that this is the studio film of the Kirov's Sergeyev production, filmed in Moscow somewhere around the late 70s and subsequently mislabeled. If so the dancers are Gabriela Komleva, Marat Daukaev and Margarita Kulik. Cheesy special effects, good choreography and excellent dancing all around.

I can't for the life of me remember where I base the idea that this is mislabeled, so I hope someone else can post and shed some light...


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