whetherwax

raymonda DVD

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Could people give me some advice about the three DVDs of Raymonda on offer via Amazon?

Kolpakova, Bessmertnova and Semmenyaka. I have never seen this ballet so I would like one that gives pleasure as well as being a learning exercise. I have looked on you tube of course but it is often rather dim and one cant tell if everything is included.

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I found some links to reviews and discussions on the three versions, but it would be great if more people weighed in:

Kirov:

Natalia, EAW, atm711, Cygnet, and I weighed in on this thread (scroll down for reviews vs. delivery schedule :))

http://ballettalk.invisionzone.com/index.p...monda&st=15

Bolshoi:

http://ballettalk.invisionzone.com/index.p...st&p=162457

http://ballettalk.invisionzone.com/index.php?showtopic=20488

http://ballettalk.invisionzone.com/index.php?showtopic=20437

Two words for either Bolshoi version: Gedeminas Taranda

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Oh, for sure i would be reticent of giving the crowning title to no other than divine Bessmertnova. :) She is MAGNIFICENT.

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I am partial to Semenyaka, who is equally wonderful in each variation, and whose Act 3 variation is particularly gorgeous. I'm not especially crazy about Mukhamedov, but as Helene said, the best thing about the Bolshoi videos is Gedeminas Taranda, channeling Douglas Fairbanks for all he's worth. In terms of picture quality and maneuverability, the DVD isn't great, but the performances make up for it.

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As said, these are two different productions and quite different in spirit. The DVD with Kirov/Kolpakova is the Konstantin Sergeyev production; both the Bolshoi DVDs are the Yuri Grigorovich staging, grander in scale, differences in storyline, and with the character of Abderakhman considerably developed (as said by Helene a starry role for Taranda). I always had a soft spot for the old Kolpakova film, firstly because of her, but also because of having a performance of the great Kirov of olden times - something quite different from what we can see now. In this way it ranks with the old Bayadère performance with Komleva and Terekhova, or the Sleeping Beauty with Kolpakova.

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As much as I love Taranda -- and I have all three DVD's, so luckily, the only thing I have to choose is the sequence in which I watch them -- the Kirov version with Kolpakova is my favorite ballet DVD. The dream sequence is sublime, as is Kolpakova.

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Another vote for Kolpakova here. :)

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As said, these are two different productions and quite different in spirit. The DVD with Kirov/Kolpakova is the Konstantin Sergeyev production; both the Bolshoi DVDs are the Yuri Grigorovich staging, grander in scale, differences in storyline, and with the character of Abderakhman considerably developed (as said by Helene a starry role for Taranda). I always had a soft spot for the old Kolpakova film, firstly because of her, but also because of having a performance of the great Kirov of olden times - something quite different from what we can see now. In this way it ranks with the old Bayadère performance with Komleva and Terekhova, or the Sleeping Beauty with Kolpakova.

I totally agree. Taranda was awesome; simply devastating on both Bolshoi tapes. Also, one can clearly see the stylistic difference in both institutions' approach to character dancing. IMO, the attention to detail, and aristocratic style in the Mazurka and Czardas on Kolpakova's tape are unsurpassed. Exemplary, but then again they did it first :D. If you want super-size, uninhibited character dancing, (Moscow style), that's on the Bolshoi tapes. For example, on the soundtrack of Bessmertnova's tape, during the presto in the Czardas, someone (onstage, or close to a mike) whistles :lol: . Sometimes in Russia, (during a Russian folk dance), one hear's this sound effect: Obviously, they enjoyed dancing this piece very much :).

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I haven't seen Kolpakova's, but of the other two, I prefer Semenyaka's -- though the lighting is dark, and there's something deadening about the filming.

It does look like a vision start to finish - the court dances are so stately, they look like chess-pieces moving by magic -- all the court-dances are wonderful, especially love the pas de quatre where all four hold hands and do intricate pas de bourrees.

Taranda is indeed a sensation: preening macho thug; it's simultaneously tremendous technique, great acting, and psychologically astute. Sexy he is, but no-one in their right mind would really WANT him. There's no possibility of relationship.

Semenyaka is beautiful in every variation, especially the one with the scarf, and in the grand Hongroise pas, she's wonderfully gracious: the trajectory of her arms from the hand clap to a la seconde is a thing of unparallelled majesty -- the rotation in the shoulders that brings them from parallel into turnout just blows my mind, it's so beautiful. I've never seen any other dancer make me feel the action like this.

On the other hand, Plisetskaya's attack and follow-through is the greatest thing ever, shown here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZwNEryJCCKU. This is just a clip of a dance seen through a pearly haze, but I think it's glorious, and even MORE a vision. I'd buy it if the Bolshoi would re-issue the whole thing.

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Thank you all, how wonderful it is to be able to access all your experiences via this site!!. After a good rummage in the recommended sites listed by Helene I have ordered the Bessmertnova. But it seems in time I may have to model myself on Helene and buy all three!

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Sexy he is, but no-one in their right mind would really WANT him. There's no possibility of relationship.

I beg your pardon :)

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Taranda's a natural --a real stage animal. I agree that Mukhamedov is something of a puzzle in this. He seems restrained. Maybe I was expecting Spartacus, des Grieux or Rudolph???

I've only seen the Bolshoi/Semenyaka version in full, so I'd like to ask a set of questions for those who've seen several, if I may.

Which version makes most sense of the complicated story? Which has the greatest dramatic coherence and power, separate from the stand-out dance elements? And which succeeds best with the White Lady. She's obviously supposed to be a very significant figure, but often comes across -- as I believe she does in the Semenyaka version -- is a kind of loony and embarrassing relative a la Gorey who escapes periodically from her bed room and wanders the hallways in her nighty.

Also: I seem to remember a video (or tv broadcast) of ABT with Cynthia Gregory. Probably in the 70s. Is this possible?

P.S.: Based on your recommendations, and the YouTube video that begins with Raymonda playing the lute, I'll be ordering the Kolpakova version. She's simply stunning and graceful (quietly so) beyond belief. I also like the way everyone on stage moves so attentively along with the music and the mood. As Raymonda plays, a court lady to her right responds to the music with a simple, slow movement of the arm that suggests that she is deeply touched and in a kind of revery about something from her own romantic past.

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I have both the Semenyaka and Kolpakova discs, and I think the Kolpakova version is more coherent, but to be honest I am not entirely convinced that this ballet ever made much sense. Maybe I have grown too used to 19C plot devices, or maybe it's the mix of fantasy and reality that throws me off, or maybe it's the lack of mime connecting events, but it seems as if things happen solely as an excuse for divertissements. Start with a court scene, dance a waltz, variations, and coda. Continue with a dream scene with more for the corps and an adagio. Bring back Abderakham for a pas de deux à trois, then splice in a deus ex machina ending so that you can have--surprise!--a wedding celebration with divertissements. The dancing is all very well choreographed, so the ballet is a delight to watch regardless, but dramatically...well, it's no Sleeping Beauty or Giselle.

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I totally agree. Taranda was awesome; simply devastating on both Bolshoi tapes. Also, one can clearly see the stylistic difference in both institutions' approach to character dancing. IMO, the attention to detail, and aristocratic style in the Mazurka and Czardas on Kolpakova's tape are unsurpassed. Exemplary, but then again they did it first :D. If you want super-size, uninhibited character dancing, (Moscow style), that's on the Bolshoi tapes. For example, on the soundtrack of Bessmertnova's tape, during the presto in the Czardas, someone (onstage, or close to a mike) whistles :dunno: . Sometimes in Russia, (during a Russian folk dance), one hear's this sound effect: Obviously, they enjoyed dancing this piece very much :).

I have the Semenyaka version on DVD (Kultur D1170) and I do agree that Taranda did a great job "hamming it up" as Abderakhman. :off topic:

By the way, you can tell the big difference between the Kirov/Mariinsky and Bolshoi troupes: the former emphasizes technical excellence, while the latter emphasizes on-stage acting excellence. (In the case of the Bolshoi, it must be the influence of the late Galina Ulanova and Maya Plisetskaya, both of which were legendary for their very strong acting presence on-stage.)

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I love Besmertnova's. But with a few exceptions, I much prefer the Kirov version, and love Kolpakova's dancing to death.

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I am currently being blown away by Semenyaka, as I am watching "Raymonda", and trying to disregard the poor filming. WOW. Why have I not read more about her?

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Amazon.co.uk tells me that Arthaus is releasing La Scala's Raymonda (2011) with Olesia Novikova and Friedemann Vogel on April 9th, on DVD and BluRay. The blurb says it's the most faithful version to Petipa. Any opinions on this? Any one see it in Milan?

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Amazon.co.uk tells me that Arthaus is releasing La Scala's Raymonda (2011) with Olesia Novikova and Friedemann Vogel on April 9th, on DVD and BluRay. The blurb says it's the most faithful version to Petipa. Any opinions on this? Any one see it in Milan?

I think Natalia saw it in Milan, but it is also on YouTube in 3-4 parts. You can watch the entire thing unless they've removed it recently. It is a reconstruction so it is as faithful to the original as possible and is wonderful. Great to know it is coming out officially as a commercial release!

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..... Any opinions on this [being the most faithful to Petipa]? Any one see it in Milan?

Yes and Yes. :) Excellent news. I hope that it might include backstage 'extras' not shown during the RAI telecast.

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Kirov or Bolshoi?????? I own a copy of the Bolshoi, with Taranda, who like others say is amazing, he is the essence of a Saracen warriior, proud dramtic and exellent in the role. But I do not like Bessmertova, she was well past her best, and I found her un inspiring, finding difficulty in many of her variations. Though saying that the production at the Bolshoi was better than the Kirov which seemed very dated. Kolpakova was lovely, but the staging seemed very old fashioned and the quality of the DVD (Rented from Lovefilm) was far below that of the Bolshoi.

I believe there is a DVD of the Paris Opera Ballet (Mezzo) with Marie Agnes Gilot., which is a Nureyev re-staging, in what seems to be based on the Kirov version, with of course his own idea's. Whether it is avauilable in general I do not know, but there are some clips on YouTube. I think it was released in the last few years, whereas the others are much older. I also think I saw a recent advert on Amazon for a production in the last few days, But I may be mistaken, and it was something else. Good luck in your choice

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You can also see the entire production on YouTube in four parts. It's still up as of today.

You can uncomfortably see a blurry Raymonda on YouTube, if you enjoy hunching over a computer. Much better to sit in the comfort of one's sofa with a big-screen TV on the wall. A high-quality experience. Something akin to the HD DVD of the Italian telecast is what balletomanes should be able to see, once the Arthaus disc is for sale. I also hope that Arthaus will 'retake' Raymonda's famous 'clapping solo' in Act III to remove that awful 'split-screen effect' with the piano on the right-hand side.

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I'm with Natalia about You Tube. There's no question it allows us to see a huge range of material that is otherwise unavailable, but the YouTube experience is often more educational than pleasurable. I will admit there is nothing like the surge of delight when one stumbles across an unknown clip by a favorite dancer. However I have the kind of mind that seems to insist on reading the comments and often regret this because of the twits, the trolls, and the wholly unnecessary rudeness about essentially trivial matters of opinion. This can spoil any pleasure. A big HD screen, a Blu-ray disc or decent DVD, a favorite chair and a glass of wine is sheer bliss after a tough day. I often think how lucky I am that this is attainable.

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