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Dancer's Dream - The Sleeping Beauty

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I just bought "Dancer's Dream, The Great Ballet's of Rudolf Nureyev." (Sleeping Beauty) It is very good, however I wish that there would be some more focuss on Carabosse. The backstage / rehearsal footage is very good and it would be a great video to show to any beginning ballet class (adult pref) or dance history class as it gives some history on the ballet, Petipa and Tchaikosvky. There is some beautiful videography from St. Petersburg. It is worth the $24.95 at Borders. Has anyone seen the "Raymonda" version? And, is there still a Sleeping Beauty full length DVD available from POB? (I know at some point there was)

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I enjoyed that DVD also, Joseph. As far as I know there is no DVD of the full length Sleeping Beauty yet. I have seen the Raymonda backstage DVD and liked that as well -- lots of footage of POB dancers from the early '80s. There's more on this one about Nureyev than about the ballet (lots of interviews of how important he had been to the company) and he's conducting some of the rehearsals.

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The DVD of Nureyev's "Sleeping Beauty" also is available in France, for example on http://www.amazon.fr (but in European format only). It features Manuel Legris and Aurélie Dupont in the main roles, and also in smaller roles Jean-Guillaume Bart, Marie-Agnès Gillot, Delphine Moussin... Actually, Isabelle Guérin was planned to be filmed in it, but didn't perform in that series because she was on maternity leave, so Dupont was filmed instead.

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Joseph, there is a full-length recording of Nureyev's Beauty by the POB, but it doesn't seem to be available in the U.S.  Below is a link to disc as sold by Virgin Megastores in the U.K. -- but it's coded for Region 2 (Europe) and will not work on a standard American DVD player.

POB Sleeping Beauty—European Disc

Well, I haven't actually received it yet, but I bought a copy of the POB Sleeping Beauty, the ballet itself, not the Dancer's Dream on Ebay last week. The dealer was in Canada and the listing states NTSC-Region all, so that should work in the US.

I think I have seen it on some of the online DVD comparson shopper sites

(www.dvdpricesearch.com, www.bizrate.com, and www.shopzilla.com) I forget who had it listed, but the price I got the thing for on Ebay was less.

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About the full Belle au Bois Dormant as on dvd:

if I were Aurora's dad, and I would have seen the way the young prince is going on and on all by himself when Lilac is about to introduce him to Aurora, I would have told her to stick around for another hundred years till a really nice boy drops by.

I understand Nuryev wanted to add some material for the male soloist, but my goodness that solo is just plain self-indulgent. It's a disaster dramatically, stylistically it's laughable and basically the guy is just making a fool of himself with this interminable fidgeting about.

Otherwise it's a beautiful production, though some of the cuts are rather suprising.

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I just watched this DVD and enjoyed it, though I'd rather own the disc of the complete ballet. Unfortunately it doesn't seem to be available in the US at this time. (I could have sworn I saw it listed by some online retailers a couple of months ago, though.)

One thing that surprised me was that Nureyev didn't actually mount this production; it was staged after his death by Patricia Ruanne, one of his Auroras in the London Festival Ballet production. I was disappointed that the documentary focused almost entirely on the ballerina (Elisabeth Platel) with some perfunctory attention given to her partner (Manuel Legris) and the costume and set designers. Since The Sleeping Beauty is a ballet about the entire company -- the corps, demis, soloists, and (in productions that use them) children from the school, this gives an inaccurate impression to people who aren't familiar with the work.

For those who have seen both productions, is the POB staging the same as the one Nureyev did for the National Ballet of Canada? That was my first-ever Sleeping Beauty, and it disappointed me tremendously. Thirty years and many productions later, I still think it's the worst version I've seen. POB deserves much better.

BTW, I rented this disc from Netflix, which is slowly improving its ballet holdings. I've also rented The Art of Maria Tallchief from them, and Dancer's Dream: Raymonda, the Fonteyn Cinderella, and one of the Ananiashvili discs are in my queue. :thanks:

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I videotaped the National Ballet of Canada version from A&E or Bravo in the days when they actually showed ballet and opera. I didn't know it was the same version as POB.

I'm going to look at it again, but I recall bad lighting, a lot of exagerrated Louis XIV court hyper-activity -- and a complete lack of chemistry (and divergence of temperament and style) between Nureyev and the Aurora, Veronica Tennant. I was not familiar with Tennant's works, but admired what she did here. As I see it, Herman Stevens is on target with his comments about Nureyev's self-indulgence.

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I've seen the complete POB Sleeping Beauty. It has a lot of good things I associate with the POB, like lavish production values, the perfect corps, and technical perfection of the soloists (Dupont and Legris). Nureyev's production drastically reduces the Lilac Fairy's part in the vision scene and instead gives a long seven-minute solo for Legris, which I dont like at all. Dupont and Legris's fishdives in the last act seem too prepared to be effective, but otherwise both turn in excellent performances.

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One might also add that the fairies varitations in the Prologue make very little sense. One of the fairies (forget which) has turned into a twin. And the other problem is the Lilac Fairy who's doing the big last variation. She looks like a great dancer, however the next time we see her she's in the Act III pas de quatre, and the Lilac Fairy turns out to be another dancer.

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I have the POB version and just love the dancer who performs the Lilac Fairy variation in the prologue.  Can someone give me her name? Thanks.  :)

I think she's fabulous, too. Her name is Marie-Agnès Gillot, and she's got her own website.

Didya notice she returns as Silver in the Precious Stones pas de cinq, which is one of the best segments in the entire production? (It's track 25 on the DVD.) Here Nureyev created some really neat stuff for Mr Gold.

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