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This past Saturday, I saw an excellent documentary in an independent movie hall on the Maryinsky Theatre, called "The Sacred Stage." Hopefully, it will be released on DVD. It's directed by Joshua Waltezky and the exec. producer is Lisa Kirk Colburn. Dance critic and scholar Elizabeth Kendall gives a very informative segment on the history of the ballet company, and Russian ballet history in general. Two very young female corps members give an impromptu interview as well. Maestro Gergiev and Placido Domingo discuss the history and current activities of the opera company. Also there are beautiful shots of St. Pete.

Highlights include:

- A rare, valuable and live segment of Zhanna Ayupova's Act 1 Aurora in the reconstructed "Beauty." She was absolutely perfect! (Too bad she isn't dancing right now. The company's current crop of 'would be ballerinas' could really benefit from her example)!

-A live studio segment with Makhalina and her coach Moiseyeva, rehearsing Odile's fouettes and Raymonda's clapping variation. An extended interview with Makhalina at home, and walking through the streets of St. Pete. (So, if anyone wants to know what Yulia's been up to, she's (also) a coach now, and is shown prepping Tkachenko for "Scheherazade").

-Scenes from the current controversial production of "Boris Godunov," interviews with the opera's designer Georgi Tsypin, and the outstanding 30 year old bass sensation, Yevgeny Nikitin in performance and in offstage interviews.

The documentary was filmed reality t.v. style. The best thing is that the Maestro

doesn't monopolize the film, and that could've happened easily. Hopefully it will be released in more cities. For more info, go to www.firstrunfeatures.com indi film website and click on "Sacred Stage" on the left side at the top.

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Thanks for trying to be helpful, drb, by posting a direct link. However, BalletTalk gets no credit through your link. I think the only way for us to earn our pennies is by entering through the banner atop the page.

I am not going to disable the link, because some people may have trouble finding the item otherwise, but I would request anyone who feels confident in their internet skills to take the long route and search for "Sacred Stage" under videos.


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So, I've just received this on my Netflix ( :jawdrop: ), and the ballet excerpts are wonderful. In the Special features, we get the Act II Vision scene, from Aurora's entrance through the end of her variation. Zhanna Ayupova is thrilling through the whole thing: light, graceful, musical. And what also stuns is the Kirov corps, who gets to shine a bit too. It's an unforced, lush style that is uniform throughout the entire company without a hint of effort on their faces. Here it's on display to grand effect.

What's interesting about this clip is that it is from the reconstruction production - so Aurora's variation isn't the one we'd normally associate with it, but the "Gold" variation music from act 3, with choreography that the Lilac Fairy usually dances in the Sergeyev production.

Within the film itself (which we already saw in the theatrical version), we get to see Ayupova dancing her entrance in Act I (it cuts off just before the Rose Adagio, unfortunately), and then we get to see the coda through the pricking of Aurora's finger and the end of Act I.

So, lots of great bits throughout. Makes one wish for the entire performance, but still this is very nice to have.

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interesting report on these BEAUTY excerpts in the film.

can you say who dances Desire opposite Ayupova? i know Korsakov made his debut in this role opp. Ayupova but that doesn't mean this the perf. filmed here.

thanks for any further info.

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