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I want to order some ballet videos, but the problem is that they have to be in PAL format. This narrows down my choice badly on Amazon. Where else could I order good ballet videos, in PAL format?

Also, I would appreciate reccommendations about good buys. I am particularly looking for videos featuring Altyani Assylmuratova, Ludmilla Semenyaka, Gedemis Taranda and the Paris Opera Ballet.

I'd also like to know whether the video "Essential Ballet", featuring such dancers as Makhalina, Assylmuratova and Andris Liepa is worth while. I am a particular fan of Andris Liepa, but find it very hard to get hold of video footage of him.

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Thanks, I was considering that one. Just a pity that she isn't patnered by Ruzimatov. Is there any PAL video around in which they perform the lead role together?


I may be misunderstanding your comment but Ruzimatov does dance Ali in the Kirov Corsair. Although I suppose you would have to call Conrad the lead male part.

Liepa partners Makhalina in the White Swan pdd in the London segment of Essential Ballet and then partners Ilse Liepa in what I have always found an ineffective extract from the Firebird in the Moscow segment of the program.

If you are an Andris Liepa fan you may want to consider his film, Return of the Firebird. But understand this is Petroushka, Firebird, and Sheherazade opened up and shot on a film set. There is no sense of being in a theater seat. Liepa casts himself in all three pieces.


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Thanks for the links, chrisk217. I'm looking for VHS, PAL format.

Thanks for the info. re. Essential Ballet, richard53dog. I would love to see Return of the Firebird, but as far as I know it is only available as a DVD - not an option for me right now.

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The POB Bayadere is VERY worthwhile. Everything is almost perfect here: the corps, the costumes/sets, the principals, the video editing.

Le Corsaire with Kirov has Assylmuratova, Pankova and other great female Kirov dancers. Also Ruzimatov is very good here. The ABT Le Corsaire has the advantage of Corella and Malakhov. The female dancing is not very memorable. Pick your choice. I like the Kirov, because, they don't do it as if it's the silliest thing in the world and, consequently, it does not come off as very silly.

Gediminas Taranda dances in Raymonda (Abderahman) and Ivan the Terrible. Also in Golden Age but this is political and maybe not everyone's cup of tea.

Other very good videos:

* La fille mal gardee (Lesley Collier/RB)

* Kirov Classics (aka The Kirov Ballet - St. Petersburg; Assylmuratova in Chopiniana, a good Markitenka, fairy doll pd3, a great Paquita Grand Pas)

* Great Pas de Deux (10 pdd, a little bit of everything, so you can check what other videos you might want)

* Kirov Sleeping Beauty (Lezhnina/Ruzimatov)

* Romeo & Julliet (Ferri/Eagling/RB)

Also worth considering:

* Giselle with Fracci/Bruhn (warning: horrible editing)

* Swan Lake (Makhalina/Zelensky/Kirov)

* Paris Dances Diaghilev (Petrushka, Spectre de la Rose, L'apres midi d'un faun, Noces)

* Don Quixote (ABT/Baryshnikov/Harvey)

* Nureyev's Cinderella (with Guillem)

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Thanks for the detailed recommendations, chrisk217. That Great Pas De Deux video is a good idea. Can you give me the names of some (or all) the dancers who perform in this video? I have seen The Golden Age with Taranda and am dying to possess my own copy of it, but it's very hard to get. I am also looking for the Raymonda video with Taranda, but again, it seems unavailable in VHS PAL format.

I'll definitely go for the Kirov Le Corsaire as well as the POB La Bayadere. I was wondering how the Fracci/Nureyev Giselle (Rome Opera Ballet) compares with the Fracci/Bruhn Giselle - purely for interests sake, really, as I haven't found PAL copies of either of these.

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The pdd compiled on the "Great Pas de deux" are:

1. Spring Waters (Bylova/Nikonov)

2. Le Corsaire (Fonteyn/Nureyev)

3. Prince of the pagodas (Bussel/Cope)

4. Bourne Swan Lake (Cooper/Ambler)

5. Romeo and Julliet (Ferri/Eagling)

6. Nutcracker (Collier/Dowell)

7. Manon (Penney/Dowell)

8. Swan Lake (black swan) (Makhalina/Zelensky)

9. Month in the Country (Makarova/Dowell)

10. Le Corsaire (Asylmuratova/Neff)

11. Spartacus (Bessmertnova/Muhamedov)

12. Sleeping Beauty (Kolpakova/Berezhnoi)

13. Don Quixote (Baryshnikov/Harvey)

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