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Just back from a quick business trip to the U.K., during which time I visited the ROH shop and noticed three 'new-old' just-released DVDs of Soviet-era telecasts featuring Kirov dancers. As far as I can tell, these DVDs are not yet in the ROH on-line catalogue; came a surprise to me this past weekend:

* Swan Lake - mixture of Bolshoi & Kirov stars, filmed ca 1990 - Nadezhda Pavlova as Odette, Lubov Kunakova as Odille, Alexander Bogatyrev as Siegfried. Appears to be a studio production, rather than the filming of an on-stage performance. Seems to follow most of the Kirov-K. Sergeyev production, rather than the Bolshoi-Grigorovich. Troupe is billed as 'St. Petersburg Ballet' -- not Kirov or Bolshoi -- and it was obviously filmed before Leningrad reverted to 'St. Petersburg.' It's probably a 'pick-up' collection of artists brought together for this filming. Act IV is shortened, a-la ABT...but otherwise a complete production (118 mins). If anything, good as a record of Pavlova and Kunakova in unusual roles.

* Everything Turns Into Dancing - 1978, colour. Fascinating concert of mostly Leonid Yakobsen short ballets, performed by his 'Choreographic Miniatures' troupe shortly after his death. Incl., for example, 'Exercise XX,' 'Mozart Pas de Cinq' (delectable female variations), 'Spartak pdd,' 'Lehar pdd,' etc. BONUS: Kirov 'Don Juan' (Vikulov/R. Strauss) filmed ca 1988 starring Sergei Berezhnoi, Zhanna Ayupova (yes!), Veronika Ivanova (a rarity!) and Olga Likhovskaya.

* "Everything is Fine" - 1991, color. Combination ballet concert & 'informal' documentary about Farouk Ruzimatov and Friends' exploration of jazz music, with numerous mini-ballets danced to Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong recordings...but set in a Leningrad jazz club. Very classical dancing (pointe shoes for women) set to unusual music. Personally, I would recommend this DVD for one reason alone: Ruzimatov's main co-star is the rarely-seen, exquisite ballerina, Veronika Ivanova....but to add insult to injury, the DVD jacket advertises "co-starring SVETLANA Ivanova"! (I believe that Svetlana was 11 or 12 years old when this film was made.)

In sum, we have not one but TWO DVDs of the rarely-seen Veronika Ivanova, in addition to other great stars.

An even briefer note to add that a CD recording of the complete ballet 'Onegin' (Cranko version, to arranged Tchaikovsky tunes, Stuttgart Ballet's resident orchestra) has been released & is also available at the ROH. Again, I believe that this is not yet in the on-line catalogue.

Something to anticipate in U.S. and other markets, in months to come.

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To add to Natalia's very useful description: it should be noted that the image quality leaves a lot to be desired. It is blurry and occasionally a bit grainy. The video is not in any way restored/enhanced etc

That said the chance to see Ivanova and the lovely Ayupova is rare (and for me totally worth it) and the Jacobson disk unusual & interesting.

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