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La Bayadere: Dudinskaya/Chaboukiani 1940 clip.

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I have this sequence on one of the old VHS collections that I own. Maybe "Legendary Kirov" or something to that effect. In any event I like it a lot. Agree

with Helene that Chaboukiani shows terrific charisma. But also Dudinskaya impresses me here, I have to admit that I find her a bit OOT looking on some of the other films I have of her (SB Carabosse, Odile, Raymonda) but here I see that strong classicism that she was evidently noted for . And she looks great.

I also think the filming has a slight MGM kind of overtone to it, really in a beautiful way. Imagine that this was done during the second World War!

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i don't think the full film - listed below as 9 min. has been released commercially but as noted parts are included in the two vids given below. the clip linked here on youtube is from the GLORIOUS TRADITION series. the parts on CLASSIC KIROV includes somewhat different footage.

the NYPL listings below identify the collection's versions of this footage. (i cut the credits off after the 'bayadere' notes to keep the post from being too big.

Bayaderka [1943]. 1 reel. 9 min. 331 ft. : sd. b&w. ; 16 mm.

Motion picture released in 1943. Title of ballet in Russian; credits in English.

Choreography: not credited; possibly Vakhtang Chabukiani and Vladimir Ponomarev after Marius Petipa. Music: Ludwig Minkus.

Performed by Natalia Dudinskaya (Nikiya), Vakhtang Chabukiani (Solor), and members of the Leningrad State Academy Theater of Opera and Ballet.

SUMMARY: Excerpts from La bayadère, Act IV, the Kingdom of the Shades, including the entry of the shades, adagio and variations by Nikiya and Solor, and a coda performed by the entire cast.

Classic Kirov performances [videorecording] c1992. 107 min. : sd. color and b&w NTSC. ; 1/2 in. (VHS)

Produced by Castle Communications, PLC. Distributed as a videotape by Kultur, West Long Branch, New Jersey.

Performed by members of the Kirov Ballet.

CONTENTS: The sleeping beauty (approx. 3 min., b&w). Chor: Petipa. Mus: Tchaikovsky. Recorded in 1930. Perf. by Tatiana Vecheslova (Aurora) and others. -- Bayaderka (approx. 6 min., b&w). Chor: Chabukiani and Ponomarev after Petipa. Mus: Minkus. Recorded in 1940. Perf. by Natalia Dudinskaya (Nikiya), Vakhtang Chabukiani (Solor), and ensemble

Russian ballet, the glorious tradition. Volume two [videorecording] / Telecompany Ostankino [and] Val G. Productions, Ltd. Fort Lee, NJ : Video Artists International, c1993, 1914-1988.

1 videocassette (71 min.) : sd., col. and b&w NTSC ; 1/2 in. (VHS)

Russian ballet, the glorious tradition ; 2.

NOTES: The dying swan (b&w) / recorded in 1914 ; choreography, Michel Fokine ; music, Camille Saint-Saëns ; danced by Vera Karalli.

Classical variation (b&w) / recorded in 1944 ; choreography, Aleksandr Gorski ; music, Riccardo Drigo ; danced by Marina Semenova.

Swan lake: Act II, Odette's variation (b&w) / recorded in 1940 ; choreography, Lev Ivanov ; music, Peter Ilich Tchaikovsky ; danced by Marina Semenova, with ensemble.

La bayadère: pas de deux (b&w) / recorded in 1940 ; choreography, Marius Petipa ; music, L. Minkus ; danced by Natalia Dudinskaya and Vakhtang Chabukiani, with ensemble.

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rg's credits mention that the film was "released" in 1943. If this clip dated from that year, with St. Petersburg under seige by the German army, it would indeed seem to be astonishing time to make such a large investment in a ballet film.

But the English-language credits say "filmed in 1940." Although World War II was going on in much of Europe in 1940, the Soviet Union had not yet been invaded by Germany. That occurred the following year.

In 1940 the Soviets were themselves victorious aggressors, having invaded and occupied both Finland and Poland without real provocation. Producing an expensive ballet film at that time would make a certain amount of sense. It could be seen as a celebration of Soviet cultural values and expansion, as well as a distraction from the unpleasant implications of Soviet imperialism.

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this film/footage has always been hard to 'date' sometimes dates refer to the time of release vs. the the time of the filming. i can't even confirm that the NYPL copy of such a film is the same one later released as excerpts on video cassettes.

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