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Zakharova's Raymonda with the New National Theatre Tokyo

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Though it will only be distributed in Japan, Svetlana Zakharova and Denis Matvienko's Raymonda with New National Theatre Ballet Tokyo DVD (and also Swan Lake with Hana Sakai )will be relesed in 2009/5/19.

Some of you might have seen New National Theatre Ballet Tokyo's Raymonda in Washington. They are much renouned for their beautiful corps de ballet.

And Zhakharova dancing Raymonda is a must-see.

I hope these will be released in other countries.

Both works are choreographed by Asami Maki, and I don't think Raymonda's choreography is so good, as Abderakman does not appear in the dream scence, but otherwise both versions are very orthodox ones and the costumes are very beautiful.



Bonus (30min): Zhakharova' interview, rehearsals, behind the scenes and class lessons

Swan Lake


Bonus(30min) : Experts from past performances such as Don Quixote, Sleeping Beauty, and Orpheo et Euridyce by Dominic Waish.

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My stuff came out of storage at the end of September, and I've been working my way through my DVD collection slowly. One that I put away without watching and saw for the first time yesterday was this "Raymonda DVD". I can't thank you enough for the heads up, naomikage, and I'm sorry it's so belated.

Zakharova is a beautiful Raymonda, and her performance is far more classical than not. There is an occasional big extension, but no more than I saw Lopatkina do as Lilac Fairy a few years ago in Berkeley, but since it's not a really a jumping role, this aspect is barely there. She was luminous.

The role of Abderakman is reduced, but it is also toned down in a very good way: there are few like Taranda who can make the character flesh and blood and not rely purely on Eastern stereotypes, which in this production, he is not. Even so, by comparison, Jean de Brienne comes across as dutiful and dull, and there was only so much Denis Matvienko could do besides partner Zakharova and do a few solos. Only Zakharova and Matvienko are listed in Roman characters in the book, and I liked the dancer who performed Abderakman very much. I also loved the dancer who played the Queen (Raymonda's mother).

The costumes were spectacular; the long gowns for the courtiers in the first Act were favorites.

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