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I rec'vd my copy yesterday and watched. WHAT A DUD! A huge disappointment for anyone who expects anything that approximates classical ballet. This is just a mimed play with a bit of movement and narration (subtitles in English), packaged in a Eurotrash-pretentious manner. It makes the Mariinsky's latest minimalist Little Humpbacked Horse -- a very similar fairy tale about a simpleton lad and his pet helping an evil king find a princess and a ring from the bottom of the sea -- seem very deluxe. The 'Making of Goldilocks' documentary in the 'extras' is hilarious in its idiocy and pretention...but it makes us understand why the final product is so bad.

The only good thing about Goldilocks is that it affords us a glance at the gorgeous little Estates Theater/Prague, where it was filmed.

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I disagree with "Natalia's" disparaging post regarding the 2009 release of "Goldilocks" by the

Prague National Ballet. It is not a dud, nor is it "Eurotrash", regardless of what is meant by such tactlessness. This ballet is different and avant garde in some respects - being a blend of modern, lyrical, and classical ballet styles, and it tells a story interactively with the audience - which by the way is an up and coming trend in the ballet world. Times are changing and if the ballet companies want to engage and foster new generations of audiences, then promoting a love of ballet in particular and dance in general, through interactive venues such as this, is a critical investment to their continued existence. Ballets respected today like "The Mayerling","Spartacus", "Bhakti", and "Manon" were considered radical as recently as the mid 70's and 80's, so while Prague's "Goldilocks" may not be what the reviewer "Natalia" was looking for (which is fine), it is misleading to label it a "dud", let alone "Eurotrash"! Also, apparently "Natalia" didn't read the label on the DVD before purchasing it to notice that the Prague Ballet is not touting it as a classical ballet. My advice to anyone interested in Prague Ballet's "Goldilocks", is to rent it from Netflix first and then decide whether to buy it. This is what I did, and now both my daughter (who is an accomplished ballet dancer) and I are delighted to own and view this ballet. (By the way, Netflix and KineticFlix both have an extensive collection of ballet DVD's for rent, so you can pre-view most ballet DVDs that are available for sale before deciding to buy.)

The prologue and Act I, are a bit of a puzzle at first, especially for the more western oriented

audience. The gist is that a small troupe of actors pulls into a little village on a wagon with a huge box of costumes. The head actor plays his violin to draw a crowd and the troupe begins handing out costumes to the villagers whom they enlist to help act out a play. The villagers are drawn to costumes that match their personalities, with the town bully claiming the "Royal" robes and role of the "King" for himself. Then, "magically", the entire orchestra emerges from the box and seats itself in the orchestra pit and the tale begins. The evil king is given a magic snake by a hag which if cooked and eaten makes it possible to understand the language of the animals. The king hands the snake to Jirek, his head chef, with a dire warning that Jirek is not to taste it. Jirek, being a cook, tastes it anyway and discovers he can understand animals like the castle dog and some birds who are gabbling about the beautiful Goldilocks. Upon tasting the snake, the king also understands the animals, and realizes Jirek disobeyed him, whereupon he orders Jirek to find and deliver the gold haired maid to him or be executed as a traitor. Jirek starts his quest, helping animals in trouble as he goes, who in turn aid him in achieving his three deeds to win Goldilocks. If the beginning seems a bit slow for a first time viewer, then I'd recommend starting with Acts II and III. The dances of the Gold Fish and the Fire Dancers are on pointe and are lovely to behold. The music and the dance of the 12 princesses is lyrical and captivating. As for the pas de deux solos with Goldilocks and the hero, Jirek, the dancers and the choreography are truly breathtaking and the partnering is amazingly intricate. True, the heroine dances in ballet slippers instead of pointe shoes, but anyone with an eye for ballet technique, will recognize that she is a consummate ballerina and, as with all the company members, she has wonderful artistry.

The ballet's costuming is excellent and the scenery is well done, especially the ant hill and the forest and the spider scene. The accompanying documentary is also very interesting and informative regarding the staging of the ballet. Likewise, the portion of the documentary about Vladimír Franz provides a fascinating insight of this totally tattooed composer who uses medieval music compositions as the basis for the music in "Goldilocks". Naturally, the Prague Ballet's "Goldilocks" and the Mariinsky's recent revival of Schredin's version of "The Little Humpbacked Horse" that was originally performed and filmed in 1961 with Maya Plisetskaya have similar themes, as the characters and plots from both are based on the old folk tales of "Goldilocks" and "Ivan and the Queen Maiden". (Note: The earliest ballet version of "The Little Humpbacked Horse" was performed in 1864 using music by Cesare Pugni.) However, as far as the stage settings and costumes are concerned, those found in the latest Mariinsky version of "Little Hump Backed Horse" are considerably more minimal, than those in the Prague Ballet's version of "Goldilocks". Viewers who approach this new ballet with an open mind should be pleased. The audiences in Prague certainly love it and every performance held there has been sold out, since it debuted there several years ago. Prague is an old city with a long standing cultural arts history, so I think the high regard of Prague's ballet goers speaks for itself as to the merits of this ballet.

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We can respectfully disagree, danceforall. However, please note that my name is indeed Natalia so there is no need for quotes around it.

Sorry but Goldilocks is dreadfully boring for fans of traditional classical ballet. (My copy has long been gifted to a friend who I know is a fan of avant-garde theater.)

Luckily, I can attest to the very fine production values of traditional ballets in Prague - a lovely city where I've spent quite a bit of time. The national company dances a gorgeous Swan Lake, for example. Goldilocks is simply not representative of the grand classical tradition in ballet but it can certainly be recommended for folks who enjoy the avant garde and minimalism.

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