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I wonder whether anyone is familiar with live recordings of Maya Plisetskaya's The Seagull. On November 10 VAI is scheduled to release it on DVD, and Arthaus Musik is set to release its own DVD a week later. Supposedly the VAI version was filmed in 1982, while the Arthaus version was filmed in 1980. However, since both performances star Plisetskaya and Alexander Bogatyrev, and both were conducted by Alexander Lazarev, I'm inclined to think it's actually the same performance. I've known Arthaus Musik to be a little sloppy with its jackets, booklets and sometimes even its subtitles, though I haven't had reason to complain about their video quality. Any clues?

I'm actually surpised that Amazon.com has the Arthaus version listed. Presumably VAI would have secured the North American rights to the video rather than compete directly against a less expensive rival.



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Is this it?

Plisetskaya is ... remarkable bird. (I will not soon forget those images. :) ) She is also Nina, seen at the end of the clip discovering the body of ... a dead seagull.

The Info text says "Bolshoi Theater 1980". I'd love to read people's thoughts. I know the Bolshoi toured this to the U.S. and probably elsewhere in the late 80s.

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On the Arthaus Musik dvd there is a bonus: Interviews with Maya Plisetskaya and Rodion Shchedrin. Introduction to the ballet and choreography.

On Plisetskaya's website there is also this statement about the Arthaus Musik dvd: "This is the only DVD of the live recording of the performance in 1980 at Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow, which is authorized by Maya Plisetskaya."

I don't understand why they would say that.

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In Plisetskaya's autobiography she says that The Seagull opened on May 27, 1980. I believe the two dvds to be the a recording of the same performance.

She also says that Alexander Bogatyrev who danced Treplev with her "paid an unbelievable price" for being part of the production because of the internal politics at the Bolshoi.

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I had the misfortune to see this production at the Bolshoi Theatre in 1986. I was only a couple of years into my ballet-watching passion and this could have put me off for life! I found it incredibly slow and boring.

There was a British entertainer who used to sing a song "I'm a pink toothbrush you're a blue toothbrush". The incessant repeating of an "I'm a seagull, I'm not a seagull" motifs reminded me of that silly tune.

I suppose the one thing that I could say after I had seen it was that I had seen Maya Plisetskaya performing live on stage.

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