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Kirov Soloists in Ballet Lesson DVD

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A Happy New Year to you all!

During my recent trip to Japan I managed to obtain a copy of the delightful DVD featuring the current Kirov Stars. The DVD is called "Ballet Dictionary for Children", a part of the lesson video/DVD series called "All About Vaganova Ballet Academy" (I'm afraid it's published and available only in Japan). I may be wrong, but perhaps it's Vaganova school that is the most prevailed and influential method in the country - that's why the demands for this type of products are there.

Contents are of a dictionary, literally - school pupils demonstrate essential pas guided by Ms. Marina Vassilieva. It's in the 'Adagio' sections you can see short excerpts of the classical works danced by the current front women of the Kirov. They are:

* Uliana Lopatkina in Swan Lake

* Diana Vishneva & Farukh Ruzimatov in Don Q

* Svetlana Zakharova in Giselle & La Bayadere

Although each part is less than two minutes it's well worth an investment I reckon..... 'cos as far as I'm aware there's no video/DVD available on the market which features these dancers... or am I wrong??

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Thanks, Naoko. And a happy new year to you, too.

You're right; there are virtually no commercial videos/DVDs of those three dancers. Incredible, isn't it? Lopatkina's only commercial video appearances are

* as one of the two demi-solo sylphs in 'Chopiniana' (in the potpourri video released in the USA as 'Mariinsky Ballet') and

* as one of the four 'tall swans' in the 1990 'Swan Lake' that stars Makhalina.

And that is all we have of today's perhaps-greatest ballerina. What a joke!

Vishneva stars in the Russian made-for-TV movie 'The Shy One.' (Since when has she been shy?) A dramatic role with no significant dancing. The cassette, in PAL format, is available at both the Mariinsky and Bolshoi Theater shops. It's hard to find elsewhere.

Zakharova has fared even worse. There's nothing with her.

Of course, all three are seen & mentioned on Russian TV often enough but the documentaries and interviews never seem to make it to commercial release. Sad.

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Quite so, Jeannie. You could add Uliana Lopatkina's appearance as one of the Snow Flakes in "The Nutcracker" video with Larissa Lezhnina and Viktor Baranov, but that's no big deal either...

It's really frustrating, especially when one realizes that nowadays almost everything is filmed.

At least there may be Vishneva's "Firebird" and Zakharova's "Scheherazade" from Paris commercially available some time soon (?), even if neither role is in any way representative.

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I forgot the snowflake, Marc. ugh!

Well, if your 'intel' on the French Diaghilev DVD is correct, then we can call 2003 'the year of the Kirov Diaghilev Triple Bill on video', as the ten-year-old Andris Liepa venture, "The Return of the Firebird," is finally out on commercial film (already in Russia, about to come out in Western Europe and USA on Universal label). There was a big to-do in Moscow a month ago to introduce the commercial release of the film, which features Kirov and Bolshoi stars, ca 1993, in 'Petrouchka,' 'Scheherazade,' and 'Firebird.'

Liepa himself hosted the odd event at the Kremlin Palace Theater-- which featured the latter two ballets performed live by Kirov-Mariinsky, while the video played on a gigantic screen beside the stage (yuk!). The surprise hit of the night was Irma Nioradze's Firebird...I nearly fell out of my seat, she was fantastic! I won't report on the rest of the soloists, some of whom just marked their movements, not dancing full-out. It was so embarrasing. Nioradze saved the night. :(

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Jeannie & Mark - thanks for pointing out about Lopatkina's appearances in some of the videos. How could I be so blind.... Tough I've been a *mad* fan of Lopatkina for a long time, I must admit these are absolutely new to me - what a terrific news - thank you!!

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