I must disagree with the previous review(er). While the Kirov production is visually rather dowdy and the DVD quality is often dull, the performance is hauntingly beautiful. Nobody dances like Irina Kolpakova any more and that's a shame. Her style is not dated but timeless - you can't find a purer example of true ballerina technique and manner. The whole company animates the formal mime and choreography with conviction. Anyone who is serious about ballet should see this.
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Believe me, one of the clearest parts of this DVD is the cover (sic!). Even so, it is a class above the Bessmertnova version. I am not going to compare the technique of the two, or for that matter that of Plisetskaya. Each can stand on a podium specially built for them. I again appeal to the powers that be, to take some time off and re-master this version into something clearer. If someone could do it for a film on Bolshoi Ballet of 1960s recording,I am sure this one would be worth it.
I think this ballet is popular with only a select set of Balletomanes. That may be because, it is not performed too often outside Russia (correct me if I am wrong).The storyline/techniques/execution/choreography are all one hell of a cliché. Most people who frequent the ballet have a surfeit of this kind of an execution with the goody goody princes and heroines and villains and fairies and dream sequences that there is nothing really new visually or otherwise if one goes by the Tchaikovsky trilogy and similar types of ballet formats. Another reason is that Glazunov as a composer is yet to achieve the greatness in the ears of the music loving public that he deserves. Glazunov is no second-rate Tchaikovsky. In fact, the depth and coherence in his music according to me (brickbats welcome), go one step beyond Tchaikovsky and his other senior contemporaries. Glazunov's music demands time to be invested, but once that has been done, his music is pure treasure to say the least. I have been familiar with the ballet music of Glazunov long before I could get to see Raymonda on the screen. Incidentally, I wonder when someone is going to bring out a version of his Scenes from a Ballet Op.52, that was danced very regularly by Diaghilev's company.Read more ›
I had viewed Raymonda several times w/o becoming enamored by it like I was with Coppelia and Firebird for instance. However, when I learned that it was one of Maya Plisetskaya's favorite ballets,.....Maya Plisetskaya - Diva of Dance.....and heard her hum one of her favorite tunes from it, I became more interested and started paying better attention.
Raymonda, it turns out is full of beautiful melodies, but again, you have to pay attention. I wish I had a copy with Maya Plisetskaya, but wishing doesn't get the shortsighted hierarchy at the Bolshoi to scrounge up a forgotten film or tape and release it to the public, does it? So, we will have to be satisfied with what IS available. To be honest, what we have in this case isn't all that bad. Irina Kolpakova in fact, is a very beautiful Raymonda. Her dancing may not be quite as dynamic as Plisetskaya's, but she is very close. By the way, Plisetskaya mentions Kolpakova affectionately in her autobiography, "I, Maya Plisetskaya", a very good read. Get it. Read it....I, Maya Plisetskaya.... Learn how the "polidioticrats" in the Soviet Union treated one of the greatest Prima Ballerina Assolutas who ever lived.
Ramonda's main shortcoming as a ballet is it's libretto, not a very compelling story line, but then, lots of ballets are weak in that department. Look at Don Quixote, for instance, yet DQ is a fabulous ballet because it is so much fun.Read more ›
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The quality of the DVD is bad also the program is mediocre with a a no good ballerina even for the time because at the same time there where dancer like Gregory, Bujones,Harvey dancing with much more better style and tecnich