The Kirov Celebrates Nijinsky / Sheherazade, La Spectre de la Rose, The Polovtsian Dances, The Firebird
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The gem of the DVD is the production of Sheherazade -- the Bakst decor and costumes are ravishing. The performances chew the scenery without having it actually fall down! I enjoyed Svetlana Zakharova's aloofness because it symbolized,for me, her position as the favorite wife. There was an intentity underlying her coolness, which made her final moments even more effective. I think Fokine would have liked her performace for its dignity & restraint. As performed by Zakharova & Farukh Ruzimatov, the central duet between Zobeide and the Golden Slave sizzles, perhaps a bit more "hands on" than in the first performances of 1910 :)
The downside of the DVD is the lead performance of Firebird. Compared to the old [currently unavailable, alas] Royal Ballet version with Margot Fonteyn [who was coached by the original Firebird, Tamara Karsavina] the Firebird of Diana Vishneva is pale. Her performance was more ballerina than bird. You didn't see her desperation or struggle in her attempts to escape the Prince's clutches. The steps are all there, but as danced by Vishneva they don't make dramatic sense.
Scheherezade seems to be the least choreographically accomplished, taking a while before the dancing really kicks in, and when it does, the moves seem quite repetitive at times, especially in the long central pas de deux. (Sometimes it seems like there are long stretches of filler material.) Still, I've only read about it up to now, so it was good to see it.
Le Spectre de la Rose is a mood piece more than anythng else, and the performance here is quite good. So what if Zhanna Ayupova forgets to close her eyes: other famous theatrical sleepwalkers keep their eyes open as well, notably Shakespeare's Scottish Lady in the play and in Verdi's opera. Otherwise, how would she know where she was going? (And don't forget Balanchine's sleepwalker in La Sonnambula.) This sleepwalker gets the romantic mood right, and that's what matters. Igor Kolb as The Spectre is appropriately androgynous, and although I found his leaps graceful, they didn't seem quite effortless.
I saw a production of Prince Igor in New York some years ago, and the ballet was the best part.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
As described, delivered as promised. Can't ask more than that.Published 9 months ago by Stephen Thomas
Very different from traditional ballet. The Kirov dancers are excellent, the costumes are amazing.Published 10 months ago by iloveequus
svetlana is very hypnotic in her betrayal of sheherazade. her ribs showing , is the only negative part of this wonderful ballet. Read morePublished 12 months ago by helen alexander
These ballets are good, but the quality of the recording is really poor and spoils everything (at least to me).Published 15 months ago by Mr Xena Sr
Glorious music, dance and scenery - there can be no more thrilling art than those displayed by Kirov in its entirety.Published 16 months ago by BevN
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