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Great Pas De Deux - Fonteyn, Nureyev, Makarova, Dowell, Baryshnikov, Bessmertova, and more

4.1 out of 5 stars 36 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

This superb collection of thrilling pas de deux from many of the best-loved classical ballets features some of the most celebrated partnerships of our time including Margot Fonteyn and Rudolf Nureyev in Le Corsaire, Natalia Makarova and Anthony Dowell.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Margot Fonteyn, Royal Ballet, Rudolf Nureyev, Mikhail Baryshnikov
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Classical, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Kultur Video
  • DVD Release Date: February 10, 2004
  • Run Time: 111 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00019G8F6
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #17,177 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This DVD is a collection of 15 Pas de deux covering a time span of 31 years. (1965-1996). It includes such well know ballet stars as Nureyev, Baryshnikov, Makhalina, and Asylmuratova to mention a few.
The entire compilation tries to focus on presenting the performers when they were in their prime. For instance the segment featuring Nureyev and Fonteyn was recorded in 1965 and although the picture is a little grainy, it is more than adequate to give us a glimpse of what these artists could do when they were at their best.
Some of my favorite pieces were...
- Spring Waters with Maria Bylova and Leonid Nikonov; with their fast paced,energetic leaps and lifts.
- Romeo and Juliet (balcony scene) with Alessandra Ferri and Wayne Eagling; an early example of Ferri's acting and interpretation skills that we would continue to see develop, in the years to follow.
- Swan Lake (Black Swan scene) with Julia Makhalina and Igor Zelensky; Makhalina show us (as Odile) just how poised, incredibly flexible and talented she really is in this role. She is simply stunning.
-and last but not least the Don Quixote pas de deux with Cynthia Harvey and Mikhail Baryshnikov. This features some of Baryshnikov's world famous leaps and spins. Enough said!
There were a couple of segments that I didn't enjoy as some of the others; but that would to be expected in a "sampling" of a series of pas de deux. Also a couple of dancers and choreographers were featured multiple times(3); this I found a little puzzling on a relatively short, one disc recording.
An enjoyable DVD and although the video quality my change a bit from one performance to the next, you still have to feel grateful just being able to watch and appreciate some of the greatest dancers of the last century.
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Format: VHS Tape
The choice of the dances and the dancers is quite good, starting form the legendary Fonteyn-Nureyev partnership, extending to the creative and touching White Swan Pas de Deux of Cooper and Ambler. Incomparable masters such as Makarova, Baryshnikov and Dowell, had naturally to be present in this video when it is named daringly "Great Pas de Deux" but one wonders why a pas de deux from the wonderful Maya Plisetskaya is not there. Of course when excellence or greatness is mentioned in dance, there is one great choreography and dancing which the video is lacking: "Grand Pas Classique" from Sylvie Guillem and Manuel leGris, demonstrating the best of the classical technique, with the ideal image of a dancer and partnership. Instead of including two dances from the Prince of the Pagodas with Darcey Bussell both, a pas de deux from Paloma Herrera-Angel Corella or another great one from "Mayerling" by Viviana Durante and Irek Mukhamedov could have been chosen. It would be appropriate here to say that the choice of Bessmertnova-Mukhamedov pas de deux from "Spartacus" is excellent, and another legendary dancing and partnership I believe. And again, the choice of the Wedding Pas de Deux from "Sleeping Beauty" does not seem correct with the elderly Kolpakova in the role of the teenager Aurora. As to conclude, this video is a nice compilation of the great dancing of our age, but lacking maybe the above-stated fine-tuning and some contemporary choreographies, but very good regarding the presentation of the works and dancers, and is a pleasure to watch.
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By A Customer on March 11, 2001
Format: VHS Tape
The choices were okay, not great. I found the picture on the video cover misleading. The particular pas de deux featured from the Prince of the Pagodas is not actually included in the video so I don't know why it is on the cover. The choice of dancers and ballets leaves a lot to be desired. I have seen better performances of some of the ballets by other dancers. Overall, this collection feels more like a promotional video than one of historical or artistic significance. The collection includes: "Spring Waters" Bylova and Nikonov. "Le Corsaire" Fonteyn and Nureyev. "The Prince of the Pagodas" Bussell and Cope. "Swan Lake" Cooper and Ambler. "Romeo and Juliet" Ferri and Eagling. "Nutcracker" Collier and Dowell. "Manon" Penney and Dowell. "Swan Lake" Makhalina and Zelensky. "A Month in the Country" Makarova and Dowell. "Le Corsaire" Asylmuratova and Neff. "Spartacus" Mukhamedov and Bessmertova. "The Sleeping Beauty" Kolpakova and Berezhnoi. "Don Quixote" Havey and Baryshnikov.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
It's great dancing, I love classic ballet, but the pieces are too old, nothing from recent performances. Also I didn't really care for the Swan Lake performed by two male dancers; I did like the second version though, performed by The Kirov Ballet (there are two performances of Swan Lake on the DVD). I love the Nutcracker, my favorite ballet and music of all times, but the stage props and outfits by the Royal Ballet dancers were "washed out," no contrast, a bit bland like the British food.

Most of the ballerinas did excellent performances. It always amazes me as to how strong their legs, knee joints and posture as a whole must be in order to do these stunning and graceful turns, bends, stands, etc., ect., those definitely merit a 5 star for the DVD, but a few things I didn't care for, that's why the 4 star rating. Also most male dancers did excellent jumps and splits in the various pieces, Baryshnikov being totally in control of his dancing - kudus for him.

All in all, if you like classic ballet it's definitely a nice addition to your reportiore. Even with some of my dislikes, I'll keep watching the DVD until I grow tired of it which won't be too soon. For the price it's a pretty good show, second to being there in person, and you can select the pieces you like if some don't appeal to you.
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