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New Year's Eve in St Petersburg

3.3 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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(Dec 11, 2007)
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Product Details

  • Format: Color, DTS Surround Sound, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Dubbed: English
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Naxos of America
  • DVD Release Date: December 11, 2007
  • Run Time: 70 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000ZKQTGY
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #961,183 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The previous review is spot on about what's disappointing in this release... It's a bizarre mix of programs and I wish we had at least got the spelndid reconstructed original apotheosis BEFORE the Champagne toasts in complete, BUT...

For die hard Russian ballet fans like myself the opportunity to see nearly all of Act III of the glorious reconstruction of the 1890 original Sleeping Beauty (plus the brief second scene of Act II), this DVD is not to be missed. With the reconstruction no longer being performed as of this season (apparantly due to the wishes of the new director of the ballet) this may be our only chance. Yes I wish the whole ballet had been filmed (why hasn't it???) but I'm thankful for what we get. By the way you can get abotu 15 minutes of Act II (the full Nereid number) as a bonus on the interesting Mariinsky documentary Sacred Stage.
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Format: DVD
Admirers of Russian ballet had to wait a long time before new video material from either the Mariinsky or the Bolshoi Ballet started to appear on DVD. Most ballet DVDs so far were reissues from the early 1990s or older, but finally the first attempts at bringing something new seem to have been made. As was this 2006 New Year's Eve gala filmed live at the Mariinsky Theatre. The question is, though, have we been waiting for this?

What we get here is the 3rd Act of "The Sleeping Beauty" (in the magnificent reconstruction by Sergei Vikharev of Marius Petipa's 1890 original), interrupted by a performance of Fokine's "Dying Swan" and concluded by a fragment of Rossini's "Il Viaggio a Reims", which uses the same music as Tchaikovsky for his Apotheosis of "Beauty." The whole thing is conducted by director Valery Gergiev (which doesn't exactly improve matters for the ballet) and what may have worked in the theatre as a festive event, doesn't necessarily work on film, let alone can stand repeated viewing. How many times do you want to see Gergiev surrounded by artists of the theatre drinking champagne on the stage of the Mariinsky?

The performances itself are nothing exceptional, although fans of Uliana Lopatkina will cherish her brief appearance as the Swan, and it's still a treat to see the stunning production of this new/old "Sleeping Beauty." Why we were not given the complete ballet, instead of this disappointing mishmash, is beyond me. It's also a shame to see that the producers of this DVD couldn't even get all the names of the dancers right (Daria Pavlenko is still credited as Princess Florine, while in fact it is Yulia Bolshakova.)

A missed chance.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Like the other posters already noted, this is a great dvd for having a commercial release of the whole final wedding act of the Sleeping Beauty reconstruction plus the scene with Aurora waking up before that. You also get a lovely Dying Swan from Uliana Lopatkina.

The negatives of this release is that the actual gala performance is only about an hour yet the dvd case claims it is 126 minutes, because it is counting a "bonus" documentary which is about another hour. However, this "bonus" documentary is the most bizarre documentary I have ever watched. Hardly any talking at all. You choose English or French subtitles, but there are so few moments where they are used or needed. It is basically an hour of seeing dancers rehearse, run backstage, glimpses of the city of St. Petersburg, a bird flying or a bird falling in the water, tacky Christmas lights......this documentary really doesn't add anything at all, in my opinion, to anything. I expected more interviews. You really only get Gergiev speaking to the orchestra and explaining what he wants from them and Uliana Lopatkina saying a few things about the Dying Swan. That's about all the talking in the bonus documentary. I don't even want to rewatch this ever again in my life, but my guess is that the talking is about 5 minutes total of the hour long documentary. The rest is just watching all kinds of scenes of the city, backstage rehearsals, and some meaningless scenes. It really is a weird documentary. It would have been better to include another act of Sleeping Beauty or another short ballet.

The reason I go into great detail is that if you buy this know that it is only about an hour long (the performance) and a very bizarre documentary (another hour) that you will never want to watch again once you've seen it.
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