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Pique Dame

4.3 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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(Jun 13, 2006)
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$15.99 & FREE Shipping on orders over $49. Details In stock on August 3, 2016. Order it now. Sold by newbury_comics and Fulfilled by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.


Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Format: AC-3, Classical, Color, Dolby, Import, NTSC
  • Language: English, French, German, Russian, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Bel Air Classiques
  • DVD Release Date: June 13, 2006
  • Run Time: 133 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000FBHSKE
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #185,153 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By jack wilinsky VINE VOICE on June 29, 2006
Verified Purchase
Both of these ballets were performed and recorded in May of 2005, in the Bolshoi Theatre. All the principal dancers are among the finest dancers Russia has to offer, and the standard of all the dancing here is superb(this is one of the points mentioned by Roland Petit in the 43 minutes of interviews with Petit, Tsiskaridze, and Liepa, namely that the standard of ballet has been getting better and better as time goes by).
In the first of these, "Pique Dame", we have a ballet based on a story by Pushkin(the writer, not the ballet dancer!), which is extremely allegorical; basically the idea is that a gambler, Hermann(danced by Nikolay Tsiskaridze), wants the Countess(danced by Ilze Liepa) to tell him the future outcomes of some game of chance involving playing cards(that should give you a clue as to what concept the Countess represents). She does not want to tell him and he has to force her. She gives him a few good calls but he gets greedy and it does not end well for him. Does this plot sound a bit thin to you?(We are told in the interviews that this story is quite different from that of the opera of the same name.) Some Pushkin fans might really love this story, but it leaves me a bit wanting, but ballet stories often do, and fortunately we have the great choreography to hold our attention. As for the choreography, it is mostly classical ballet, but the part of the Countess has a very modern edge--her part is not even on pointe, but it is extremely expressive and interesting. The part of Hermann is very classical, and, not suprisingly, it pushes the envelope of possibilities. The music is about as good as it gets: Tchaikovsky's Sixth Symphony(Pathetique), which does a great job in stirring the souls of the Bolshoi dancers.
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I came upon this ballet by accident. It is a magnificent production based on Pushkin's short story, The Queen of Spades. It is not the same as the opera by the same name. It is authored by Roland Petit and uses the music of Tchaikovsky's Sixth Symphony. Also included on the DVD is a Passacaglia--a most unusual short ballet which must be viewed to be appreciated.
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I will speak mostly about the major work in this three-part DVD, the Pique Dame, consisting of the entire ballet and an extended interview of the choregrapher Roland Pettit and the two major dancers (Herman and the Countess).
The interviews really gives you the clue to this work, which is based on the short novel by Pushkin, but the story is different from the opera of the same name, the libretto being written not by Pushkin but by another Tchaikovsky (not the composer).
As one reviewer has already noted, the short story of Pique Dame is a bit terse and abstract. There are three major characters (actually two, but the third has some significance and deserves some solo treatment in the ballet itself), viz. Hermann (Nicolai Tsiskaridze), the Countess (Ilze Liepa) and Lisa (Svetlana Lunkina). I understand that Tsiskaridze, while not appearing any substantially on DVD, was at one time a Bolshoi principal for over two decades, and Lunkina is also a female principal dancer, while Ilze Liepa can be termed a 'dancing academic' by this time, being the daughter of a top Russian ballet dancer and herself a dancer throughout her career.
I find Lunkina to be very capable and well-schooled as a classical ballet dancer, and she fits the bill of Lisa totally. However, the real standouts in this work are Hermann and the Countess, and I seriously think that the performances of Tsiskaridze and Liepa here would not be surpassed by future generations. The reason is twofold: these two dancers own the technique required of these two very difficult roles (okay, we can trust the new generation in terms of technical prowess), but the second reason really makes this pair the embodiments of their respective roles, and that is the characters of these two dancers.
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