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Tchaikovsky: The Nutcracker

4.1 out of 5 stars 59 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Live from the Bolshoi Theatre. This 1978 remake is a truly spellbinding version of this Christmas classic. Tchaikovsky's beloved melodies combine with superb dancing to create pure delight. Starring Yekaterina Maximova, Vladimir Vasiliev, Victor Levashev.

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Famed Bolshoi duo Yekaterina Maximova and Vladimir Vasiliev star in this production of Tchaikovsky's beloved ballet, The Nutcracker. Maximova dances the role of Maria, the young girl whose mysterious uncle Drosselmeyer (Victor Levashov) gives her a wooden nutcracker (Vasiliev) for Christmas. When he comes to life, she rescues him from marauding mice and is taken to the Kingdom of Sweets for a series of entertaining divertissements from many nationalities.

This production dates from 1987 and the sets and costumes appear to have been in use since well before then. Audio and video quality are rather crude, especially compared to the stunning DVD productions by Patrice Bart and Maurice Bejart. Bart, however, takes liberties with the story line, and Bejart throws it out altogether. Sometimes, all you need is a traditional version of a family holiday favorite, and if you want traditional, it's hard to beat the Bolshoi. --David Horiuchi


Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Yekaterina Maksimova, Vladimir Vasilyev, Sergei Radchenko
  • Directors: Yelena Macheret
  • Producers: Dennis Hedlund
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Classical, Color, Dolby, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Kultur Video
  • DVD Release Date: November 30, 1999
  • Run Time: 100 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (59 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00003M5G8
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #80,560 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Tchaikovsky: The Nutcracker" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
This is a superb live on-stage performance. The virtuoso dancers are highly inspired by the support of the audience and show their best. The dance technique is almost unbelievable and gives a taste of the outstanding Russian ballet school. The viewer can see here the full Nutcracker version - nothing is skipped. The orchestra is very good and also shown on the recording. The conductor comes on the stage at the end to accept congratulations. Most of the scenes are masterpieces. Compared to other Nutcracker versions, all dancers here are superb, not only the main characters. Every detail is worked out in the best possible way. If you are interested in ballet, you should own this one!
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Format: DVD
The dancing here is superb with superstar efforts by the leads Maximova and Vasiliev. The other dancers, particularly those pairs in Act II are excellent as well, particularly the Russian Dance and the Chinese. The uncle/magician does an admirable role as well.
The music is exquisite, however the recording is not as sharp and clear as we have become accustomed to in our time. The stage and set design is superb with the wire acts and the lights and costumes. The marriage near the end is a great addition, and the characters at times appearing out of the floor is neat addition.
Filmed live years ago, this is worthy effort for its time and the technology available.
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Format: Blu-ray
Viewed this production of The Nutcracker as a Fathom Event at the local movie theater. I was very excited to watch the production until the camera work started getting weird.

Why would a director shoot a dancer from the waist up? Why would he do close ups on people not even dancing? It started with the dolls at the Christmas Eve celebration and just got worse. My absolutely favorite variation is The Snowflakes, but it was an out of focus mess. The two featured dancers may have been really nice dancers. Who knows? All I saw were blurry corps de ballet running too close to the camera.

If you don't mind missing fantastic dancing because of bad camera work, than you will like this.
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
A wonderful dance performance, but film director ruin it, constanly moving cameras in and out, cuting dancer's legs off, it is a "CRIME"! A film director with NO COMMON SENSE...even unprofessional people know, dancing is about feets, legs, whether they are in contact with floor or in the air, not "zum in" about faces. Please, Please, Please choose a better filming
director for ballets! Just compare to the recently released Nutcracker from Bolshoi, this film
director has a lot to "learn" from "The Art of Filming Ballet". What a pity.....a great performnace ruin by an incompetent film director!
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Format: DVD
The dancing is nothing short of incredible and from that perspective it is probably one of the best production ons dvd. Maximova is angelic, Vasilev is superb and Levashov is my favorite Drusselmeyer of all the many performances I have.

I simply admire the artistic yet definite movement lines that distinguish this performance from the sharper harsher movements that I find in the more recent performances.

My daughter just discovered this piece so we watch it and other recordings a lot (few times a week).

The reason why I start to cringe when she asks to watch this performance is that after watching this ballet a few times (and the other recordings), the sloppy Orchestra playing really starts to get to me.

It is not a good orchestra period. Almost none of the entrances are on time which probably gave the soloists hell because they couldn't really trust the orchestra to be there when they "land" after a big jump, or a small one...

After a point you can notice that Vasilev just didn't care and left it to the the conductor to "heard the band" in his foot steps.
Maximova on the other hand was not that indifferent and there are spots where the orchestra (foul) playing really interferes, especially in the "dance of the sugar plum fairy"...

All over the place there are miss entrances, sloppy passages etc. What can I say, the Bolshoi Orchestra of that time was simply sub-par. In later recordings (like sleeping beauty from 1989) the orchestra is much better, not first class, but pretty good.

Bottom line: the dancing is as good as it gets but the music playing is mediocre. Get it as a second performance just to get a taste of classical Russian ballet dancing in its finest.
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Format: DVD
This version of the Nutcracker satisfied every bit of my need to see superb, Russian, ballet technique in all its glory! True, it may lack in color and zest (ofcourse Americans can't imagine anything unless it's dripping in blinking lights and such), but the rather drab colors may have been an attempt to demonstrate contrast between what ought to be focused on and what NOT to focus on. Remember, this is the Bolshoi, not Las Vegas....this is world class Ballet at it's finest and Maximova and Vasiliev deliver 10-fold. I prefer the renditions where Masha is both child AND adult dancing in both acts as opposed to one version of her in Act I and then another version of her in Act II. I also loved how Masha and the Nutcracker danced the Grande Pas de Deux, instead of the Sugar Plum Fairy that you might see in a Balachine Production. Overall, if you're a dancer who can appreciate technique-then you'll love this, however, if you're a mom looking for another "Barbie Nutcracker", you'll hate this.
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