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Strawinsky und die Ballets Russes - Der Feuervogel & Le sacre du printemps [Reino Unido] [HD DVD]

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In celebration of the debut of the Ballets Russes in Paris in 1909, this wonderful Stravinsky evening at the Mariinsky Theatre (cond. Valery Gergiev) showcases the original Nijinsky choreography of The Rite of Spring for the first time on DVD along with The Firebird. This DVD won DVD of the Year at the BBC Music Magazine Awards 2010.

Sinopsis

Filmed at the Mariinsky Theatre, Saint Petersburg, 06/2008.

"The Firebird"
russian fairytale in two scenes
Music: Igor Stravinsky
Choreography and Libretto: Michel Fokine (1910)
Reconstruction: Isabelle Fokine and Andris Liepa
Set and costume design by Alexander Golovin, Léon Bakst and Michel Fokine
reconstructed and supervised by Anna and Anatoly Nezhny

The Firebird - Ekaterina Kondaurova
Ivan Tsarevich - Ilxy Kuznetsov
The Princess - Marianna Pavlova
Kashchei - Vladimir Ponomarev



"Le Sacre du printemps"
scenes from pagan Russia in two parts
Music: Igor Stravinsky
Choreography after Vaslav Nijinsky (1913)
reconstructed and staged by Millicent Hodson
Scene plan: Igor Stravinsky and Nicholas Roerich
Lighting: Vladimir Lukin

The Chosen One - Alexandra Iosifidi
300-Year-Old Woman - Elena Bazhenova
The Wise Elder - Vladimir Ponomarev

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Amazon.com: 4.3 de un máximo de 5 estrellas 32 opiniones
22 de 22 personas piensan que la opinión es útil
4.0 de un máximo de 5 estrellas The only option for Le Sacre 19 de marzo de 2011
Por AndrewCF - Publicado en Amazon.com
Formato: DVD Compra verificada
Stravinsky - The Firebird & Les Noces / Royal BalletReturn of the Firebird: Petrushka/Firebird/Scheherazade

When I saw the restoration of "The Rite of Spring" in the 80s at the Joffrey Ballet in New York, I was astonished at how "right" it seemed. For a ballet considered "lost" for many years, this effort seemed to bring history alive. I had read about the riots on opening night. I could understand the assault of the orchestral dissonance to an audience which apparently had advance knowledge of what they were about to hear: that the music would be daunting to them. Then to be confronted by knock-kneed, expressionless, flat-footed rhythmic dancing was the final insult.

In this DVD, much of the impact is unfortunately mitigated by poor editing, close-ups, and showy Berkeley-esque camera angles (from the ceiling, no less). The dancers seem much more disorganized in their groups because of these issues, although the rehearsal footage doesn't exactly convince me that the ballet masters enforced the rhythmic fidelity upon which Nijinsky would have insisted. There is a lack of tautness that results in a lack of conviction. It is not the indifferent faces of the dances, especially the sacrificial virgin; Nijinsky surely hoped the music would convey the primal emotions of his dancers. Although Gergiev brings some insight to the conducting, he is often self-indulgent. It is also clear that the scenery and costumes are glitzy adaptations of the Roerich originals.

The Joffrey performance, which was filmed for PBS, exists on a (possibly bootlegged) DVD, available on the Net. I don't know whether the DVD is licensed, but I assume not. That performance should be reissued on disc. It does the ballet justice.

We also are subjected to pretentious prattle of Millicent Hodson, the restorer of this ballet. She attributes a kind of metaphysical aspect to Nijinsky's creativity, forgetting completely that the idea for the ballet came to Stravinsky in a dream. Nijinsky was a more simple, emotional creator than an intellectual. He did research, which she totally ignores.

The performance of "The Firebird" is not as accomplished as the Royal Ballet DVD. Leanne Benjamin gets all the humor that Karsavina would have brought to the role. But Ekaterina Kandaurova is astonishing; not just visually stunning, but also full of humor. She has the most beautiful hands I have ever seen on any dancer, including Maya and Margot. The princess, in contrast, played by Marianna Pavlova (hmm...), is as graceful as Jane Krakowski. There is no love in her eyes for the prince. No enchantment. Don't be tempted to purchase the DVD entitled "Return of the Firebird;" the makeup is so heavy, the characters look like hookers. That disc is spoiled by numerous, idiotic close-ups as well.
10 de 10 personas piensan que la opinión es útil
5.0 de un máximo de 5 estrellas Historically Accurate Recreation of a Revolutionary Moment in Art 11 de abril de 2011
Por T. Berner - Publicado en Amazon.com
Formato: DVD Compra verificada
Perhaps the best aspect of this high quality and historically accurate production of The Rites of Spring is that it enables you both to understand the anger of the audience and the genius of Stravinsky. The art lovers who came to the theater and were greeted by totally unrecognizable cultural vocabulary were understandably shocked.

In fact such an audience is far superior to the ones the art world gets today who are so unschooled that it is politically correct (and demanded) to approve of anything sent their way. So you have, for instance, museum goers oohing and ahhing over a dead shark in a tank of formaldehyde. The turn of the century art lovers might have had too little imagination to appreciate what they watched, but they had the neccessary education and taste to appreciate most of what they saw.

At the same time, to watch the Rites as presented here is to see Stravinsky's genius and originality. For The Rites is beautiful, and while it requires a fresh look at the vocabulary of dance different from what was the standard of 1912, it is rewarding.

It would be useful to read one of the numerous books on The Rites of Spring in order to enjoy the performance. I recommend Modris Ekstein's The Rites of Spring which covers the rise of modernism from The Rites of Spring through the end of World War I. Although the book does not spend a lot of time on the performance itself, it fits The Rites firmly into its time and place and shows just how revolutionary it was.

I'm encouraged by some of the less flattering reviews here from people who have a more refined knowledge of dance than I do. It shows that there is still a cadre of art lovers who have taste and standards. However, for someone like me, who loves dance in all its forms but lacks the background to be truly discriminating, I can assure you that whatever the flaws in the performance here, they are invisible to most people.

Since this is likely the only quality performance of The Rites of Spring we'll get for a long time, and the only historically accurate version we'll get for an even longer time, this is the one to see
12 de 12 personas piensan que la opinión es útil
5.0 de un máximo de 5 estrellas Elegance in The Firebird and The Rite 24 de junio de 2010
Por stevenrothbard - Publicado en Amazon.com
Formato: DVD Compra verificada
One of the most interesting and striking aspects about these excellent productions by the Mariinsky Theatre of two of Stravinsky's most famous ballets is the elegance of the dancing. Just compare the Russian company's performance of LE SACRE with that of the Joffrey Ballet (available on YOUTUBE in a watchable transcription of the original NPR broadcast, part of its "Dance in America" series), and you'll be immediately struck by the more secure technique of the Mariinsky dancers as opposed to that of the somewhat faster, more percussive and angular(emphasizing sharp angles) performance by the Joffrey. I found the Joffrey somewhat detached and slightly mechanical in their rendering of Part 1, and not as effective as the newer Russian version reviewed here. However, it's definetly worth comparing these two versions in Part 2, since the Joffrey's Young Girls are very effective in their parts, and Beatriz Rodriguez as The Chosen One is really outstanding in the Sacraficial Dance, showing palpable fear as well as generating real excitement. In contrast, Alexandra Iosifidi, the Mariinsky's Chosen One, is perhaps a bit less convincing, not showing as much emotion, but still very, very good. But overall, this new Mariinsky production is far superior in all the important areas, including their greater fluidity and elegance of performance, undoubtedly because this reproduction of Nijinsky's original choreography has been available for about twenty years by now, and because Valery Giergiev is a great conductor who generates more excitement in this live performance. (The Joffrey seems to be in a studio).

The FIREBIRD is given an equally splendid performance, with interesting differences in contrast to the studio performance seen on Decca's wonderful "Return of the Firebird," which includes equally fine productions of "Petrushka" and Diagelev's ballet based on "Scheherazade." If you have a copy of that DVD and this new Mariinsky DVD, you'll be able to treat yourself to a profound experience of the evolution of some of the greatest ballets ever created because you'll realize that Stravinsky wrote the music of his first three ballets to be danced to, and that specific parts of the music correspond to specific parts of a story. You'll never listen to the music in the same way after you see what it was created for.
37 de 38 personas piensan que la opinión es útil
5.0 de un máximo de 5 estrellas Stravinsky's Ballet Revolution 25 de diciembre de 2009
Por Zarathustra - Publicado en Amazon.com
Formato: DVD Compra verificada
Young Russian composer Igor Stravinsky's first ballet The Firebird created a sensation in Paris when it was first presented in 1910 by Les Ballets Russes. The second of the trio, Petroushka, appeared the following year. The third,Le Sacre du Printemps, the most revolutionary ballet ever performed and almost impossible to dance because of its irregular rhythms, caused a riot at its premiere in 1913.
Now it is possible to see what caused the uproar with the recreation of the original performances of Firebird and Rite of Spring by the Mariinsky Orchestra and Ballet. Both outstanding performances are conducted by Valery Gergiev and are based on the original choreography by Michel Fokine for Firebird and Vaslav Nijinsky for Rite of Spring.
There are several excellent performances on DVD of The Firebird and a few of The Rite of Spring, but this one is unique. It allows you to see what the Paris audiences saw at the beginning of the last century. Both performances still look revolutionary today. Ballet has never been the same since.
74 de 77 personas piensan que la opinión es útil
5.0 de un máximo de 5 estrellas Firebird: magnificent! Rite: good 20 de enero de 2010
Por William D. Larson - Publicado en Amazon.com
Formato: DVD Compra verificada
To start off, two great things in this DVD's favor: It's in HD and Valery Gergiev is conducting.

Firebird: I believe I own a copy of every DVD of this ballet: This one goes right to the top for some important reasons. Gergiev: I've always liked his cd of this music, and if anything his interpretation here is even more musical, more luminous, more coloristic here than on the cd. (!) Worth buying for the audio portion alone. Ekaterina Kondaurova as The Firebird: Absolutely spell-binding. You can see her dance some Forsythe on YouTube and she is a WOW as a Forsythe dancer, even better, I would say, than Sylvie Guillem (and that is saying something). She's 5'8", over 6' en pointe, and that alone gives her a great stage presence--a commanding presence in this ballet especially where that commanding presence is almost a requirement. And talk about expressive!: every part of her body, including the most mesmerizing arms and hands. Leeann Benjamin--my now-second-favorite Firebird--says that this is the most difficult ballet to dance because there are so many jumps and you have to do them all while giving the impression somehow of a bird. Kondaurova does just that. (A special personal delight: In the pas de deux between the Firebird and Ivan, at one point he carries her on his shoulder, during which, in all the other recordings, she does something which resembles the breast stroke and which looks silly to me. Kondaurova manages to look fetchingly bird-like and not do this swim stroke at all.) She dances with great amplitude, suppleness and clarity and makes great use of her arched Russian back. I could watch this DVD forever, I think, and never tire in the least of her dancing--it's that wonderful. Ilya Kuznetsov as Ivan: Wow! All other Ivans look rather pale beside his, including Liepa's. Here's a role with no actual dancing in it (unless you consider partnering dancing)--I would think, a rather thankless role--but he gives to it unstintingly. You can easily read all kinds of emotions appropriate to, and enhancing of, the drama in his face, his manner. Bravo! "There are no small parts,..." I could go on, but you get the picture I am sure.

Le Sacre du Printemps: This is a reproduction--as best as can be in this time--of the original that caused such a sensation. Very much an ensemble ballet, much like Les Noces. Everything that is/was classical ballet was thrown out the window: no pointe shoes, no figure-revealing costumes, no classical ballet vocabulary, and not even any turn-out (it's in fact all turn-IN instead)! By-and-large the dancers do a good job of creating an atmosphere of a pagan rite, but for me, at least, it could still look MORE pagan, more primitive. And The Chosen One, Alexandra Iosifidi, is tall (also) and is gorgeous, but to me never looks, while she is standing dead still or while she is dancing, that she is AFRAID. (I would love to see the Joffrey make a DVD of their "Rite" (even without Gergiev) to see how it stacks up, as I have read great things about it.) Of course, she is gorgeous and you can't get a more beautiful name than "Iosifidi". Gergiev is once again magnificent.

All-in-all, very highly recommended.


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