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Bolshoi Ballet: The Best Of [DVD] [2008] [NTSC]

4.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Format: DVD-Video, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: Unknown
  • Dubbed: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: Exempt
  • Studio: Deutsche Grammophon
  • DVD Release Date: 18 Aug. 2008
  • Run Time: 100 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001BWQVUE
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 105,282 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

DGG 0734425; DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON - Germania;

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

This DVD contains excerpts from the first ever London trip of the Bolshoi Ballet of Russia in 1956. The visit was recorded on film by Paul Czinner and has been now made available on DVD.

Despite the fact that the cold war was revving up and the USSR was on the eve of quelling the uprising that was smoldering in Hungary at the time, there are reports that people waited as long as 3 days and nights outside for tickets.

Let me dispense with some of the minor negatives (things you might expect in a recording of this age)

1.)the audio is in mono and has (in places) a somewhat tinny sound.

2.)the color in most of the recording is a little faded and washed out.

3.)WARNING...if you intend to watch this history making event on the entire height and width of a big screen TV your going to be disappointed. This will only result in the movements of dancers being jerky and somewhat distorted; the colors even more washed out. However, this recording is visually excellent when watched in the smaller scale size, as was intended.

The DVD contains 7 separate segments, as follows:

Dance of the Tartars...Corps de Ballet
Spanish Dance...2 couples
Spring Waters...Pas de Deux (Bogamolova and Vlasova)
Palonaise and Cracovienne...Corps
Walpurgisnacht...Corps
The Dying Swan...solo (Galina Ulanova)
Giselle...starring Galina Ulanova and Nikolai Fadeyechev with the Corps.

Impressions:

From the applause and the oohs and aahs, it was not hard to tell that the audience was impressed with this performance. The Bolshoi put on one stunning routine after another, opening with the fast paced, non-stop 'Dance of the Tartars', and finishing with a full performance of 'Giselle'.
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I still try to find the dvd of the bolshoi ballet which includes all my favourites from the end of the 60s- this is a good performance by some of the greatest dancers in the world. It adds weight to any collection of ballet dvds you might own. The bolshoi were the greatest company in the world in the 60s and inspired many great performances from other companies and dancers all over the world. I do wish ballet dvds were not so expensive to buy- the quality of filming is not as good as dvd quality we can now get hold of, and therefor they are overpriced, but for all that a collection would not be complete without this kind of recording.
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This was one of my Christmas presents and I absolutely loved it. Galina Ulanova held a special place in my heart as she was the only real rival to Margot Fonteyn anywhere in the world in the 1950's. There was such an aura of magic around both of their performances and my grateful thanks go out to the late Dr Paul Czinner for filming both of them in their prime. "Giselle" is my favourite classical ballet and my only criticism is that the performance was severely abridged. Giselle's first act solo was sadly missing and Act II missed out various ghostly apparitions, Myrtha's first entrance and solo, Hilarion's first entrance, Giselle's first entrance and solo, Giselle and Albrecht's first encounter and so on. However, the dances that made it to the final cut are breathtaking and I keep playing them over and over. The disc was purchased entirely for this performance, so the other items were an added bonus, especially Ulanova in the 'Dying Swan' and Bogomolova and Vlasov in 'Spring Waters'. The latter is a Soviet gala warhorse that one can't help but adore for its vitality and athleticism. I enjoyed Raisa Struchkova in 'Walpurgisnacht' for the same reasons, although the ballet had a '1920's time-travel' look about it; the type of item beloved by Anna Pavlova or music halls presenting Russian ballet. Great fun though. A 1956 recording is bound to look and sound dated, but met entirely with my expectations. (I did perhaps think it might be a good idea to announce that on the box, as other customers might not be knowledgeable balletomanes.)Bolshoi Ballet: The Best Of [DVD] [2008] [NTSC]
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0xa0b74d74) out of 5 stars 2 reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa1113d14) out of 5 stars The Bolshoi in London, 1956...a stunning performance 23 Feb. 2009
By R. Nicholson - Published on Amazon.com
This DVD contains excerpts from the first ever London trip of the Bolshoi Ballet of Russia in 1956. The visit was recorded on film by Paul Czinner and has been now made available on DVD.

Despite the fact that the cold war was revving up and the USSR was on the eve of quelling the uprising that was smoldering in Hungary at the time, there are reports that people waited as long as 3 days and nights outside for tickets.

Let me dispense with some of the minor negatives (things you might expect in a recording of this age)

1.)the audio is in mono and has (in places) a somewhat tinny sound.

2.)the color in most of the recording is a little faded and washed out.

3.)WARNING...if you intend to watch this history making event on the entire height and width of a big screen TV your going to be disappointed. This will only result in the movements of dancers being jerky and somewhat distorted; the colors even more washed out. However, this recording is visually excellent when watched in the smaller scale size, as was intended.

The DVD contains 7 separate segments, as follows:

Dance of the Tartars...Corps de Ballet
Spanish Dance...2 couples
Spring Waters...Pas de Deux (Bogamolova and Vlasova)
Palonaise and Cracovienne...Corps
Walpurgisnacht...Corps
The Dying Swan...solo (Galina Ulanova)
Giselle...starring Galina Ulanova and Nikolai Fadeyechev with the Corps.

Impressions:

From the applause and the oohs and aahs, it was not hard to tell that the audience was impressed with this performance. The Bolshoi put on one stunning routine after another, opening with the fast paced, non-stop 'Dance of the Tartars', and finishing with a full performance of 'Giselle'.

Yet, of all the performances it was Raisa Struchkova's incredible skills in 'Walpurgisnacht' from Gounod's 'Faust' the struck me as the dance of the night. This routine exemplifies the requirement of the prima ballerina to have absolute trust her male partner(s); the leaps, jumps, tosses and catches were unbelievable. Then, at the end of this extremely physical and difficult routine, Alexander Lapauri holds Struchkova aloft, over his head with one hand, for 13 incredible seconds (I timed it). Unbelievable!

The 'Giselle' on this DVD was less than the full feature; some parts were not recorded (or at least didn't make it onto this DVD). This work starred a 46 year old Galina Ulanova who showed in this performance that she had retained her youthful steps and expressive demeanor that made her a legend in her own time. I thought the first act was marvelous; however, the second Act had some lifts between Ulanova and Fadeyechev that appeared a little strained and looked somewhat uncertain.

Conclusion:
A visual tribute to the Bolshoi's 1956 ground breaking trip to London; it left the audience stunned and begging for more. If you love ballet you'll want this for your collection. Despite the audio and video limitation, the fact that is available at all is a testament to Czinner's vision and the technology of both then and today. Easily 5 Stars.

Ray Nicholson
1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa141f78c) out of 5 stars GALLINA'S WONDERFUL PERFORMANCE 1 Nov. 2013
By Mar-Therese - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
INTERSTING BALLET-COREOGRAPHY DURING THE SOVIET PERIOD. It is a piece of ballet history that one must see.
SENSATIONAL Bolshoi BALLET!
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