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Children of Theatre Street [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]

Grace Kelly , Angelina Armeiskaya , Earle Mack , Robert Dornhelm    DVD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
Price: £10.08
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Region 1 encoding (requires a North American or multi-region DVD player and NTSC compatible TV. More about DVD formats.)

Note: you may purchase only one copy of this product. New Region 1 DVDs are dispatched from the USA or Canada and you may be required to pay import duties and taxes on them (click here for details). Please expect a delivery time of 5-7 days.

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Product details

  • Actors: Grace Kelly, Angelina Armeiskaya, Alec Timoushin, Michaela Cerna, Lena Voronzova
  • Directors: Earle Mack, Robert Dornhelm
  • Format: Classical, Colour, DVD-Video, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: Unrated (US MPAA rating. See details.)
  • Studio: Kultur Video
  • DVD Release Date: 13 April 2004
  • Run Time: 90 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • ASIN: B0001EQHYI
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 88,405 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
By Mhr
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This is a very interesting DVD. I first watched the original documentary film on the TV and recorded it on the video in the 1980s. But, the picture had deteriorated. Luckily, I recently found this DVD version.

The Vaganova Ballet Academy was originally founded 268 years ago in 1738 at the Imperial Court in St. Petersburg. It had various other names such as Imperial Ballet School and Leningrad Choreographic School during its illustrious history. In this film which was made during the late Soviet era, the school is called the Kirov School.

The title of the film (".... Theatre Street") comes from the fact that the street where the school is located - Architect Rossi Street - used to be called Theatre Street until 1923 because of the famous drama theatre called Alexandrinsky Theatre located at the northern end of it.

The Vaganova Ballet Academy has been a principal training school for the renowned Kirov/Mariinsky Ballet, where Vaclav Nijinsky, Anna Pavlova, Rudolf Nureyev, Mikhail Baryshnikov and Natalia Makarova, to name but a few, learned to dance. It also produced some great choreographers such as Fokine and Balanchine.

The film shows the daily training and life of young students at the school. It is most interesting to learn about their total commitment to success, although, of course, not all of them will succeed. It shows a salutary dedication to ballet of selected young people in a country (former Soviet Union) where it is considered to be a form of high art rather than mere entertainment.

The narration is lovingly done by the late Princess Grace of Monaco (Grace Kelly). Lovers of the noble art of Russian ballet should not hesitate.

Incidentally, the region code for this DVD is 0 (All), and not 1 (US and Canada) mentioned by Amazon.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.4 out of 5 stars  28 reviews
70 of 73 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars How the Kirov produces great dancers 23 Oct 2000
By Deborah Brooks - Published on
This academy award-nominated 1977 film is a co-production of western and Soviet film professionals, narrated by the late Princess Grace of Monaco. There are no subtitles--all translations are done by voiceover. It is one of three documentaries about the Kirov Ballet and its school, the Vaganova Choreographic Institute, in St. Petersburg, Russia (called Leningrad at the time of this film). The others--"Backstage at the Kirov" (1984) and "The Leningrad Legend" (1989)--are better in terms of production values and believable candid scenes. But "Children of Theatre Street" is the only one that focuses primarily on the students, and therein lies its great appeal.
Theatre Street is the popular name for Rossi Street, on which the entrance to the Kirov's school is located. Entrance exams are held annually. Thousands of children, aged 10-12, apply; only 20 are selected. Some of the rigorous audition process is shown--the children are chosen for specific physical proportions and natural physical abilities. As the narrator tells us, "Talent is considered worth measuring only when it occurs in the right body." Those chosen face eight years of relative luxury and privilege in the Soviet Union, but also a life of hard work and discipline.
Featured are an 11-year-old girl, a 13-year old boy, and two girls from the graduating class, with much of the focus on preparations for the upcoming graduation performance. The students are shown going to performances, a beach on the Gulf of Finland, and Petrodvorets, the tsars' summer palace near St. Petersburg. They are also shown in a meeting of the Pioneers, the first step in becoming a member of the Communist Party. Some of the activities and interviews with the students were obviously staged (such as a pillow fight when the boy "sneaks" into the girls' dorm) and many are suspect. I wondered how much of the purported closeness between the featured students was for the sake of the film. One real and touching moment, which the scriptwriters chose not to translate, was when the two graduating girls, who are roommates, have finished their much-anticipated (and dreaded) graduation performance and are congratulating each other, full of excitement and relief.
Marring the film is its frequent stage-iness, as well as one messy sequence which intersperses classroom scenes with performances of "Swan Lake," while the music of the ballet is superimposed over the classroom piano, and music from one part of the ballet is played while the dancers perform another part. However, there are plenty of views of beautiful St. Petersburg, and the scenes of the students in classes and performances are delightful, so I give this film four stars. One of the Kirov's illustrious alumni, Rudolf Nureyev, is quoted on the jacket: " the Kirov School, there will always be another vintage year, and 'Theatre Street' tells why."
29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars inspirational 4 Aug 2003
A Kid's Review - Published on
This video offers a wonderful "behind the scenes" look at the school wehere many of Russia's top ballerinas and premiere danseurs were trained. Some of the scenes appeared very staged, but I doubt that a Western director would have been given full leave to photograph most parts of the school and/or students. It was filmed in the 70s, when communism was in power, and therefore, the school was state supported. Though outdated in that respect, the film captures the timelessness of the Vaganova Choreographic Institute. The beauty of the ballet is one that never goes out of vogue, no matter who is in charge of the government. There are several fantastic clips of the Kirov Ballet that present themselves throughout the film. This video made me want to learn to speak Russian and move to St. Petersburg.
29 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Riveting video on professional ballet training in Russia 29 April 1999
By A Customer - Published on
We were given this to view by my daughter's dance teacher when she was 8 years old and probably watched it 5 or 6 times that weekend. For the next two years my daughter wanted to move to Russia to train in this school. A very moving documentary of the intensive selection and training the students at this school went through before moving on to the professional world of dance in Communist Russia.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Andromeda 9 Feb 2006
By Andromeda - Published on
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I found this DVD very inspirational in terms of motivating students of ballet to really work hard and strive for perfection. It was interesting and informative to see how the Russian students were picked and what happens to them in their schooling, up to a final performance where they are seen by the public and how they later become successful dancers. There is a wonderful segment showing the older student and how she learns old choreography from an older former great Russian ballerina, like it is handed down reverently from generation to generation. I loved the dancing of these students, as well as the joy they showed in their training.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Children of Theater Street 5 July 2007
By John Farr - Published on
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This candid, lovingly made 1977 tribute to the Kirov strivers who make big sacrifices to attend the legendary training ground of Balanchine is a sheer delight, both aesthetically and narratively, letting us peer into a highly disciplined world of pure art where expectations are high and the weight of tradition almost oppressive. With Grace Kelly's warm, vivid narration providing the context and translations, we watch as 20 students out of 1000 are carefully selected according to predetermined physical requirements, then spend close to a decade mastering their dance skills. You can't help feeling anxiety and then excitement watching one graduating ballerina make her heart-fluttering debut on the Kirov stage after months of punishing practice. "Street" is a tremendously enjoyable, behind-the-scenes look at greatness in the making.
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