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Swan Lake (1976) [DVD] [2008]

Maya Plisetskaya , The Bolshoi Ballet    Universal, suitable for all   DVD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Actors: Maya Plisetskaya, The Bolshoi Ballet, Bolshoi Orchestra, Vladimir Abrosimov, Boris Efimov
  • Format: Classical, Colour, DVD-Video, PAL
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: U
  • Studio: VAI
  • DVD Release Date: 26 July 2007
  • Run Time: 150 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0014D5Q3S
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 116,549 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

I will ship by EMS or SAL items in stock in Japan. It is approximately 7-14days on delivery date. You wholeheartedly support customers as satisfactory. Thank you for you seeing it.


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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tribute to a majestic talent 20 Jan 2011
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Amazingly, the great ballerina Maya Plisetskaya was 51 when this gala production was recorded by the Bolshoi company in Moscow's Kremlin Palace. The production was mounted to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the ballet's première, and so one significant advantage this has over most other available DVD releases is that its musical edition is pure Tchaikovsky, without including the interpolations by Drigo customarily found in many other sets (such as the finely danced 1980's Kirov version with Makhalina). It's well played and conducted, with sensibly musical tempi (once again unlike that Kirov version) and includes the Russian dance in Act 3 as well as many more repeats than is usual in stage productions of the ballet.

First, I have to report that there are significant downsides to both production and picture quality. The tatty sets and basic staging around Petipa and Ivanov's classic choreography are (perhaps mercifully!) so poorly lit that the whole ballet seems to be taking place in stygian gloom, except for the spotlights on the principal dancers. The video quality is slightly fuzzy, colour definition is poor, and there are some bald edits where fragments of the performance seem to have gone missing.

Second, let me suggest that none of this matters one jot, when at the heart of the matter we have the privilege of witnessing a searing performance from one of the world's great dancers. If her sheer athleticism isn't what it had been a quarter of a century earlier, Plisetskaya more than compensates through depth and subtlety in the role of the swan-princess Odette. The way she suggests the physical discomfort of swan-into-woman, though angular hand movements, gauky and tentative steps, slightly stiff "wing-shoulders" and the rest, is mesmerising and very moving.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What ballet should be 8 Dec 2011
By Francis
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I have never seen such a magnificently danced Swan Lake. Plisetskaya lived up to my expectations. It is a beautiful production - no painted cardboard representing the Lake and as Odile she is never ostentatious and always a swan. Filmed in 1976 the lighing would have been better if filmed today. But I enjoyed every moment of it. It shows what a great ballerina is.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nina is the best swan!! 23 Dec 2012
Format:DVD
I saw her performance on local stage in my country and she was totally amazing,the best white/black swan of all time!!A must buy for swan lake's fans.
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Amazon.com: 4.6 out of 5 stars  12 reviews
45 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Plisetskaya's Legacy 19 April 2008
By Luigi Tchai - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I was surprised to get a msg from Amazon asking me to write a review for this Swan Lake. Obviously, I must be one of the early buyers and perhaps there has not been a rush of buyers and reviewers. It puzzled me because Maya Plisetskaya is arguably the greatest dancer of our generation. Some compare her position in ballet to Maria Callas' in opera, unequaled and unchallenged in their respective spheres.

However, for people who may not be familiar with Plisetskaya, I can understand the price tag could be a "show stopper". Maybe she's not current enough for the younger ballet enthusiasts. I would suggest watching a few clips on Youtube of Plisetskaya dancing in her prime to convince them what a phenomenon Maya Plisetskaya was and still is.

I was fortunate to have seen her perform Swan Lake in San Francisco in 1959, the first time she was allowed to leave the Soviet Union to tour with the Bolshoi. She was in her early 30's by then. This DVD is a 1976 performance to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Swan Lake at the Bolshoi. Maya Plisetskaya was 51. Think about it.

For the sake of comparison, I viewed her earlier version taped in late 1950's with the Bolshoi. Trying very hard to be objective, I really couldn't see she had lost anything. Unbelievable! With age, she had deepened her emotional expressiveness a great deal, especially in Act 4. You could see the Swan Queen was so wounded even physically that you couldn't withhold your emphathy. I also liked the "happy ending" that the Russians favor over the sad one. When she stepped in front of the prince to protect him from getting killed, timed perfectly to the music, it was overwhelmingly moving.

The taping of this performance was not world class as the cliche goes. There were moments I'd like to put my hands around the necks of the lighting designer, the sound technician, and a few in the audience (for some very inconsiderate coughing). What clots! But the audience (in the Kremlin Palace Theatre, not the Bolshoi) was super enthusiastic. Maya was getting flowers thrown to her feet starting at the end of the Act II curtain calls.

Yes, the corps de ballet and the principal dancers and soloists all showed up to play this evening. Also, Bogatirev dancing the prince was wonderful. Fluid, lyrical, handsome with a great body. The corps was precise, beautiful, and held their lines straight as a ruler. I had again compared them to the Swan Lake of the Royal Ballet and the recent ABT performances. I have to give edge to the Bolshoi.

No, this may not be the Swan Lake for the ages. But for the dancing and the occasion, I could not rate it less than 5 stars. Most of all, it was for Maya Plisetskaya, a teasure to last for our days.
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Special Swan Lake 21 April 2008
By Titus orange - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I bought this DVD a few days ago because I had never seen Maya Plisetskaya dance and I'd read so much about her I just had to see what she was all about. I'm glad to say she is fantastic. I have a lot of Swan Lake DVD's and Maya's Odette/Odile is one that stands out. She really creates characters like I've never seen before. Beautiful dancing and drama. On the down side, the lighting of the stage was not very good. Much of the background was in darkness and only the person(s) dancing had light on them. I like to see everything on the stage so I was disappointed with the lighting. I'm still glad I have this recording of Maya Plisetskaya. Now I'll be looking for more of her on DVD.
21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A common man's point of view. 1 Nov 2008
By Richard Rawls - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
This is one of the best Swan Lakes I have in my small collection of twelve(Swan Lakes). I fell in love with Nina Ananiashvili when I saw her in this production. Her partnering with Fadeyechev is perfect, so I buy as many of their ballets I can afford. This is the same production being sold by Amazon with a different keepcase cover picture distributed through Kultur. Tchaikovsky - Swan Lake / Ananiashvili, Fadeyechev, Russian State Perm Ballet It was filmed in Japan and the orchestra was also Japanese, but they were GOOD. You couldn't ask for better orchestration. But remember, that's just a common man's point of view. I'm so common that Aaron Copeland wrote the most famous fanfare of all time just for me.Copland: Appalachian Spring; Rodeo; Fanfare for the Common Man

Nina Ananiashvili is a very beautiful but sad Odette, and when she is in character, you can tell that she is a very unhappy swan maiden, trapped as she is, half swan and half human yearning to be set free. When the audience is yelling it's bravos, she cannot afford to lose her composure, else the effect is gone. Yet, when she becomes Odile, her evil counterpart, her composure is completely different. She is now vivacious, saucy, taunting and deliciously beautiful in her Black Swan "feathers". Who could blame Siegfried for falling in love with her? Even Odette is able to forgive him, and they celebrate their love together on earth, since this is a Russian version, but in the western versions they celebrate their love into eternity. Who could ask for a more romantic idea than that? Go ahead and buy this ballet, you won't be sorry.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A tribute to Maya Plisetskaya. 23 Jun 2010
By Thomas E. Ascher - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Despite poor lighting, marginal sound, a lack of sets and mind numbing assaults on the choreography of Petipa and Ivanov by Yuri Grigorovich, Maya triumphs. By this performance, in 1976 when Maya was 51, she had performed Swan Lake over 800 times. For those of us who have followed her career, admired her art, and come to love her, this is a heart warming momento. Surprisingly, or perhaps not surprisingly at all, she still dances with the same charm and charisma that she possessed 30 years earlier. No, she does not still do Odiles 32 fouettes or some of the other more athletic variations of her earlier career. But she still exhibits the same grace, delicacy and charm. The audience must have had the same memories, as they applauded her over and over, hardly letting her finish an act without stopping the action with standing ovations. This is not a DVD to become enmeshed in the story of Swan Lake. It is a backdrop to celebrate 100 years of Swan Lake at the Bolshoi and to commemorate the contributions and fortitude of Maya. It is also a transitional piece, exhibiting many of the up and coming Bolshoi hopefuls. Of interest is that in some scenes, other ballerinas are in the background mimicking Maya's movements. Perhaps this is a bow to the role of Maya as a teacher and model for those who come after her. I thoroughly enjoyed this celebration and I am delighted to add this disc to my collection.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tribute to a majestic talent 22 Jan 2011
By Master Jaques - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
Amazingly, the great ballerina Maya Plisetskaya was 51 when this gala production was recorded by the Bolshoi company in Moscow's Kremlin Palace. The production was mounted to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the ballet's première, and so one significant advantage this has over most other available DVD releases is that its musical edition is pure Tchaikovsky, without including the interpolations by Drigo customarily found in many other sets (such as the finely danced 1980's Kirov version with Makhalina). It's well played and conducted, with sensibly musical tempi (once again unlike that Kirov version) and includes the Russian dance in Act 3 as well as many more repeats than is usual in stage productions of the ballet.

First, I have to report that there are significant downsides to both production and picture quality. The tatty sets and basic staging around Petipa and Ivanov's classic choreography are (perhaps mercifully!) so poorly lit that the whole ballet seems to be taking place in stygian gloom, except for the spotlights on the principal dancers. The video quality is slightly fuzzy, colour definition is poor, and there are some bald edits where fragments of the performance seem to have gone missing.

Second, let me suggest that none of this matters one jot, when at the heart of the matter we have the privilege of witnessing a searing performance from one of the world's great dancers. If her sheer athleticism isn't what it had been a quarter of a century earlier, Plisetskaya more than compensates through depth and subtlety in the role of the swan-princess Odette. The way she suggests the physical discomfort of swan-into-woman, though angular hand movements, gauky and tentative steps, slightly stiff "wing-shoulders" and the rest, is mesmerising and very moving.

The contrast between this and the simulated sentiment of her "black swan" Odile is subtle but telling. A particularly opaque online review of this DVD elsewhere suggested how disappointing it was that Plisetskaya could no longer manage the traditional "32 fouettes" at the climax of the "Black Swan Pas de Deux". Alas, that reviewer was evidently oblivious to the fact that she was not dancing to the Drigo score which supports such Olympian gymnastics, but to Tchaikovsky's original music which has no space for said pyrotechnics! This isn't gymnastics, but dance drama of the highest order.

The supporting cast is led by the young Bogatirev - supple, strong and conveying noble innocence throughout - and features strong performers in all the supporting roles (not least Vladimir Abrosimov's exhilarating Jester). The audience displays overwhelming enthusiasm, with curtain calls many and long. Quite right too. This is an unforgettably powerful performance of a very full version of the ballet. Video warts and all, it still deserves the full five stars.
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