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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sumptuous showcase for the divine Ulanova., 7 May 2009
By 
Guy Mannering (Maidenhead, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Romeo & Juliet [DVD] [2008] [US Import] (DVD)
I remember back in the 1970s watching a Bolshoi performance of Romeo and Juliet and being surprised at how stodgy and unimaginative it all was with a less than youthful Juliet and a muscle-bound and thick set Romeo dancing in front of painted backdrops. This famous cinematic performance of what is arguably the 20th century's greatest ballet therefore came as something of a relief with the alfresco production opened up in spectacular fashion reminiscent of those lavish Zeffirelli opera
productions. Ulanova's dancing is quite miraculous especially in the great love scenes but when the camera gets close to the main protagonists -Juliet, Romeo, Tybalt and Mercutio - it's clear that they're all 30 or 40-somethings (Ulanova was in fact 44.) Viewed from the middle of the stalls they might pass as Shakespeare's teenagers but the camera is not so kind. Still Ulanova dances with such a thistledown lightness that you're almost persuaded that she is just fourteen. If only the young Nureyev or Barishnikov had come along just a bit earlier to partner her...
The technical quality of this release is quite good given the 1954 vintage, the colour just a tad muddy on occasions, the sound a tad reedy (the ear soon adjusts.) I'm not sure I would buy this performance if Ulanova weren't in it, but her performance is so breathtaking that I immediately watched it a second time. If you buy it, you will do so for Ulanova.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great technique, superb leads, 21 Dec 2009
By 
D&D - See all my reviews
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Again, although I own 7 or 8 R&J's at last count, I am only reviewing where there are none. This is a superb performance featuring Legris and Loudieres in the leads and Jude, Delanoe, Romoli and Martinez as the main secondary characters. Manuel Legris is simply wonderful. Monique Loudieres boasts both great technique and emotional range. The corps is, of course, first-class.

I have always liked Nureyev's ballets but this one is long and (over)loaded with imagery and symbolism. Also, some of the staging is too violent for my taste. Nevertheless, I am very pleased to have this in my collection.

Beware: this is not the Legris & Maurin version: they were featured in the equally wonderful Dancer's Dream/Romeo & Juliet. However, that DVD is mainly a documentary. Although the extracts from the score give a flavour of the whole, it is not the full production.
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Romeo & Juliet [DVD] [2008] [US Import]
Romeo & Juliet [DVD] [2008] [US Import] by Prokofiev (DVD - 2008)
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