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39 Reviews
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42 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Demonstration disc - an amazing performance!
I am surprised that this performance has only been reviewed by three people! It is such a good performance. Leading artists under the famous Mariinsky Company, absolutely top notch recording - what more could you want!

This is a simply amazing performance. Ulyana Lopatkina is fabulous as Odette/Odile. Yes, I agree with another reviewer that from a visual...
Published on 7 Jan 2011 by Nigel Mc

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43 of 51 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Swan Lake Gergiev-style
The last Swan Lake on video to come from the Kirov Ballet dated from 1990 (Now available on DVD as well.) Among its assets were the intriguing, beautifully talented Yulia Makhalina, the young and brilliant Igor Zelensky, then still on his way to become one of the great Russian dancers of his generation; it had magnificently pure and authoritative soloists like Larissa...
Published on 18 Nov 2007 by Marc Haegeman


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42 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Demonstration disc - an amazing performance!, 7 Jan 2011
By 
Nigel Mc (The Chilterns) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Tchaikovsky - Swan Lake [Blu-ray] [2008] (Blu-ray)
I am surprised that this performance has only been reviewed by three people! It is such a good performance. Leading artists under the famous Mariinsky Company, absolutely top notch recording - what more could you want!

This is a simply amazing performance. Ulyana Lopatkina is fabulous as Odette/Odile. Yes, I agree with another reviewer that from a visual perspective she would look better after a few good meals but I'm not going to drop a star for that! Andrei Ivanov, who plays the Jester, is magnificent and is worthy of a special accolade.

Technically, this disc is amazing. It is now my number 1 demonstration disc. Pictures are pristine sharp showing wonderful natural colours and with excellent sound. There is a good menu system and the disc comes with a number of interesting extras, most of which are also in high definition. Darcey Bussell introduces several of these extra features, including a brief talk and demonstration of the 'fouettes en tournant' which features towards the end of the 2nd Act.

I heartily recommend this purchase to anyone who is thinking of purchasing this wonderful ballet. Although price should not be the deciding factor, it has to be said that at just under 15 this is an absolute bargain! Ironically, it is a few pennies cheaper than the standard dvd. The disc comes with an informative booklet.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sets the Standard, 3 Dec 2010
By 
Arthur Wyatt (London England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Tchaikovsky - Swan Lake [Blu-ray] [2008] (Blu-ray)
With superb camera work and excellent production only the Bolshoi stand any chance of beating this! Has the edge on the London and Paris bluray versions which are very good
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolute Bargain, 7 Aug 2011
By 
Satish Kamath (India) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Tchaikovsky - Swan Lake [Blu-ray] [2008] (Blu-ray)
This has become my favourite Swan Lake in the blu ray format.

In this production, they have managed to create absolute opulence with minimum fuss about the sets. The dances, dancers, costumes, videograpy and the whole approach to the work is just about near perfect.

Yes, Lopatkina does look anorexic, but her technique and elegance is magnificent.

I prefer this production to the much vaunted and overpriced (comparatively) Paris Ballet with Letestu. They too have done with minimal sets, but these look drab and dull and recognizable as unchanged in every act with different backdrops. I wonder what makes that one doubly expensive as this to buy (I have both). The corps de ballet is just as good in both, and Letestu is just as impressive to watch (in fact visually, she makes better viewing than Lopatkina), but Danila Korsuntsev makes a far better prince than Martinez in the Paris production.

The first act in this production makes a world of difference between this and the Paris version, which is dull by comparison, in fact the whole of the Paris production has a depressive aura about it throughout which makes it a bit of a drag.
Gergiev in this production, does a better job with the orchestra too, which is recorded beautifully.

Lesser said about the 'glittering' Royal Ballet the better, in comparison to both these...

This is an absolute bargain at the price at which it is being sold today (lesser than 12 bucks). I would choose this over all the others as of date.
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30 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lopatkina is a goddess!, 12 Mar 2008
By 
Job (Darkest Russia) - See all my reviews
Having had the privilege of seeing Lopatkina dance this on the stage of the Mariinsky in 2005, I'm at a loss to understand how 1996 can have been considered by another reviewer to have been too late in her career. She moves with grace and a sense of absolute tragedy - exactly what Odette requires from a prima ballerina. Her portrayal of Odile is fiery and, while not outright sexy (in my opinion), is compelling and dangerous. The corps de ballet is superb - a trademark of the Kirov - the orchestra is to-die-for, and I believe any balletomane would be delighted by this production of Swan Lake.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best so far!, 22 Nov 2009
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This review is from: Tchaikovsky - Swan Lake [Blu-ray] [2008] (Blu-ray)
The lack of fuss to the background, stunning camera angles and faultless dansing make this a sheer delight. Far better than the over glittery Covent Garden production which distracts by fussy costumes and too many people in the background.

Buy this version you won't be disappointed.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Crystal clear ballet, 20 Sep 2010
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This review is from: Tchaikovsky - Swan Lake [Blu-ray] [2008] (Blu-ray)
A richly enjoyable rendition of Swan Lake produced by the BBC at the beautiful Mariinsky theatre St. Petersburg.

Gigantic, awe inspiring backdrops and impeccably detailed, opulent costumes contibute to the visual feast. The music is flawless and perfectly timed. The lighting is also extremely well balanced leaving the set visible but not distracting.
Camera work is razor sharp at all times switching between full stage, principal dancers and single dancer close-ups at well rehearsed moments.

But it is the male leads who steal the show, especially the Jester (Andrei Ivanov) who, although a good foot shorter than the prince, leaps about the stage like a gazelle. The acting is also very good. Rothbart's gaze is especially expressive.

The disc is provided with a 30 page programme in English, German and French listing the scenes, acts and players and describing the story of the ballet and the history of the Mariinsky production.

There are seven short documentaries included the disc:
1. What is Swan Lake?
2. The Story
3. The Music
4. The Origins
5. The Dance
6. The Corps de Ballet
7. The Prima Ballerina

Each run at about 10 minutes. Some scenes appear to be high-definition while others are clearly of a lesser quality. All are fairly enjoyable and informative.

My only criticism concerns Odette (Ulyana Lopatkina) who, although clearly an incredible dancer, is completely emaciated. To me there is very little which is beautiful or feminine about her wirey arms, odd bulges, square jaw and sinewy neck. Some of the corps would also be far more attractive but for a hearty meal or two. The uglyness of these dancers can be a distraction, especially in glorious HD, but fortunately, their on-screen moments pass quickly.

I'm very pleased with this product and my disappointment with Odette is outweighed by so much beauty in this impressive and lovingly produced disc.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent with just one fault, 17 Mar 2014
I wanted to watch my first full ballet and considered Swan Lake to be a good starting point - easy to follow, good story and fine music. I wasn't disappointed with this production. I thought it was an excellent performance, was well filmed and the soundtrack was well recorded. I was totally engrossed until the third act when the fault that I mention in my title occurred. From the dance of the black and white swans to the end I became aware of the audience taking flash photographs and it was most noticeable in the final act. Frequent flashes totally jolted me out of the story and took the shine off the performance. The reason I mention this is because I am amazed that photography is tolerated at such a prestigious venue. Maybe the Russians are more easy going or am I behind the times in thinking that photography should still be frowned upon? However, I still recommend this disc for anyone wanting to watch top class ballet.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Iconic Mariinsky production, 14 May 2014
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The glorious Uliana Lopatkina is surely the most memorable Odette/Odile of her generation and you couldn't find a more attentive Siegfried in Danila Korsuntsev. The swans are superlative in this and sharp-eyed fans might spot the young Evgenia Obraztsova, Olesya Novikova, Daria Sukhorukova, Alina Somova and Viktoria Tereshkina - now stars in their own right in various companies- among the cygnets and solo swans. Ilya Kuznetsov makes an authoritative Rothbart (this is the Russian version of the role where Rothbart is danced rather than mimed). As with any Mariinsky performance of Swan Lake, a highlight of this recording is their elegant and commanding rendition of the mazurka and czardas in Act 3 - unmatched elsewhere. If you can only ever buy one recording of Swan Lake (or a first time purchase for a newcomer to ballet), I would pick this one.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Could not be better, 26 Dec 2011
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This review is from: Tchaikovsky - Swan Lake [Blu-ray] [2008] (Blu-ray)
Excellent performance . Very enjoyable. Highly recommended. As the papers said 32 swans moving as one. Picture , colours and sound are truly in HD.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Swan Lake But.., 25 Sep 2011
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This review is from: Tchaikovsky - Swan Lake [Blu-ray] [2008] (Blu-ray)
I agree with most what was said about this performance and I won't repeat that. My addition to that is the following:
1- This is the only performance I know of, where the tutor and the magician are not the same person. In fact, the tutor appears here as an old and weak guy that everybody like to make fun of
2- Regarding the figures of Odette and other dancers, I think there figures are better than in other performances except in close-ups where there necks and upper chest reveals the missing "meals".
3- The bonus material is very nice. This is the first bonus where I found some attention to explain the meaning of some dance movements.
4- Beware not to view the bonus material before viewing the performance (like me) because it has some demonstrations from old and newer performances and none of them have blu ray quality and I worried about the picture quality of the performance.
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Tchaikovsky - Swan Lake [Blu-ray] [2008]
Tchaikovsky - Swan Lake [Blu-ray] [2008] by Tchaikovsky (Blu-ray - 2008)
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