I bought this DVD for the sets and costumes, and they are indeed lavish baroque and excessively luxurious, however watching the whole ballet with their overpowing presence they do very much distract from the dancing; they actually overpower it. The dancing is good but not spectacular. The Paris Opera production has better dancing. The sets and costumes by Ezio Frigerio were commisioned to inaugurate the re-opening of the Bolshoi and cost millions of £, and they were menat to awe the audicience which they do. It is an overwhelming spectacle but probably not appropriate for this ballet and its story. This ballet needs sets and costumes which are more lyrical and diaphanous, and I would even say slightly gothic and not baroque as this production is. Carabosse is a joke here, seems like a giant monster ogre and not and evil fairy witch. The orchestra plays at lightning speed. Overall enjoyable and worth having but not the best production. Ashton's production for the Royal Ballet is preferable but not available on DVD, and The Paris Opera production is overall better from the dancing standpoint.
on 19 February 2014
Wonderful performances by Zakharova, Hallberg and Allash. Very lavish, new production. The filming was done from slightly below the stage, it seemed, which was a slight negative, but most balletomanes would love this..
on 23 January 2014
I have watched dvds of four ballets bought from amazon.co.uk : sleeping beauty,la corsaire,swan lake and giselle.
I chose these because they are old traditional 19th century classics.All were enjoyable and showcased dancing of a very high order. But for me sleeping beauty is best because it doesnt have any overlong scenes set to very slow classical music ( I like symphony music but tend to fast forward when the cd reaches the slow movement!).
Sleeping beauty also has many principle dancers and the sets and costumes are bright and cheery throughout.
I could watch sleeping beauty time after time but the other ballets I mentioned would become stale after two or three viewings.Sleeping beauty should appeal to people of all ages.I thoroughly recommend it to you.Jolly entertaining!