15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Crystal clear ballet,
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This review is from: Tchaikovsky - Swan Lake [Blu-ray]  (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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Initial post: 29 Sep 2010 19:36:31 BDT
John Colman says:
In my review I stated that the documentaries are 10 minutes each when in fact they are individually viewable chapters in a single documentary totalling about half-an-hour.
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