Customer Review

10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Byron comes alive....A Totally Fresh New Ballet Kudos Coleman and Belarbi., 11 Feb 2014
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This review is from: Adam: Le Corsaire [Maria Gutirerrez, Davit Galstyan, Takafumi Watanabe, Juliette Thelin] [Blu-ray] [2014] (Blu-ray)
If you were expecting a revamp of the Le Corsaire as we have known it for decades, forget it.

This has none of the opulent sets or the optimistic flippancy of the celebrated Kirov production with Altynai Asylmuratova as Medora, or a graceful and cheerful Yelena Pankova as Gulnara, or a limp old Saed Pasha and the slave dealer being outfoxed by the gallant Corssire, or the full force of the then Kirov ( Mariyinsky now) corps de ballet. So curb your enthusiasm. Do not even expect the same music except in tiny doses either. One has to wait 20 minutes before hearing anything close to an original piece from the Corsaire that we have been used to.

This is a fresh new ballet with 80% of the music newly adapted from mostly Adam, reinforced by pieces from many other composer ranging from Mayerbeer to Sibelius. But you know what? They seem to be seamlessly strung without losing the continuity. They have been wonderfully re-orchestrated with beautiful effect. David Coleman.. Sir... you have done a marvellous job. The themes are immediately catchy and pleasant too.

The choreography too, is fresh. The only dances that have remained almost untouched are the very familiar ones from the second act, recognizable by most lovers of ballet. Even here, the sequences have been changed.

This production has turned the older ones on its head. Gone is the very optimistic and cheerful feel of this ballet as we know it. In its place is a very serious and Byronesque approach, which although gloomy sometimes, is poignant. The ending is not exactly cheerful. Like the Paris and RPO productions of Swan Lake, this one too, takes refuge in death for eternal happiness, which frankly, Sucks. Even so, the production is sensible and wholesome.

The corps de ballet cannot be compared to the big 5 of the ballet world, but I must really complement the dancers and the ballet masters for attaining neat perfection in movement, precision and the cohesion, which I sometimes miss in the big 5. Excellent.

The soloists have done themselves proud. Both Gutirrez and Galstyan are a treat to watch.

The Audio, Video as well post production are superb. At times, the orchestra, soloists and the conductor are shown, but these are not intrusive (unlike in Raymonda where the PIP of a pianist spoilt one of the best dances).

If at all there are negatives, it is (the lack of) sets and props that are threadbare and not too impressive the way they are changed.The costumes however, make up for that deficiency. I am also disappointed that the dances of the Odalisques save for one, that too danced by the Sultan, in the productions we know; the grand ballet waltz of the harem is totally omitted.

All in all, a very good purchase. Buy it. It is a totally new ballet with wonderfully well incorporated music
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