6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Enjoyable Mariinsky Ballet version,
This review is from: Don Quixote: Mariinsky Ballet (Bubelnikov) [DVD]  (DVD)
This recording made by the Mariinsky Ballet in 2006 is very enjoyable. It is the traditional St Petersburg version based on choreography mainly by Petipa and Gorsky. It may not be as effervescent as the current Bolshoi version; it is more elegant and stylish. I have seen the Bolshoi's enjoyable version on stage several times in recent years, but I feel that their Kitri and Basilio tend to show off pyrotechnics. But, ballet is not gymnastics. It just shows that the styles in Moscow and St Petersburg are different.
In the current recording, Olesya Novikova - usually associated with lyrical roles - takes the role of Kitri. She is an excellent dancer, though slightly restrained in acting. I like her style. The role of Basilio is danced by Leonid Sarafanov (the husband of Novikova in real life); he is rather boyish and suits the role. They show very good rapport. Other supporting roles are danced by excellent soloists, including Yekaterina Kondaurova (Street Dancer) and Andrei Merkuriev (Espada) in Act I and some character dancers in the Tavern Scene (in Act 3), who all produce bravura performance.
What distinguishes this production is the Dream Scene (in Act 2); it is pure Petipa in terms of pattern formation and movements. The role of the Queen of Dryads is danced by Alina Somova, then still a young rising star. Apart from her 180-degree extension, her dancing is stylish. Evgenia Obraztsova is a most charming Amor (Cupid); who can resist her piercing arrow? The corps de ballet (dryads) and the young students of the Vaganova Academy (cupids) show their impeccable schooling and musicality.
The HD picture quality is very good indeed, while the digital surround sound is natural. The video direction by Brian Large is excellent. All in all, this is a performance well worth watching.