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Kirov Classics [DVD] 
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Collection of some of the Kirov Ballet's best performances. The works include: 'Chopiniana', 'Petrushka', 'Adagio', 'Pas de Deux' from 'Le Corsaire', 'Pas de Six' from 'Markitenka' and 'Grand Pas' from 'Paquita'. Among the dancers are Larissa Lezhnina, Altynai Asylmuratova, Sergei Vikharev and Farukh Ruzimatov. Victor Fedotov conducts the Mariinsky Theatre Orchestra.
There's a whiff of the souvenir shop about Kirov Classics, a selection of highlights from the famous ballet company's repertoire. Committed followers will surely prefer to seek out full-length versions of the works presented here. That said, even the expert will find this disc to be a useful snapshot of the choreographic styles associated with the company. We get extracts from Petipa's Corsair and Paquita, Fokine's Chopiniana, the Legats' The Fairy Doll and Saint-Leon's Markitenka, while the Kirov's Artistic Director Oleg Vinogradov also gets two items, including Petrushka and the then-daring piece based on Barber's Adagio. All the above may be crowd-pleasers in their different ways, but there's plenty of interesting historical background here too, such as Pierre Lacotte's painstaking reconstruction of Markitenka from fragmented sources. This, and much else besides, is expertly summarised in the informative booklet notes. The performances are of course immaculate, and the quality of both sound and vision also makes this the perfect taster for anyone thinking of acquiring a DVD dance habit. --Roger Thomas --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top customer reviews
Contents: Chopinina, Petrushka, Barber's Adagio, La Corsaire(Pas de Deux), The Fairy Doll, Markitenka,(Pas de Six) and Grand Pas from Paquita.
Main stars include Faroukh Ruzimatov (in his usual La Coraire gymnastics), Yulia Makhalina and Igor Zelenka in a ravishing presentation of Paquita but all the stars and indeed Corp de Ballet are simply ourstanding in elegance, performance and poise.
Chopiniana is indeed very beautiful and moving and the Pas de Six from Markitenka (new to me) is simply charming as is The Fairy Doll.
While format is 4:3 and sound is PCM Stereo ,it is more than acceptable.The Marinsky Orchestra,(forwardly placed) under
Fedotov is at its very best.
One or two niggles though. The producers have inserted full credits after each piece. This tends to frustrate one when all one wants to do is to savour the next fabulous offering.
Also the absence of a live audience tends to curtail(not always successfully with me!) ones desire to whoop with delight after each performance but this in itself gives an indication of just how wonderful these performances are.
There is also quite good documentation which includes a very clear and concise history of the Kirov/Marinsky.
Summary: Don't hestitate -just buy it. A must. You will treasure it for a lifetime. Newcomers, put this DVD on top of your list- together with "Essential Ballet"(Decca Label) which includes Kirov performances from Covent Garden and Red Square.
In Paquita (grand pas), choreographed by Petipa, classical dancing is so elegant and joyful, taking the viewer back to the days of the Imperial Russian ballet. Most other shorter works are very interesting. In Markitenka (pas de six), Pankova is a superbly delicate and light dancer. Larissa Lezhnina is charming in The Fairy Doll.
However, Petrushka (choreographed by Oleg Vinogradov, the former Director of the Kirov Ballet) is a modern work with dancers in strange costumes and is completely different from Fokine's original version; I find it uninteresting. In Le Corsaire (pas de deux), again choreographed by Petipa, Faroukh Ruzimatov is a virtuosic and narcissistic partner to Lyubov Kunakova.
Recording quality is good, and the stereo sound is very clear. This DVD is an essential purchase for lovers of Russian ballet and the Kirov/Mariinsky Ballet, in particular.