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Rudolf Nureyev: La Bayadere [DVD]  
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The premiere of the late Rudolf Nureyev's staging of La Bayadere, with the Paris Opera Ballet, in October 1992. Isabelle Guerin and Laurent Hilaire star.
From the Back Cover
Music by Ludwig Minkus
Orchestrated by John Lanchberry
Conducted by Michel Queval
Directed by Alexandre Tarta
Nikiya - Isabelle Guerin
Solor - Laurent Hilaire
Gamzatti - Elizabeth Platel
Accompanied by Orchestre Colonne
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Top Customer Reviews
The dancing of the Paris Opera Ballet is exceptionally fine, with all the principal roles strongly taken. The corps de ballet dance the famous shades seen in the third act quite beautifully. Filmed in widescreen with brilliant sound quality and a sensible easy to access screen menu, this DVD is an absolute must have.
Without doubt THE best ballet experience I've had ,apart from live performances of both the Kirov and Bolshoi and this DVD experience is as close as one will get to the real thing.
For all ballet lover's ,longtime or those who just want to learn more, this DVD is an absolute must. Buy it NOW, you will never regret it.A classic to be treasured for all time.
Rudolf Nureyev finished his work on this production shortly before he died in 1993, when he was the director of the Paris Opera Ballet. About one year later a performance was filmed with the original cast, the document of which we have here.
For the rehearsals Nureyev brought Ninel Kurgapkina to Paris, who had been one of his partners at the Kirov, to help him recreate the style he had known in Russia. He also choreographed additional soli for Solor, because in the original version Solor's part consisted mainly of pantomime and partnering. The ballet ends with the third act (the Kingdom of Shades), whereas at the Royal Ballet Natalia Makarova included a reconstructed fourth act that shows the destruction of the temple.
Étoiles Isabelle Guérin, Elisabeth Platel und Laurent Hilaire are celebrated dancers, and as celebrated is the Parisian Corps de Ballet: the entrance of the 32 shades in the third act is awesome in its homogenity and precision, the effect is hypnotizing. All the dancers were trained at the same school and the way they do their arabesque penchée really creates the impression that they are 32 shades of Nikiya.
The dancing by the Paris Opera Ballet - the three leading "etoiles", in particular - is exemplary. Isabelle Guerin, an attractive and delicate-looking Nikiya, is excellent in the title role of "la bayadere" (the temple dancer). Laurent Hilaire (Solor), a handsome "danseur noble", has a superb technique. He is very good in variations (solo dances) in the Betrothal Scene in Act 2 and in the pas de deux in the Kingdom of the Shades scene in Act 3. Elisabeth Platel is an elegant Gamsatti.
The supporting soloists are all excellent, showing their impeccable training in Paris. Finally, the corps de ballet is impressive in the Kingdom of the Shades scene, unanimously responding to the trance-like music at the beginning of the scene.
My only reservations are the dancers' costumes and the colourful stage set. All the costumes are gaudy, and the interior of the Rajah's palace is decorated in gold. This apparently reflects Nureyev's taste. The set designer, Ezio Frigerio, justifies it by saying "La Bayadere is fundamentally nothing other than the expression of a taste for exoticism - India seen through European eyes." Yes, indeed, but this reviewer still feels that they are over the top.
On balance, however, one perhaps should not be too critical about the gaudy design when the dancing by this great ballet company is superb, and particularly when there is currently no DVD film by the Kirov or the Bolshoi available.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I ordered 2 ballet DVDs. This one's packaging was not good as the other one, it was just bubble packed and put in a normal envelope. Read morePublished 1 month ago by swati dasgupta
Exceptional. A wonderful ballet very well danced and played. This is how ballet should be. The corps de ballet in act three is as good as it gets. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Pdon
Great video quality and spectacular stage production, with excellent performances.Published 16 months ago by Bo
First class, the choreoghraphy. lighting presentation all superbPublished 20 months ago by John Hope
Stunning production especially for the scenic staging and costumes, which really breathe the spirit of India. Read morePublished on 5 Aug. 2014 by Marcolorenzo
This has to be the best version of this ballet. The sets and costumes are awesome and the drum dance in the second act is magical. The golden idol is superlative. Read morePublished on 3 July 2014 by Michael
The costumes in Nureyev's version of La Bayadere are stunning. The materials glisten, I found he had taken quite a lot of liberties with the story making the ballet much longer... Read morePublished on 8 Mar. 2013 by Francis