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Rudolf Nureyev: La Bayadere [DVD] [1994] [2001]

4.5 out of 5 stars 29 customer reviews

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  • Rudolf Nureyev: La Bayadere [DVD] [1994] [2001]
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Product details

  • Actors: Rudolf Nureyev, Isabelle Guérin, Laurent Hilaire, Elisabeth Platel
  • Directors: Alexandre Tarta
  • Format: Classical, PAL, Colour, HiFi Sound
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: French, German
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: Exempt
  • Studio: CLASSICAL
  • DVD Release Date: 25 Oct. 1999
  • Run Time: 134 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00004CYO7
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 65,726 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

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

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
Rudolf Nureyev's adieu to the Paris Opera Ballet, shortly his death was a sumptuous staging of Petipa's classic ballet set in India, La Bayadere.
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.
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I could not think of sufficient superatives with which to describe this performance.Every aspect of it is astonishing. From performers to production it is simply in a class of it's own. The emotions I experience every time I have watched it are the same-from sheer spine-tingling exhilaration to heart-rending tears.
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.
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Format: DVD
In my opinion this is the best Bayadère that is available on DVD, and one of the best ballet DVDs ever made: the dancers are fantastic, the costumes and stage design opulent without ever creating the impression that the stage is crowded, and the orchestra (and sound recording) is very good as well. Filming never gets in the way either.
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.
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This DVD is a copy of that made on the actual night in Paris when Nureyev's Bayadere choreographed for the Paris Opera Ballet was first shown. This was his parting gift for the Paris Opera Ballet where he had loved to work. His friends all attended and the shots come from inside the theatre and from the stage. It is a little piece of history marking a very sad moment just before Nureyev died. Nureyev's version of this ballet is colourful and spectacular. The final part, the "Kingdom of the Shades," is extremely beautiful and the corps de ballet is magnificent.. It is a poignant and wonderful memory of a ballet dancer and choreographer who will for ever leave his mark on the world of dance.
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This is a very enjoyable production of the 19th century masterpiece of Orientalism. It is a version choreographed and staged by Rudolf Nureyev for the Paris Opera Ballet in 1992, based on a traditional Soviet era/Russian version. (Nureyev died in the following year.) As with the Russian version, Act 4 (the Wedding Scene when the temple is destroyed by angry gods) is omitted.

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.
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