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Tchaikovsky - The Nutcracker [1977] [DVD]

3.6 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Mikhail Baryshnikov, Gelsey Kirkland, Alexander Minz, Hilda Morales, Rebecca Wright
  • Directors: Tony Charmoli
  • Format: Classical, Colour, DVD-Video, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • 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: Vital Distribution/Warner Classics
  • DVD Release Date: 9 Oct. 2006
  • Run Time: 78 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0002S6428
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 78,368 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)
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Product description

Product Description

Long beloved by American audiences, and the most-often shown version of the ballet on US television, this Emmy-nominated production is at last being made available in the UK. Baryshnikov was at the height of his career as a classical dancer in 1977 when he staged this beloved holiday classic for the American Ballet Theatre. Gelsey Kirkland had left the New York City Ballet to dance with the Russian superstar, and their partnership was magical. In this Soviet-influenced version, Baryshnikov casts himself as the hero who is transformed from a wooden figure to a soaring prince, and Kirkland plays an adolescent girl of delicacy and vulnerability. Alexander Minz portrays Drosselmeyer, a mysterious wizard who not only conjures the fantasy but also dances with the romantic couple. Kenneth Schermerhorn conducts the National Philharmonic in a fast-paced performance of Tchaikovsky's music. Celebrated by critics and public alike, Baryshnikov's The Nutcracker delivers a brilliant and sparkling adaptation of the famous ETA Hoffmann tale along with Tchaikovsky's classic score.

Review

Baryshnikov's staging, thanks in the main to Kirkland's radiance, might just be the best Nutcracker of them all. --Allen Robertson, Dance Now

Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

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This Nutcracker was filmed for TV, using dancers from the American Ballet Theater. The big name was of course Baryshnikov, who had recently come to the West.

The whole production is second rate, mostly because of lack of imagination rather than lack of resources. Sets and costumes look dull and the direction generates no excitement whatsoever.

The corps-de-ballet is mediocre, but most of the solo dancing is very good.

Baryshnikov makes a great start. His scene as the Nutcracker is wonderful for the mechanical percision of his movements, but once the mask is off, his Narcissism gets the upper hand. He dances "alone", trying to seduce the camera rather than his partner. Great dancing, but it failled to enchant me.

The opposite is true of his co-star, the lovely Gelsey Kirkland. In the beginning I was struck by how child-like she seemed. As the performance progressed I was enthralled by her grace and charm. She was a real "floater", -you think she barely touched the ground when she danced,- and she had a beautiful sense of "flowing" with the music. If I were rating her performance, I would give it 5 stars without hesitation. I think this dvd is worth viewing for her alone.
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Dancers fabulous as usual, but unfortunately the original full length ballet has been severely cut, (to 78 minutes, for goodness sake) missing out a great many of the set pieces and therefore not showing to its best advantage. The missing scenes are wonderful to watch. I did have the full version originally and wish I could obtain it again.
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Basically I would think this is for Nutcracker nuts only. Its great but comes in the middle somewhere of all the ones Ive seen. It was filmed for TV and I think things are best when it is filmed with a live audience in a theatre. Thats just my thought. How ever at the start you see Barishnykovs fantastic skill in Slow motion, a pre highlight before the start and performing his jumps with the greatest of ease effortless. What he must have been like when he was excelling himself must have been out of this world. I would say for Nutcracker nuts only but still recommended. I like his Don quitoxe best for seeing his dancing.
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By BlackBrigand TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 8 Jan. 2014
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Baryshnikov has been one of my wife's favourite dancers since we were fortunate enough to see him perform live in New York back in the 1970s.

This may not be the best ever production of the Nutcracker but Baryshnikov's performance is magical. A bit of a nostalgia trip for us but also a disc well worth adding to the 'classic' productions shelf along with the rare recordings of Fontaine and Nureyev. A pity that the performance has been clipped to make space in the running time for US television advertising slots, but better than nothing.

Well worth having if you are a fan of Russian classical dancers.
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A beautiful production,traditional and magical(sparing us the darker psychological slant of other versions).If you have read Kirkland's book,you will know of her relationship with Baryshnikov around this time..they both dance wonderfully and the whole ballet has a "great feelgood factor".Enjoy.
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I didn't watch it, but rather I used it as an album and played it as background music.
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