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on 7 September 2015
There are currently several DVDs of this masterpiece of classical ballet created by Petipa in St. Petersburg in the 1870s. I have watched recordings made by the then Kirov (now Mariinsky) Ballet (in the 1980s), the Royal Ballet and the Paris Opera Ballet (Nureyev's). Following many revisions to its original choreography and costumes since its creation, the Kirov's (now Mariinsky's) Soviet-era production is probably considered to be authentic since the company tries to preserve their old tradition. Although the dancing by the Kirov is splendid, the DVD (transferred from the original video) inevitably suffers poor picture and sound quality.

Now we have a modern digital recording of the Bolshoi Ballet's production, made in 2013. The choreography, slightly modified by Grigorovich et al, appears to broadly preserve the current Soviet-era version.

The dancing by the three principal dancers is excellent. Svetlana Zakharova dances the tragic role of Nikiya superbly. Technically accomplished, she imbues the role with deep emotions. Vladislav Lantratov, a rising star of the company, dances the role of Solor, while Maria Alexandrova dances the role of Gamsatti.

The dancers in the secondary roles - particularly Stashkevich, Tikhomirova and Alizade in the three variations in Act 3 - are very good indeed.

But, the real stars in this work are Corps de Ballet in Act 3. At the beginning of the celebrated Kingdom of the Shades scene, all the thirty-two girls dance in complete unison. This is indeed the vision of Nikiya that appeared to Solor in his opium-induced hallucination. That is why their physical uniformity and their dancing in unison are very important.

The accompanying music by Minkus is played sensitively by the Bolshoi Orchestra under the direction of Sorokin. This DVD should not be missed by lovers of classical ballet.
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on 16 September 2017
DVD is great - vision (wide screen) and sound...
Content is, wow! A much more elaborate and stylish production than that, say, of the Mariinsky Company's (2015, on YouTube) and particularly Natalia Makarova's at ROH (DVD). (The size of stage may have something to do with that.) But the disappointment is that the Russian companies have omitted Makarova's Act 3 and have done since the 1940s if I understand correctly (though I did read somewhere that the Mariinski Company does include Act 3 on special occasions. [Nureyev also omitted Act 3]). It is a pity that Makarova left out so much of the Bethrothal Scene to be found in the Russian and Nureyev productions, though the "blacked up" juveniles might not be acceptable in the West! And I wouldn't mind not having the absurd Dance with Parrots... But the short "Manu" (Dance with water jar) is a real delight as is the Drum dance, neither in Makarova's production.
As I write this, I am watching the Bolshoi production - lovely and sets up the morning just fine! As a newcomer to ballet (but not to ballet music which I've always loved) Petipa and Minkus are a good place to start. So I suggest one needs both DVDs - this one and the Royal Ballet 2009 production, or possibly the Royal Ballet's 1991 version with a very young Darcey Bussell as Gamzatti... and for an encore, try Paquita (partly Petipa and Minkus) if you can find a used copy (Paris 2003 - TDK DVD).
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on 27 August 2017
I splashed out on the Bluray version and I'm glad I did. It looks spectacular, and in addition the camera manages to focus on most of the places and dancers which and whom one wants to see. The exception as usual is (just occasionally, not often) during mime sequences, when two characters are interacting and the camera gets stuck on one of them. Why don't we get a longer shot with both of them in it?
My old favourite bayadere was Komleva with the Kirov, but I admire Zakharova in this role even more.
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on 22 February 2014
As you would expect Bolshoi stars at their best. Unusual not to have the earthquake and destruction at the end, as in the more familiar English version. Concludes in the kingdom of the shades. Two hours of magic.
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on 24 December 2014
FAB-U-LOUS! I was lucky enough to see the ballet itself at a showing in a local cinema, and it turned out to be the same recording so I was delighted. Never seen such lovely ballet dancers, almost acrobatic. Very colourful and with a good story.
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on 22 October 2014
Absolutely wonderful, everything was as expected, scenery out of this world as was the costumes, highly recommended.
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on 25 February 2014
Excellent performance of Svetlana Zakharova, coreographic Version of Yuri Grigorovitch with the usual quality of Bolshoi Ballet Far From decrepit staging Urss times...
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on 5 March 2016
It is now one of my favourites
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on 15 November 2013
Most amazing tribute to ballet with The world's greatest dancers. The best ballet of The world. You will love it
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on 24 August 2015
great, loved it
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