Top positive review
Classical ballet in spades!
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).