12 of 16 people found the following review helpful
- Published on Amazon.com
Macmillan's ballet (1978)came to life again in this lavish production of the Royal Ballet faithful to its original creators Gillian Freeman (scenario) and Nicholas Geordiadis (costumes) exactly as in 1994, Mukhamedov in the leading role then. Now,another generation of dancers gives us a somehow different pleasure,but equally with outstanding quality.If Mukhamedov portrays a tormented, pathetic twisted character and displays a formidable russian technique (high jumps, commanding arabesques) Edward Watson excels in perversion and lust, somehow a fragile Rudolf, aided by his fair complexion and golden hair. He dances beautifully, flawlessly, throughout the three acts and in his duets with Mara Galeazzi/Vetsera,an explosion of sensuality takes place.If Mukhamedov and Durante/Vetsera are sublime in their symbiosis, dancing with their souls as they do (one can actually feel their passion and tormented love in Act 3) Watson and Galeazzi are flesh and blood in fire, Rudolf's almost dementia embracing,eating away Vetsera's will,leaving her with no choice.The other dancers are first rate, the orchestra conducted by Wordsworth, brilliant.A superb production not to be missed also due to the glitter and precision offered by the blu-ray.
This said, the 1994 Mayerling (Mukhamedov, Durante, Collier and Bussel) remains a reference given the fabulous acting .Like in a silent movie, their eyes, their faces,each little gesture are full of meaning and detail,as if the principal dancers had attended Actor's Studio.For that reason this older production should be given a 6th star. Comment | Permalink
4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
- Published on Amazon.com
One cannot but compare with its earlier production with a galaxy of stars that outshines this one at least at the time both were shot. But I should add here that each production plays to its own strengths.
As far as the video and audio is concerned, it is absolutely unfair to compare the two. This one just has to be better thanks to better tech. I would also hasten to add that the music was performed and better conducted in this one, with the exception of the Mephisto Waltz which I thought lacked bite.
Irek Muhammadov, although a far greater dancer at the time, just could not act so well. So he danced away superbly in his very athletic portrayal of Prince Rudolph.
Edward Watson in this production, brings out the character of Rudolph (scenes of sex, drugs, violence, womanizing, and political intrigue) far far better than Irek Muhammadov. Watson CAN act, and he plays up this strength of his to the hilt. He acts the sadistic and disoriented druggie far better than Irek could ever imagine. Watson also brings out his talent at terrifying his bride far better than Irek could, although the bride appeared far more terrified in the first production.
The winner? Edward Watson of course. For that reason alone, this production is worth buying.
But I am afraid characters who replaced the principal women in this ballet have not been as successful as those in the first production. There is no one here who matches the portrayal by both Darcey Bussel and Viviana Durante in their respective roles in this one although Sarah Lamb does impress indeed.
Comparisons as such can go on and on, but one thing is very clear.
I would ANY DAY recommend this one as a fabulous purchase and if one were to lay comparisons and such alike. This production is totally enjoyable all by itself.