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Minkus: La Bayadere (Version française)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Zakharova, Lantratov, Alexandrova, Petipa, Grigorovich
  • Format: Classical, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Studio: Bel Air Classiques
  • Release Date: Nov. 19 2013
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #5,964 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)

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Most helpful customer reviews

Format: Blu-ray
A great show with no dull spots from beginning to end. The music is superb as well as the décor.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 11 reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
By jayeldee - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
Having owned four of the five currently available DVD versions of La Bayadere, I thought I knew the work--and actually didn't think much of it.... But this Bolshoi Ballet HD Collection release on BelAir has made me an ardent believer. The dancing of all three principals, the soloists, and the corps is of the highest order; it is sublime, beyond reproach. The costumes, and the monumental sets, are far and away the finest I have ever seen in any ballet on film, with every detail lovingly attended to. (As one example, in the first act, the "sacred fire" flares up and extinguishes at appropriate moments, in time with the music and choreography; a small effect that lends interest, and underscores the action on stage.) The white ballet of the third act is absolutely stunning, the dancing impeccable, the costumes snowy white and supremely elegant, the stage floor a lustrous bluish-green, the dancers bathed in a soft, bluish-gold light. It is simply magnificent. The Entrance of the Shades is "kaleidoscopically" beautiful. (Watch it, and you'll see what I mean.) .... The audio and video are of course state-of-the-art, and the camera work, flawless--generally wide angle, to pick up the entire stage, with occasional closeups and mid-range shots, all of it feeling perfectly natural. The only real, current competition on video is the Paris Opera Ballet release, with Guerin, Hilaire, and Platel. That, too, is quite a fine version--but for my money, Zakharova, Lantratov and Alexandrova leave it in the dust.

....I wonder whether this sublime crew, Bolshoi & Co., has lately done Raymonda? That would surely, by my lights, be one to die for.... Well, dream on (a la Solor).
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Love it! It is The Best La Bayadere! Nov. 10 2014
By Z. Anne - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
I didn't like La Bayadere when I first saw it at Lincoln Center, ABT production, some years ago. The story did not make sense, nor any of the dancers give me memorable impressions. Later I bought a Royal Ballet DVD, danced by Mukhanmedov. I didn't like it either. All my impression about La Bayadere is that Solor was unattractive and heartless, while Nikiya wasn't kind and lovely when she tried to dagger her rival. I didn't feel anyone was true in love. Love is completely missing in the story!

I had once believed it was simply a bad story, not any dancer's or choreographer's fault.

Then years later I read about the positive reviews of this release, thought I should give another try. And WOW! I love it! It is so beautiful and touching. Lantratov's Solor finally gives me some sense about this character: he does love Nikiya, only he isn't kind of a spiritually lover, so is easily drawn away by the extraordinary beautiful and alluring Gamzatti who is portrayed very convincingly by Alexandrova. Solor is not heartless either. He actually intended to reject his engagement with Gamzatti, but stunned by her beauty once seeing her. That says Solor is not surrendering to power but rather his own fickleness in love. (I doubt if Solor will ever remain faithful to Gamzatti, because he is still thinking of Nikiya's beauty during his engagement ceremony.) He isn't a bad guy, he just didn't know his fickleness and betrayal to Nikiya's love would bring her death. He maybe a brave warrior, but is definitely weak in heart as oppose to Nikiya's determination and firmness. His heartbreaking and grievous remorse is truthful after Nikiya's death.

Zakharova makes her Nikiya such a unique heroine in classical ballet. She enters with extreme elegance and pride. Her sacred dance is holy, pure and emotionless. She rejects the High Brahmin's pursuit and accuses his misbehavior without mercy. She smiles only when meets with Solor. I can understand her solitary life at temple, Solor is probably the only joy in her life. I can too understand her naiveness to actually believe in Solor's loyalty. These all happen in the first scene, which are good foreshadowing of Nikiya's later intransigency and violent reaction towards Gamzatti - she couldn't bear to lose Solor, her only joy in life!

Alexandrova is a terrific Gamzatti - graceful, beautiful, smart, arrogant, spoiled, must get whatever she wants and cruel. All three principal dancers make the whole story convincing and touching. Of course Grigorovich, the Choreographer contributes most to it.

All three leads, supporting roles and the entire corps de ballet dance really well. Zakharova is the most celebrated ballerina today, she has the most impeccable technique, beautiful long extensions and charms. And she is as light as a feather, so divine! Lantratov is a young rising star at Bolshoi, too has impeccable technique, great partnering skills and charms (and high jumps and fast turns!). He dances with both powerfulness and elegancy. Alexandrova is also a principal at Bolshoi with great techniques. Wow, aren't they too many great dancers at Bolshoi? Not to mention Savichev who dances Magedaveya, the lead fakir.

Act III, the white ballet scene, is my favorite, I can watch it again and again and again and never be bored. I am touched by the sorrow of Nikiya and Solor and excited by the brilliant performance of Zakharova and Lantratov. Nikiya and Solor had only one short pas de deux in Act I. The longer one is here in Act III. (BTW, there's a terrific pas de duex of Gamzatti and Solor in Act II.) Act III fulfills my dream of both seeing perfect pas de deux and corps de ballet (as Giselle does). Someone has already said a lot about the wonderful performance of Bolshoi corps de ballet in this scene, so I won't repeat.

Two last things to say - the costumes and stage sets are beautiful, the orchestra is wonderful. This ballet is my most watched ballet now, and no doubt I will watch it many many times more in the future. Truly truly love it!


Following is added on 12/11//2014:

I know it's already a long review. But I had always wondered why other versions of La Bayadere won't touch me the same. After watching the ballet one more time last night I realized it is the masterly way of storytelling. As some have noticed, this version of La Bayadere is missing Act IV, which tells us all bad buys eventually get punished (died) when the ceremony hall collapsed during Solor and Gamzatti's wedding; Nikiya and Solor finally reunited in Heaven. For me, Act IV is the key problem here, it violates Solor's good images (all his remorses and love to Nikiya) and makes him a real heartless person (think of him returning to Gamzatti after knowing she has killed Nikiya). It even makes less sense that Solor finally meets Nikiya in Heaven (does he deserves it after betraying Nikiya once again?).

For me good dancing and sets aren't enough to make a good ballet, it has to move me too. Choreographer Grigorovich is the master of storytelling. He won't tell you in a direct way but you feel what he tries to say. Without Act IV, Grigorovich's story ends in Act III: Solor not only remorses with sincerity, but also discovers his true love. He realizes Gamzatti's cruelty behind her beauty. He'd rather stay in the Kingdom of the Shadows (a Kingdom created in his illusion) than going back to her. He realizes his true love is always Nikiya and transforms to a spiritual lover. In the Kingdom of the Shadows, their love is ever stronger. In finally variations, both Zakharova and Lantratov dance in such a forceful way as if they are claiming their love with determination. The last scene: she vanishes but leaves her love with him; he collapses to the ground as if he will forever remorse for losing his Nikiya (his own punishment in the way). It ends the story perfectly.
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Perfect dancing but lacking "life" March 17 2014
By Dr. John W. Rippon - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
This review is of the Blu-ray Bayadere of Svetlana Zakkharova as Nikiya, Vladislav Lantratov as Solor and Maria Alexandrova as Gamzatti. This is a production of the Bolshoi Theatre, Moscow with a redaction of the original choreography of Maurice Petipa by Yuri Grigorovich with scenes from three other productions by different producers. Filmed in January 2013 in Moscow.
I go into all this detail as some reviews end up in the wrong File Heading. Also if you have had exposure to other discs of Bayadere you may find things here not encountered in other currently available productions.
On the positive side, this is a beautiful production. The sets are quite attractive and vaguely "oriental", the costumes quite appropriate and the dancing by the stars, soloists and corps absolutely first rate. Ms. Zakharova is exquisite and unmatched in her performance of Nikiya. It is however emotionless. M. Latratov's Solor is masculine, athletic and impeccably acrobatic but his face never changed with the change of partners. Ms. Alexandrova's Gamzetti was wily and seductive. She was the only one to put some living face on to this complex love story.
In addition to what is in this day and age considered what is to be included in a performance of Bayadere, some dusty remnants of past eras were also incorporated. These included the floor athletic exercises of the Fakirs round-the-table (or the fire pot that wouldn't stay lighted), the black-face antics of some of the featured dancers and Dance Manu another acrobatic show off of athleticism. Neither these nor a couple of other extraneous additions contributed to the wholeness of the story of the ballet.
There are two other top rate productions of Bayadere that are available on disc (I have seven versions in total). They are the Royal Opera House produced by Nataly Makarova after the Mariinsky (St. Petersburg) and the older Paris Opera Ballet with the redaction by Rudolph Nureyev. In the Paris Isabelle Guerin dances beautifully and mimes the emotions she is feeling. Her inconstant lover Solor , Laurent Hillaire shows some hot-blood emotion for his two partners and Elizabeth Platel is quite explicit about what she thinks of her rival Nikiya. The Royal version I like best is the one with Aldynai Asylmuratova , Irek Mukhamedov and Darcy Bussel ( a great favorite of mine) is a real nasty rival.
With all the added material, the Bolshoi production did not include the last act with the destruction of the Temple which I feel rounds out the story. It is included the the Royal's production under Makarova's direction.
But all this carping and unfavorable remarks are banished and all is forgiven when it comes to the Bolshoi's "Kingdom of the Shades". This was Petipa's brilliant choreographic coup that still thrills ballet lovers. (A "ballet blanc" had been done a decade or so earlier by Adam in "Giselle"). In Bayadere Petipa has the corps do a "ballet blanc" by a "defile" of the corps coming on stage down a ramp one by one executing an arabesque penchee followed by a back bend and so continuing until there are 32 on stage. Then they continue a mesmerizing set of movements. This is among the most awesome moments in all ballet and Bolshoi does it beautifully.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
highly recommended Jan. 4 2014
By Yo Wong - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
New production - it is the best La Bayadere can be seen on DVD. Amazing principal dancers' skill. Interesting variety of dancing.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Gorgeous in all respects Feb. 21 2015
By Allen K Johnson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
One of our favorite ballet DVDs. Beautiful music, marvelous dancing, and some of the most elegant sets and costumes we've ever seen.

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