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Prokofiev;Sergei Romeo and Jul


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Product Details

  • Actors: Natalya Bessmertnova, Irek Mukhamedov
  • Directors: Motoko Sakaguchi
  • Format: Classical, Color, DVD-Video, NTSC
  • Language: Castilian
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: NR
  • Studio: Arthaus Musik
  • Release Date: Oct. 19 2004
  • Run Time: 136 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0002TXSSA
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #157,305 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)

Customer Reviews

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By Kaye on Sept. 15 2006
Format: DVD
This performance of Romeo and Juliet is magnificently danced by all. Juliet is lovingly danced although Natalia Bessmertnova is rather too mature for the part and there were too many close ups of her. Irek Mukhamedov as Romeo was charmingly boyish and as usual danced excellently. Aleksandr Vetrov was a terrific Tybalt, an accomplished street fighter with a wicked smile, the villians as always are the most interesting of the characters. Mikael Sharkov was also quite amazing as Mercutio, I wonder why he doesn't feature in more recordings. The quality of the recording however, is not good, very dark at times and does not do justice to the performers work and the lovely costumes.
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By Big Fan on Dec 17 2006
Format: DVD
I like all the three male dancers. Their dancing is so powerful. Yet, Juliet is too old. There should not have benn so many close-ups on her wrinkled face, just because she was famous.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 14 reviews
22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
For serious students and balletomanes only June 26 2006
By kaream - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
Having seen most of the available DVD versions of Romeo and Juliet, I still greatly prefer the more traditional MacMillan choreography, which sticks closely to Prokofiev's original conception in his scoring, to either Nureyev's idiosyncratic 1995 Paris National Opera, with Loudieres and Legris, or Grigorovich's radically revisionist 1988 Bolshoi, with Bessmertnova and Mukhamedov.

I'm not a dancer, and leave appraisals of technique and skill to other reviewers. For all I know, this late-Soviet-era Grigorovich Bolshoi production might be a dancer's delight, but it's performed bare-stage with dim lighting, uninspired costumes, acting which -- unless you count a lot of stern looks -- generally ranges from poor to nonexistent, little comprehensible story line, and a musical score frequently so pushed, pulled, and twisted out of shape (and at times simply badly played) that the film's middling audio quality and inattentive camera work are the least of its problems.

Of the three productions based on MacMillan that I know, the 1984 Ferri/Eagling Royal Ballet is the least desirable, but not at all bad. The 2000 Ferri/Corella La Scala is superb in all respects -- dancing, acting, 'chemistry', sets and costumes, orchestral conducting and playing, and filming -- but my personal favorite remains the 1966 Fonteyn/Nureyev Royal Ballet, despite Kultur's failure to bother with a needed remastering. Fonteyn at 46 shows some ravages of age for a 14-year-old, but she remains a strikingly beautiful woman, and she inhabits, rather than 'plays', the role of Juliet, with utter conviction. In this same 1966 production Paul Czinners' film direction is flawless, David Blair as the mocking Mercutio is the best on film, and Desmond Doyle's depiction of Tybalt's cold haughty rage, in his every stance and expression, is a wonder to behold. The entire fight scene is a major highlight of this production, putting all other versions to shame.
13 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Bolshoi at the Bolshoi March 14 2005
By Kevin - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
After watching a couple more times, I lowered my rating from 4 stars to 2.

The score is as demanding as the dancing. It must have been a cold night in Moscow because the orchestra downright stank. The Russian government should have executed the brass section. There were some really nasty and obvious mistakes that have been digitized for all posterity. Imagine a member of the brass section living this down. Cringingly horrid and almost killing the whole thing. I think the producers should have considered taping two or three performances and picking the best one.

Mercutio stole the show for me. He makes the purchase worthwhile. Effortless with beautiful flourishes. His death scene was awesome: (c'mon Romeo, I'm fine, mixed in with pain/anguish and somberness, Then he finally kicks the bucket). It looks like it required more technique that Tybalt's stomping and rolling around. Tybalt seemed overplayed to me. IMO he was portrayed as a really hot headed fellow who needed to sort out his attitude. Yes, its Tybalt but its overdone in this performance.

Again, the orchestra stank. This I cannot overemphasize. Please don't be practicing and tuning before the conductor calls you to order, which required pretty loud baton banging. The audience was also distracting. Please let the audience know the performance is being recorded. One or two fellows stood out with their obnoxious sounding bravos.

Video and sound quality leave lots to be desired but I guess this is an old performance.
11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
A solid production Feb. 6 2000
By "moskvich" - Published on Amazon.com
Format: VHS Tape
Bessmertova and Lavrovskiy seem to be a bit older then most people would prefer, but their intriguing concept of their roles keep the viewer watch this production again and again. The smaller roles are, as allways in the Bolshoi, wonderfull. The choreography of Grigorovich is outstanding - he is giving the men as much (or even more) great moments then te women. The set design buy Williams (famous for productions of Ivan Susanin, Eugene Onegin and the Swan Lake) is very romantic, but he does not go as low as most western set designers who prefer to fill the stage with flowers and animals. The late Alghis Zhuraitis is conducting with a clear conception of the score
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
tremendous DVD, unless you want to watch actual dance Sept. 28 2014
By J. W. Hickey - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Mauro Bigonzetti has staged a dance program distantly (he would term it "abstractly") alluding to Prokofiev's brilliant ballet. Physically appealing young people stomp, writhe, and frozenly pose while garbed in unlabeled Speedos, in what might be fun to observe in a live performance. But the experience is completely, completely destroyed by the juvenile strobe-manic TV direction of one Andreas Morell. As one's mind wanders during this frenetic and tedious production, one recalls that Fred Astaire had it written into his film contracts that his entire body should be visible during all dance routines; the one time this rule was broken occurred when Francis Coppola directed his final musical and ended up with Astaire's biggest musical movie flop. By all means, invest in this DVD if you are more interested in extreme close-ups of nostrils, wrists, and cuticles. If, on the other hand, you prefer dance programs (or, for that matter, aesthetic soft porn) that features a preponderance of whole bodies creating forms and suggesting interpersonal sparks, Mr. Morell's egocentric fatuousness will spit in your face for an hour and forty minutes. As for the Bifonzetti production itself, it's always nice to hear Prokofiev's score (even in this butchering of the suites), but the self-celebratory artiness of this (the word "deconstruction" captures its the reek of pretentiousness here) does not support the claim in the accompanying booklet that the choreographer COULD have presented a "traditional" version of the narrative ... which, by the way, is what most purchasers of the DVD might have sought. Again, one is reminded of Zeffirelli's post-R&J SHREW that so distrusted audience tolerance for the Bard that he substituted grunts and heavy breathing for the verse, and reminded of Dietrich's famous solo in DESTRY. In every respect except for the physical beauty of the splice-n-diced dancers, this product is a cheat, a thorough disappointment, and a bore.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Modern Dance of Romeo und Juliet motif done well Jan. 22 2013
By gt surber - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This an Italian interpretation, danced in Germany, of the classic star crossed lovers motif. The music is a "musical montage" based on Sergei Prokokofiev "Romeo and Juliet." The details of the familiar Shakespeare are not here. Right up front the notes indicate that even the entire Prokofiev ballet score is not here. But, that said, the 101 minutes are outstanding, well presented dance with 9 couples dancing the agony, distress, passion, and death of the star crossed lovers.

The dancing is strong, sensual, emotional. The set is minimalistic. The costumes are simple and brief. The music is well played,leading the dancers but not obscuring them. The Romeo and Juliet motif comes through clearly. The photography is exceptional and intimate and brings out the passions and emotions of the dancers.

This is a very body celebratory production. While no genitalia, buttocks or female breasts are uncovered, the rest of all 9 male and 9 female bodies are photographically explored extremely close up. This is an European production so there is not the American body phobia. Also, every mole, black head and skin blemish is right up front and exposed. Many of the men proudly bear chest and abdominal hair. All the dancers sweat and breath heavy. There are many excellent closeup of faces. Many shots are of dance technic showing a limb moving slowly. I liked the style of the photography, but do understand that many would be put off by such body celebration. Actually the intimate photography adds to the beauty, intimacy and emotions of the production, displaying the male and female human forms in motion as art. This is definitively not homoerotic.

I just wish the producers of the dvd had put English subtitles on the introduction as well as the bonus interview. It is spoken in Italian with German over dubbed.


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