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Prokofiev;Sergei Romeo and Jul

2 customer reviews

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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: #166,184 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)
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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews

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 (beta) 11 reviews
22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
For serious students and balletomanes only June 26 2006
By kaream - Published on
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.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Three superb male leads Jan. 24 2002
By Helen - Published on
Bessmertnova as Juliet is fine although she is nearer fifty than forty in this performance. The male leads show the depth of the company at this time. Mukhamedov as Romeo oozes charisma, Aleksandr Vetrov gives the best performance of Tybalt I have ever seen, really stunning, Mikhail Sharkov as Mercutio ditto, and Aleksei Fadeyechev makes an impeccable Paris (slightly ineffectual looking, in comparison with the others - as he should be). Wow. You may not like Grigorovich's choreography as well as Lavrovsky's or MacMillan's, but the overall standard of the male leads is unsurpassed in my opinion.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Very powerful. April 26 2000
By A Customer - Published on
This version conveys the strong emotions of Shakespeare's play very well. There are no elaborate sets to distract the attention from the dancers. (The is in the spirit of the Shakespeare plays I have seen since childhood.) Tybalt is very macho as he swaggers across the stage, looking for the opportunity to fight with any of the Montagues. He caught my 11 year old son's attention and held it. No small feat considering my son's previous indifference to ballet (and girls).
I found the scene where Capulet staggers onto the stage, bearing the seemingly lifeless body of his daughter, Juliet, most memorable. He did an excellent job of conveying the generation gap between Juliet and her parents.
Ivan the Terrible from The Bolshoi at the Bolshoi series is also emotionally intense. (And somewhat easier to obtain. I'm still waiting for my copy of Romeo and Juliet.)
13 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Bolshoi at the Bolshoi March 14 2005
By Kevin - Published on
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.
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Romeo & Juliet March 18 2007
By Gilles de Rais - Published on
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Of a half-dozen Bolshoi performances from the 1980's that I've seen on DVD so far, I give this one the most points in all categories. You can't get better than Bessmertnova & Mukhamedov working as a team, with Mikhail Sharkov and Aleskandr Vetrov in large supporting roles. The chemistry across the entire cast, as well as the artistry, is superb. It also has some wonderfully inventive choreography.

I thought all the dancers acted out their roles very well (Vetrov is shamelessly hammy here, but it works), and the plot line was laid out very clearly with no wastage on the type of interminable filler scenes that you get in many other ballets. The black background allowed them to do the frequent scene changes (by suggestion) without distraction or interruption. With good colorful costumes and effective lighting, I didn't miss the scenery.

A terrific performance, and a must-have for anyone who's a fan of any of the principal dancers.