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Ivan the Terrible [Import]

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product Details

  • Actors: Nicolas Le Riche, Riche, Paquette, Abbagnato, Vello Pahn
  • Format: Classical, Color, DVD-Video, Widescreen, NTSC, Import
  • Language: Castilian
  • Subtitles: French, English, German
  • Region: All RegionsAll Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: NR
  • Studio: Tdk DVD Video
  • Release Date: Oct. 18 2005
  • Run Time: 114 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
  • ASIN: B000B6N6EA
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First produced for The Paris National Opera in 1976 by choregrapher Yuri Grigorovich
and co-choregrapher's Natalya Bessmertnova (his wife and the Bolshoi's original Anastasia)
and Valery Ryjov have created a briliant masterpiece.

Sergei Prokofiev's very powerful and moving score,also used in the Eisenstein's epic film
parts 1&2 of "Ivan the Terrible" is masterfully conducted by Maestro Vello Pahn who brings
out the very best of the Paris Orchestra.

The sets and costumes are realy outstanding. Those of the Boyars(Russian noblemen)and the
Oprichniki (Ivan's secret police)are quite splendedly done by Simon Vrsaladze,as are all
the amazing costumes.

Nicolas Le Riche "Etoile"(star)dancer is phenomenal as Czar Ivan 1V.His interpretation from
the tender loving Ivan, to his decent into madness and paranoia are totaly briliant.
The scene when he is mocking his enemies and commiting acts of extream cruelty,all done
behind the mask of a court jester have a most frightening effect.

Le Riche's vibrant energy along with his remarkable " jetes" strenght and interpretation
make for a formidible Ivan The Terrible.

Beautiful Italian dancer Eleonora Abbagnato's "Anastasia" Ivan 1V first wife, is magnificently
interpreted with great tenderness and expression.She and Le Riche are spellbinding in the
sceans they have together especialey at the tomb of Anastasia.

"Kurbsky" leader of the Boyars is danced by Karl Paquette an other excellent French (now
Etoile) dancer of the Paris Opera.

Last but NOT least are the corps de ballet who are realy amazing. For many years the
Russian dancers were considered to be the very best.
Read more ›
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x9f1096f0) out of 5 stars 6 reviews
27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9e6537b0) out of 5 stars Prokofiev's 'Ivan the Terrible': Film Music as a Ballet Nov. 16 2005
By J Scott Morrison - Published on Amazon.com
Sergei Eisenstein's grand unfinished 1940s-50s film trilogy 'Ivan the Terrible' had elaborate incidental music by Sergei Prokofiev. In 1975 Yuri Grigorovich, for thirty years the chief choreographer of Moscow's Bolshoi Ballet, made a ballet on the same subject and used a conflation of Prokofiev's music from the film. It was quickly taken up by ballet companies the world over. This DVD is a film of a performance recorded live at the Opéra National de Paris in December 2003 and featuring three premier dancers of that company in the solo roles of Ivan, Anastasia and Kurbsky. The stage is filled at times with as many as eighty dancers as boyars, oprichniks (Ivan's personal police, assassins actually), maidens from whom Ivan picks his bride, and 'the Russian people.'

The character of Tsar Ivan, who was born in 1530, is a complicated one. On the one hand, he is considered a hero of sorts by Russians because he brought the disparate parts of Russia under one rule and virtually formed the nation. But his name is also synonymous with cruelty and paranoia. In the ballet Grigorovich tries to present both sides of Ivan, and in particular makes the point that Ivan was driven to his vicious behavior by the murder of his bride by boyars who hoped to take advantage of his ill-health (from which, in the ballet, he miraculously recovers in order to wreak havoc on his enemies). Consequently, in this narrative ballet, we have scenes of surpassing tenderness between Ivan and Anastasia, and others of a warlike nature.

The lovely Eleonora Abbagnata dances Anastasia with grace and gentleness. Both her solo scenes (as in 'Anastasia deep in thought') and her pas de deux with Ivan (as in 'Meeting between Ivan and Anastasia' and the dream scene which is a pas de deux between Ivan and the ghost of Anastasia) are sublime. Karl Paquette as Kurbsky, who is Ivan's early rival for Anastasia, but later his friend, has a bravura role which he dances brilliantly. But best of all is the electrifying Nicolas Le Riche as Ivan. A tall, handsome man, he is a fine actor who portrays Ivan's many emotions tellingly, and an even finer dancer in both his solos (e.g., 'Ivan's happiness' and 'Ivan mourns for Anastasia') and the aforementioned pas de deux with Anastasia. The corps de ballets, and particularly the men, are excellent. One could quibble a bit about Grigorovich's choreography which can seem trite and even laughably gauche at times. Grigorovich is no Balanchine.

Costumes are lavish and lovely. Scenery is rather plain but quite effective. The orchestra of the Paris Opéra is conducted rather routinely in Prokofiev's often brutal score by Vallo Pähn. (If you're primarily interested in the music qua music, get Fedoseyev's riveting account on Nimbus.) Still, the overall impression is engaging and certainly the narrative carries one forward breathlessly to the end.

Scott Morrison
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9eadabf0) out of 5 stars A marvellous production of a spectacular ballet July 7 2012
By I. Giles - Published on Amazon.com
This ballet is a good example of recycled music used to a totally worthwhile end. Initially a large amount of this music was used in the Fiery Angel opera and later surfaced in the 3rd symphony, a symphony I have always liked - not least for its unusual sound world. All became clear when I saw the opera years later and realised that the symphony was really recycled opera music based on rather a strange tale. Prokofiev also made use of the same material for the Ivan the Terrible film (did this precede or succeed the Fiery Angel?) and now we came across a ballet drawing yet again upon much of the same material.

This performance of the ballet, which was created by Grigorovich in 1975, was recorded in 2003 and features the Paris Opera ballet. It is totally engrossing and is a spectacular production featuring over 80 dancers. Grigorovich, as a choreographer, is well able to handle such epic productions as his Spartacus ballet has also shown.

The ballet charts the unsettled period of history between the point where Ivan is crowned Tsar and the point where he finally crushes the Boyars and from then rules Russia with an iron hand and considerable personal instability - the beginning of Ivan the Terrible. This period crucially features the marriage of Anastasia to Ivan and her poisoning by the Boyars and the repercussions upon them.

Ivan is, at best, an unstable character and this is wonderfully portrayed by the, at times chilling and perfectly cast, male lead - Nicolas Le Riche. The two supporting roles of Anastasia (Eleonora Abbagnato) and the treacherous Kurbsky (Karl Paquette) are also excellently portrayed and danced. The considerable corps de ballet are also universally excellent and the whole production is completely impressive.

There is none of the lyrical music found in the other great Prokofiev ballets, Romeo and Juliet or Cinderella, as that would be inappropriate to the subject matter. Instead we get music entirely appropriate to the scenarios painted - dramatic, powerful and mysterious as appropriate. As mentioned in the opening paragraph above, you also get yet another opportunity to enjoy the music from the 3rd symphony - or was it the Fiery Angel - or perhaps the film? Great stuff, whatever order it was written in - just enjoy it!

The camera work is perfect, giving a good balance between close views for personal impact and the important panoramic views to emphasise the scale when large numbers of the corps de ballet are on stage. The sound is presented in DD 5.0, DTS 5.0 and stereo and clearly demonstrates the excellence of the Paris orchestra under the conductor, Vello Pahn.

In summary I have no doubt that this very important release is fully worthy of 5 stars and that it will be a very satisfying addition to the collections of purchasers.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9e1dfc60) out of 5 stars Non- professional review Feb. 1 2010
By C McGhee - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
If you need an experienced ballet review, move on to the next one.

I just recently started going to ballets & operas, my knowledge other that what I like is nil. I do like music, color, movement, light & shadow. This disc is great for all of these. If you are looking for a good starter ballet this & Michael Bourne's Swan Lake are in my opinion good bets.

This is classic ballet & to my eye a very good one. The male & female dancers appeared to have little if any difference in ability. That will upset the lead dancers I'm sure but I mean to compliment the whole dance troupe & all responsible for putting them together. The lead dancers do have the more difficult parts to complete & I enjoyed their abilities greatly. The skill of the supporting dancers so well enhanced the performance of & my enjoyment of this ballet I had to mention that.

I have no doubt that anyone watching this DVD experienced or not will find some of the dance to be not only beautiful but awe inspiringly athletic. Some moves are just astounding in the strength & body control needed to land without falling.

My daughter has begun ballet classes & she says that the dance is all about straight body lines & movement. I had no idea how far this could be taken or how wonderful it could be to watch.

I/m assuming I don't need to explain the story line here. The male lead playing Ivan is quick, powerful & wonderfully balanced throughout the performance. The woman dancing Anastasia's part is regal, beautiful & demure. The costuming which I consider extremely important is 1st rate. Lighting is surely 5 stars & as it affects every other aspect the most, receives my rave review. Why not 5 stars.

The masses are represented here by a group of bells being manipulated by male dancers. I loved their first appearance but by the time the ballet was over I had seen a bit too much of them. This is not a knock on the dancers, just in the time spent on stage. I (just myself) would have preferred a tiny change in choreography such as perhaps them not tied to the bells. This is a 4 1/2 star ballet with thanks to all involved for starting my education.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9eb13eb8) out of 5 stars ivan goes to paris Oct. 26 2008
By James A. Pantano - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
this is the third dvd i have purchased of ivan the terrible the other two being bolshoi performances. one being live and the other movie like. of the three my favorite remains the bolshoi live performance featuring the truly magnificent irek mukhamedov and natalya bessmertnova. mr. mukhamedov is to me, truly one of the greatest dancers of all time. the more i am exsposed to other ballets be they recorded or live performances the more i appreciate mr. mukhamedovs dancing. okay, now that i have that said my thoughts about this paris opera ballet production. the dancing is superb, not quite as intense as i would have liked but enjoyable none the less. although i enjoyed nicolas le riche as ivan (he definatly looks the part) he just did not have the maniacal intensity that i was expecting. of course if you have not seen irek mukhamedovs bolshoi performance prior to this one you might not think that. elanora abbagnato as anastasia is magnificent, beautiful and graceful as can be. karl paquettes performance as kurbski is commendable although at times it seemed as if he were smiling which doesnt seem role appropriate. the corps de ballet was excellent. another reviewer thought the recording of the performance was sub-par but i thought it was very good. i thought the lighting was very good as was the clarity of the picture and the sound. the editing was a bit lacking though, as i thought the camera angles changed a bit too quick at times. the sets were very good, almost identical to the others i have seen but slightly more detailed. same goes for the costumes. so in conclusion if youve seen the bolshoi productions and really like this particular ballet then this is a worthy addition to your collection. if youve never seen this ballet i recommend the bolshoi production featuring irek mukhamedov and natalya bessmertnova.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9eaf95e8) out of 5 stars an unforgettable Ivan Feb. 16 2009
By Jose Brito - Published on Amazon.com
Since Vasiliev and Mukhamedov ,each of them creating unforgettable Ivans,no dancer had so powerfully portrayed on stage the character of Czar Ivan IV,the Terrible .
Now the Opera National de Paris offers a formidable performance of Grigorovch's Ivan ,recorded live in 2003,Vello Pähn conducting Prokofiev's great music,composed as film score for Eisenstein's 1942-44 masterpiece. Grigorovich had choreographed it,in his vigorous style,in 1975, for the Bolshoi and his wife Natalia Bessmertnova,recently deceased, who had danced Anastasia with Mukhamedov ,helped as assistant choreographer,in this Paris production.
Nicholas Le Riche gives an impressive,electrifying Ivan ,his prodigious "jetés" memorable,his presence as an actor extremely convincing,performing with great technique this 17 year-old sombre, cruel and tormented Ivan. The world had taken notice of him in 1993,dancing Auber's Pas de Quatre with Elisabeth Platel,in Tokio,as Nina Ananiashvili's guest.Since then,as "étoile" of the BNP,he has become the epitome of the great dancer,along with Manuel Legris.On DVD,one can watch him in Balanchines'Jewels,Neumeier's Sylvia,and Albrecht in Giselle ,appeared now.
His beloved Anastasia is young and beautiful Eleonora Abbagnato who convinces with her subtle,moving dancing.
Karl Paquette,already seen in Lacotte's revised Paquita(2003) and Nureyev's Swan Lake(2006),is an intense,fiercing Kurbsky,more than deserves to become an "étoile".
This luxurious production ,beautifully filmed,is a must.