on July 1, 2004
This production by Nureyev is splendid! it is probably the best production of this ballet you will ever own! In it we are previlaged to witness two of the greatest stars of the world of ballet. Miss Elisabeth Platel in the role of Gamzatti and Miss Isabelle Guerin in the role of Nikia. Unfortunately they have both since retired from the Paris Opera, all the more reason to buy this dvd and cherish it! Miss Platel is the ultimate Gamzatti but than she is a superb ballerina of taste and refinment rarely seen. Her portrayel of Gamzatti is so elegant as befitting the daughter of a prince on the eve of her bethothal to Solor, danced by the very masculine Laurent Hilaire who was perfectly suited for the role of the warrier, that you almost forget her evil intentions towards Nykia and identify with her longing for this match to take place. She is after all inlove with Solor and will stop at nothing to secure her own happiness. Miss Platel is Dazzling! Her Port de bras is of rare quality and unmatched by anyone so far. Her upper body moves with such musicality that one is almost able to hear the music through it.
Miss Guerin is a ballerina of rare authenticity and technical prowess. She sparkles! Her entrance in the third act kingdom of the shades is marked by a pose on stage with one arm lifted and her eyes gazing towards her fingertips. This is a moment of greatness it summerises for me the essence of ballet. She is mesmerising by force of her presence without having to blink an eye! Miss Guerin need but whisper whilst other have to shout.
Mr. Hilaire is a captivating warrier. Masculine to the point of being sexy. This is well suited to the oriental theme of this ballet. His leaps are powerful and his presence forceful. His partnering both of miss Platel and of Miss Guerin is commendable.
The corps de ballet is "de grand rigueur" seldom Have I seen such perfect execution of the third act's kingdom of the shades.
The tutus in the paris opera are of perfect diameter and show off the lines of the ballerinas to the fullest. One could not expect any less from the french. Chapeau!
on December 17, 2009
Oh dear me! Are the old eyeballs playing tricks! Has someone actually rated this incredible DVD ballet at ONE star! ("Must be a hideous typo", thinks I - let's just have a look....) But NO, it's true!! - somebody HAS rated this magnificent production with ONE LOUSY STAR!!! Why? Well at least it's got something to do with numbers like 16:9 and NOTHING to do with the ballet. That's something of a relief, I guess!
Since I had no intention to review this DVD, until I gazed incredulously at it's rediculous ONE star rating, I can only echo the opinion of the other 5 star contributor, and urge anyone who might be thinking of adding this truly brethtaking production to their DVD collection, to do so. (nowhere will you see the hypnotic beauty of the "kingdom of the shades" done more hauntingly - nowhere! I have over sixty ballets on DVD and this is one of the finest in my collection - both from an artistic and technical perspective. I have a 50" plasma HDTV that knows what 16:9 is all about and this DVD doesn't dissapoint in the least. Quite the contrary!)
So do yourself a great big favor and get this fantastic ballet, recorded at the magnificent Palais Garnier in Paris - a restored version of Marius Petipa's original Maryinsky production, by Nureyev no less! You won't be sorry!
(ONE STAR!!! GIVE ME A BREAK!)