Notes & Reviews:
During his time as Artistic Director Nureyev created a number of magnificent choreographies for the ballet ensemble at the Paris Opera. One of his last ballet productions, which was performed only a few months before he had to relinquish his position as director, was 'Sleeping Beauty', which he choreographed in the style of Marius Petipa. The fairy tale of the beautiful Princess Aurora, who falls into a deep sleep after the wicked fairy Carabosse has put a curse on her, from which she was awakened only a hundred years later by Prince Desire's kiss, became a masterwork of the classical ballet and one of the most popular works of ballet literature. 'Sleeping Beauty' was the brilliant result of the co-operation between the French choreographer Marius Petipa (1818-1910) and the Russian composer Peter I. Tchaikovsky (1840- 1893). The theatre director Ivan Wsewoloschki suggested this ballet, which had its premiere in the Marinsky Theatre in St Petersburg in 1890. Not without reason is 'Sleeping Beauty' the highlight and opus magnus of Petipa's work.
Fanfare - Joel Kasow
In its continuing hagiography of Rudolf Nureyev, Arthaus has now reissued a 1999 DVD devoted to Tchaikovsky's Sleeping Beauty. Narrated by Elisabeth Platel, we are given background to the work, some scenes at the Mariinsky, and commentary by Ninel Kurgapkina, before moving on to rehearsals at the Paris Opera under the direction of Patricia Ruanne as she revived the ballet for a new production at the OpTra Bastille. Once again we have the seamless interweaving of rehearsal and performance, the mild reprimands of Ruanne to the corps de ballet who are continually chattering, the intense physicality of rehearsal that is masked in performance. Elisabeth Platel is more than up to the demands of Aurora, and she explains the way the choreography evolves to show the Princess coming to maturity, which she then illustrates with her dancing. Manuel Legris is the perfect partner, showing off the intricacies of Nureyev's choreography for the Prince's melancholy solo. I would once again take exception to the subtitle of this series, The Great Ballets of Rudolf Nureyev; it is only in the accompanying material that Petipa's work is mentioned, which is more than can be said of the (anonymous) dancers who perform as Bluebird and Princess Florine. Once again, this is a DVD of moderate interest, though more instruction can be had by watching some of the performances available elsewhere: Irina Kolpakova with the Kirov, Sofiane Sylve with the Dutch National Ballet, or AurTlie Dupont with the Paris Opera Ballet.
Run Time: 89 min.
Picture Format: NTSC, 16:9, Color
Sound Format(s): LPCM Stereo,
Subtitles: English, German, Spanish, Italian, Chinese
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Works DetailsTchaikovsky, Peter Ilyich : Sleeping Beauty Suite, Op. 66a
- Performers: Elisabeth Platel (Dancer); Manuel Legris (Dancer)
- Conductor: Vello Pahn
- Ensemble: Paris National Opera Orchestra
- Period Time: Romantic
- Form: Ballet
- Written: 1888-1889