Kirov Classics - Mariinsky Theatre (DVD-NTSC)

Kirov Classics - Mariinsky Theatre (DVD-NTSC)

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This production of Les Sylphides is from Agrippina Vaganova's 1928 restaging under its original name. The dancers include soloists Altynai Asylmuratova and Konstantin Zalinsky (Mazurka and Valse), Yelena Pankova (second Valse) and Anna Polikarpova (Prelude). Like many spectacular Soviet ballets, Oleg Vinogradov's Petrushka is a glorious feast of vigorous steps, danced with inexhaustible energy by a large cast.

However, it is far removed from Fokine's original Petrushka about the sad puppet who could not win the love of a heartless ballerina. Instead, this innovative ballet concerns itself with the politics of today and shows a populace intoxicated by propaganda.

Barber's Adagio, set to Samuel Barber's Adagio for Strings, is an example of Vinogradov's more lyrical choreography, and is beautifully danced by Yelena Yevteeva and Eldar Aliev. In contrast the pas de deux from Le Corsaire is a showpiece danced with dazzling virtuousity by Lyubov Kunakova and Faroukh Ruzimatov.

The Fairy Doll, staged by Nicolai and Sergei Legat in 1903, is a pantomimic divertissement, charmingly danced by Larissa Lezhnina, Dimitry Gruzdev and Yaroslav Fadayev. Arthur Saint-Leon's Markitenka, set to a lively score by Cesare Pugni, is a pas de deux of exhuberant dancing.

Originally a two-act ballet, the Pacquita we know today is essentially the ballet's glittering core, the Grand Pas, which was choreographed by Petipa in 1881. Inspired by the flamboyance of Ludwig Minkus' music, Petipa created a stylistic showpiece, flavored with a delectable Spanish air.

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