_Mariinsky Label: Balanchine Jewels (Blu-ray)
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‘the Mariinsky company glitters in a satisfying triple bill which peaks in the perfect Pas de deux of the Stravinsky-inspired Rubies.’
BBC Music Magazine (UK)
The Mariinsky Ballet (formerly known as the Kirov) is probably the world’s greatest ballet company with an astonishing heritage and is home to many of the most celebrated dancers. The ballet tours regularly, as well as performing throughout the year in St Petersburg. During 2011 it visits the USA, UK, Spain, South America, Japan and South East Asia.
Before emigrating to the West, George Balanchine studied in St Petersburg and was a member of The State Academic Theatre, now known as the Mariinsky. However, Jewels dates from late in his career as a choreographer, and was premiered at the New York City Ballet in 1967. Although it did not receive its first performance at the Mariinsky until 1999, it has since become a core part of the company’s repertoire which it has performed globally.
This performance was filmed by Brian Large at the Mariinsky Theatre and features many of the Mariinsky’s most well-known dancers including Ulyana Lopatkina, Igor Zelensky and Andrian Fadeyev alongside conductor Tugan Sokhiev and the Mariinsky Orchestra. Also included is an interview with the Artistic Director of the Mariinsky Theatre, Valery Gergiev.
Regarded as the world’s first abstract ballet, Jewels consists of three acts; Emeralds, Rubies and Diamonds featuring music by Fauré, Stravinsky and Tchaikovsky respectively. There is a stark contrast in composition and style for each of the three acts, linked only by the dancers’ dazzling costumes encrusted with coloured gems corresponding to the title act.
For the opening act Emeralds, the dancers appear in long green tulle skirts. The demure choreography is reminiscent of the nineteenth-century French school in its languid and flowing appearance and is set to the music of Gabriel Fauré. The playful second act Rubies is accompanied by Stravinsky’s Capriccio for Piano and Orchestra. Full of character and wit, its striking angular poses bring to mind the modern New York scene. Diamonds evokes the classical era of Imperial Russia and the dancers, dressed in flat white tutus, sparkle along to the last four movements of Tchaikovsky’s Third Symphony.
‘the Mariinsky company glitters in a satisfying triple bill which peaks in the perfect Pas de deux of the Stravinsky-inspired Rubies’ BBC Music Magazine (UK)
'Jewels receives a terrific performance in every way, and the video and audio quality could not be bettered' ClassicalCDReview.com
'Tugan Sokhiev leads the Mariinsky orchestra in elegant readings of three quite different scores, while the orchestra demonstrates that its music-making remains on a high level even when its customary Svengali, Gergiev, is not at the helm' Fanfare (US)
George Balanchine choreographer
Valery Gergiev artistic director
Ulyana Lopatkina, Igor Zelensky, Irina Golub
Andrian Fadeyev, Zhanna Ayupova
Mariinsky Ballet & Orchestra
Duration 94 mins approx
Recorded at Mariinsky Theatre, St Petersburg
Brian Large director
A production of the Mariinsky Theatre,
In co-operation with Austrian Broadcasting Corporation, ORF
Interview with Valery Gergiev
Tommy Pearson director
Duration 7 mins
BLU-RAY MAR0516 822231851622
BD25 (ALL REGIONS)
1080i HD 16:9
STEREO dolby digital
5.1 dts hd master audio