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Regarded as the greatest of all the classical ballets, this spectacular production was filmed live in Russia at the Maryinsky Theater featuring the Kirov Ballet. Tchaikovsky's score, the first in his trimvirate of ballets, is the perfect compliment to this classic.
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This is a musically sensitive and superbly danced interpretation of the best-loved ballet in the Russian repertoire. Swan Lake videos come in various sizes and configurations, among which the Kirov has special claims. The ballet was not well received in its premiere production (Bolshoi, 1877); its success dates from the 1895 revival in St. Petersburg, in which the Tchaikovsky score was rearranged and a happy ending substituted for the original conclusion in which the hero and heroine die. This production is based on that revival and justifies the Kirov company's proprietary feeling about Swan Lake.
The solo dancing communicates effectively, not only Galina Mezentseva's work in the dual role of Odette/Odile, but Konstantin Zaklinsky, who is both athletic and graceful (note, for example, "Siegfried's Variation" in Chapter 20). But what makes this Swan Lake special is the precision and discipline of the Kirov corps. --Joe McLellan
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