This production of Les Sylphides is from Agrippina Vaganova's 1928 restaging under its original name. The dancers include soloists Altynai Asylmuratova and Konstantin Zaklinsky (Mazurka and Valse), Yelena Pankova (second Valse) and Anna Polikarpove (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 virtuosity 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, Dmitry Gruzdev and Yaroslav Fadayev, and Arthur Saint-Leon's Markitenka to a lively score by Cesare Pugni is a pas de six of exuberant 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. 147 mins. (1991) DVD-Region 1.
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