DVD Review: The Nutcracker (ABT/Barishnikov)

the nutcracker with barishnikov and kirklandby Catherine L. Tully

This is one for the home library. There’s nothing quite like seeing this particular Nutcracker performance–after all–it’s Mikhail Baryshnikov and Gelsey Kirkland, along with ABT members, dancing one of the most famous ballets of all time. The Blu-ray quality and remastering make it a much better viewing than it would be otherwise, given the fact that this was way back in the late 70’s.

Sets are a bit dated and the film quality isn’t perfect, but this is a real treasure anyway. The choreography is lovely and the dancing sublime. I had seen this version when it first came on TV and remember thinking how absolutely delicate Kirkland was as the Sugar Plum, and Barishnikov is always impressive.

I hadn’t seen this version since then, and it was really interesting to see how much choreography has changed over the years. The execution here is clean and sure, and while the lifts and solos may not be as technically complex as most modern-day versions, it’s still a joy to watch.

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Catherine L. Tully is the owner/editor at 4dancers.org. To learn more about Catherine and the other contributors at 4dancers, see the "Contributor" tab at the top of the page. To reach Catherine, send an e-mail to info (at) 4dancers (dot) org

3 Comments Leave yours

  1. This snow scene pas is my all time favorite. In fact, it’s the reason I auditioned for a ballt co. I wanted to do that!

  2. Watching this DVD is definitely one of my favorite Christmas traditions. I had a VHS recording of it growing up and I must have watched it a billion times. The final pas (which is actually a pas de trois with Drosselmeyer) is one of my favorite pieces of all time!!

    Yep, I think it’s time to pull it out again this year. :)

  3. Thanks for the comment Molly – I just checked out your blog–it’s great! :) Enjoy the holidays!

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