Mikhail Baryshnikov fans will be heaven watching Baryshnikov: Live at Wolf Trap. It has flaws but on the whole is very good and the best parts even outstanding. Technically, the video quality is grainy in spots but the sound is pretty good for mono. The programme looks very good with expressive lighting and colourful costumes, only the sparse sets for Le Spectre De La Rose disappointed. The music of Delibes(Coppelia), Weber(Le Spectre De La Rose), Banshchikov(Vestris) and Minkus(Don Quixote) is without fault, beautifully played and sympathetically conducted. The choreography is very elegant, of great technical skill and conveys many moods, whether witty in Vestris or charming in Coppelia. Of the four segments, Don Quixote was particularly great with the dancing and choreography utterly captivating. Vestris was a lot of fun and Coppelia has a lot of warmth and charm. Le Spectre De La Rose didn't work as well, it's still worth it for the music and Baryshnikov but a bit dreary and cold dramatically. I found also Marianna Tcherkassky a little stiff and a little lacking in poise, dramatically it was a conscientious and with charming moments but with a tendency to be too careful. Gelsey Kirkland fares far better, a bit shaky to start with and seeing her as thin as she was a bit of a shock but her lines are silky-smooth and she is remarkably poised and graceful once she warms up. It is impeccable dancing and she is very engaging as an actress with wonderful chemistry between Baryshnikov, especially in Don Quixote. Baryshnikov is the star here, he is a very expressive actor and shows very witty comedic timing in Vestris and from a dance and technique standpoint he is just superb. Just love the pirouettes, leaps and jumps, which have such power and masculinity for a diminutive man like Baryshnikov(this is in no way to be taken as an offense) while showing a good deal of ardent youthfulness. In conclusion, a very good programme, a great American television debut for Baryshnikov and a match made in heaven for fans of Baryshnikov, the main reason to see this and the best asset too. 8/10 Bethany Cox
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