World's Young Ballet: Mikhail Baryshnikov
This fascinating look at world of international ballet competitions features a young Mikhail Baryshnikov competing - and winning - in Moscow in 1969. The Moscow International Competition of Ballet Artists at the Bolshoi Theater attracts young dancers from around the world to compete for gold and silver medals, much like the Olympics. In this acclaimed film of the 1969 Competition, Baryshnikov performs an excerpt from La Bayadere and a solo from an original ballet by Leonid Jakobson entitled Vestris. Also featured in this historic documentary is a young Ludmila Semenyaka performing a scene from Act III of Giselle, as well as a modern jazz dance piece entitled We.
There is also a rare and remarkable film clip of the legendary Anna Pavlova in performance, the first such film ever to be seen on DVD. Judges for the Competition were in a veritable "who's who" of other Russian dance stars, including Galina Ulanova, Maya Plisetskaya and Yuri Grigorovich. Also on the jury were Soviet composer Adam Khachaturian and dancers Agnes DeMille and Alicia Alsonso.
Highlights of the film include excerpts from Swan Lake, War And Peace, Spartacus and Le Corsaire. For a look at Baryshnikov at the beginning of his glorious career and at the heartbreak and joy of young dancers trying to make their mark, this behind-the-scenes program is a must have for every dance lovers DVD collection