Maya Plisetskaya always dreamed of dancing the role of Carmen and had approached Shostokovich for a score. He demurred out of respect for Bizet’s celebrated opera. It was eventually Plisetskaya’s husband Rodion Shchedrin who agreed to provide the music after seeing some of the initial rehearsals with his wife and the choreographer Alberto Alonso. His Carmen Suite Ballet, based on Bizet, was a perfect complement to Alonso’s choreography and, in its theatricality, a showcase for Plisetskaya’s considerable dramatic gifts. Plisetskaya's Don Jose is the brilliant dramatic dancer, Nicolai Fadeyechev. Sergei Radchenko dances the role of the Bullfighter. The Carmen Suite Ballet, one of the darkest settings of Mérimée’s tragic story, deeply symbolic and overtly sensual, premiered at the Bolshoi Ballet on April 20, 1967. Bonus segments feature Plisetskaya in performances of The Dying Swan, Raymonda Variations, and Bach Prelude.
Color, 44 minutes [Bonus: 18 minutes], 4:3, All regions