The first video release of Khachaturian’s famous ballet, which brought the world the popular “Sabre Dance.” Composed in 1942, this 1980 production stars Larisa Tuisova and Alexander Rumyantsev and the corps de ballet and orchestra of the Latvian Opera and Ballet Company. The choreography, by Boris Eifman, scuttles the original scenario and instead focuses on the shifting relationships among Gayne, Armen and Giko. As in so much of his work, Eifman has created a series of exciting dances flavored with nationalistic flair.
Bonus segments include such rarities as a 1964 performance of the final act of Gayne as performed at a Bolshoi Theatre Gala Tribute to Khachaturian, with the composer himself conducting.
Color, 81 minutes [Bonus: Color/B&W, 47 minutes], 4:3, All regions