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Mme. Hermine

Bayadere premiere

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how about this?

I thought I'd treat you to a quote from today's Bayadère review in the NRC Handelsblad (more or less the paper of record in Holland).

After some remarks on the set and the awkward dresses it concludes:

"What makes this production successful [de kracht van deze voorstelling ligt in] is the dancers' high level [kwaliteit] and spontaneity. If you're looking for the pure beauty of classical dance there's a lot to enjoy in the exemplary corps and in ballerina Aysem Sunal, who gives the deceived Nikia stirring nobility, poetry and passion."

I should note the review is by Ine Rietstap (a dancer from the fifties) who cannot mention the DNB's Larissa Lezhnina without using the words "robotic smile".

Herman

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I should note the review is by Ine Rietstap (a dancer from the fifties) who cannot mention the DNB's Larissa Lezhnina without using the words "robotic smile".

LOL ! Thank you, Herman, you really made my day.

And then Sunal is described as a Nikiya full of nobility, poetry and passion.... :wink:.

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Someone else from Belgium here! I haven't gone to La Bayadere yet. Is it good enough to spend money on going? I'm a student so I don't have a lot of money to spend on ballet performances, so I can only go if it's really worth it. I would love to see it though. I saw RBF in the Nutcracker, in Ghent, and i loved it.

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Hi Marjolein,

Viviane and Marc will hopefully forgive me if I say there is only one way of finding out if the Bayadère is worth your time and money, and that's by going yourself. Who knows? Maybe you'll love it just like you did Nutcracker.

And if you do, don't forget to post.

I'm going in three weeks sharp.

Herman

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Hi, Marjolein (we're with three now! :) ). Herman is right. You need to see it with your own eyes; so try to get a ticket and tell us all about it. B)

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Marjolein, I'm joining the band :cool2:

Ofcourse you should go and see it ! For once we have a classic that's not totally ruined. Keep in mind that you have more chance in a fairly good seat and MUCH more affordable than anywhere else !

Herman, is Rietstap from another planet ? :unsure:

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Last night I was at a The Hague (home of NDT) performance of La Bayadère, and clearly Ine Rietstap's show must have been on a much kinder gentler planet than mine.

The corps was far from "exemplary". I'm not a stickler for everybody being 100% in line, but there comes a point when even my eyes can't gloss over a badly uneven ensemble. At some point I wished Solor would've handed me the opium pipe.

It must have been a very bad night. I talked to Denvers during a break, the artistic director (he and Sunal do make a gorgeous couple!), and he said six soloists were down with injuries.

Last minute changes can affect the entire company performance. Still I can't help but wonder how they got those injuries. Apart from a Solor variation or two (Howard Quintero) most of the dancing was taken in a rather unchallenging way. First I thought the legs didn't go up much because of some notion of stylistic accuracy. But gradually I got the feeling the dancers just weren't pushing themselves. They're apparently used to audiences who'll accept this anyway.

You will be pleased, Viviane, our Nikiya was Aki Saito. However I was not impressed. She was fine, in that she made no mistakes, and in the Shades act things started revving up a bit. However in the 2nd Act pointy-finger dance at the engagement ceremony Nothing Happened. So based on my memory Saito really doesn't top Sunal. I'm truly sorry to be so harsh (that's why I don't write reviews, profesionally) but in Amsterdam this risk-avoiding dancing of Saito's would not have gotten her beyond demi-soloist (Grand Sujet) rank. And even then it wasn't like we were looking at an good company with the upper half of the troupe lopped off. When you're dancing Petipa a good show starts from the corps, rather than from the top.

Just a question. Does the Flanders never ever dance with an orchestra? I mean, added to the constant touring that could be part of the problem too. Dancing to canned music is a rather dispiriting affair, because you can't go anywhere without parting from the music.

Denvers told me they'll doing a Giselle next year, hopefully they'll be in better shape then. (Though again, you'd have to wonder, if that's going to be Denvers' and Sunal's last season.)

Herman

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Herman, so sorry to read about the complete mess ! I doubt you would be more enthusiastic about Sunal in recent years. So far I haven't seen Aki Saito in much classical, but she's a welcome alternative for Sunal to me. And it's hard to believe she was dancing risk-avoiding...I have seen her in better days, that's clear.

I will try to see her somewhere in this role though to make up my own point of view and will report :)

They rarely perform with an orchestra and I agree : that's killing !

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Thanks for the review, Herman :rolleyes:. Glad that you don't blame us for having pushed you into this wonderful night out :grinning:.

Thing is, Viviane, Saito may be an agreeable soloist in smaller parts, but Nikiya is altogether a different kettle of fish. But then again, that goes a bit for the whole company when tackling these great Petipa ballets, starting with Sunal. I'm sure both would be fine in the manu dance. That said, it's a shame the corps didn't make much of an impression, because that was by far the best part of the evening I attended.

They hardly ever perform with an orchestra. Some years ago they used to dance premieres of new productions with orchestra, and at the same time recorded a tape which was used for the rest of the run. But even that doesn't seem to happen anymore. It's a shame because the few times I heard them play (the Orchestra of the Flemish Opera), it was excellent, and we have an able conductor in Koen Kessels.

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