Jump to content


Universal Ballet's "La Bayadere"


  • Please log in to reply
4 replies to this topic

#1 Alexandra

Alexandra

    Board Founder

  • Administrators
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 9,248 posts

Posted 14 June 2001 - 09:25 AM

When I heard people who'd seen this company say that the corps was Kirov level, I said, "Yeah, right." Well, in the Shades scene it was darned close. It's astounding what this company has accomplished in such a short time.

The rest of the ballet wasn't quite up to that, but still very good for this level company (It's about 15 years old, and it's starting in a country, Korea, with no tradition of Western classical ballet.)

The first two acts (it ends with Shades. There's no closing, temple-crashing scene, and I think this version desperately needs it) weren't up to that but I still found them fascinating. Doug, have you seen this production? It looks SO old-fashioned. Lots of processions. Lots of mime. Much more classical than Romantic -- it's the first time I've seen a Bayadere that I felt was consciously modeled on Greek tragedy. There's the conflict between Priest and King, and one small bit that I'd never noticed, a very Aristotelian way of dealing with a slave. When the servant brings in the snake basket, the leading fakir, who likes Nikya, knows what she's doing but can't stop her. He can shoo her away, but he can't take the basket. He creeps to the Brahmin and implores him to help. A very small, very touching moment.

The Gamzatti was one of the best I've seen. I'll have to fill in names later; this company was completely new to me. Both Gamzatti and Nikya looked very young. Gamzatti was proud, but a real princess, as angry at Solor's slight to her rank as to her person, not just a bitch. Her dancing was four performances short of top-of-the-line. (Somewhere between extremely promising and etoile.) Nikya was excellent in the second act dance and death scene; a bit "after Komleva" on the Kirov video, I'm guessing, but extremely moving. She wasn't the strongest Nikya in the Shades scene I've ever seen but, again, in a year or two, she may well be. The Solor....well, nothing is perfect. Stiff, both in dancing and acting, but a good partner.

This is a company building from the ground up. There are Russian names among the Koreans, but the company doesn't look like a baby Kirov. Actually, there's something about them that's closer to Paris in their restraint.

This ballet will be danced again, with different casts, over the weekend, and I doubt it's sold out, although the house was full last night (party night; tepid audience. They didn't even clap for the scenery, which is quite splendid.)

#2 doug

doug

    Bronze Circle

  • Editorial Advisor
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 324 posts

Posted 14 June 2001 - 09:57 AM

I've only read about this production. I've always found the Bolshoi production of the full-length Bayadere to be closer to what we know of the original and/or the 1900 revival. Does Vinogradov's staging copy the Kirov's? Sounds like he may have incorporated elements form the Bolshoi staging or elsewhere (the processions, etc.).

#3 Mme. Hermine

Mme. Hermine

    Emeralds Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,736 posts

Posted 14 June 2001 - 10:41 AM

doug, sorry to do it this way, but can you e-mail me privately? didn't know how else to reach you. mejapatricia@hotmail.com

#4 Alexandra

Alexandra

    Board Founder

  • Administrators
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 9,248 posts

Posted 14 June 2001 - 11:18 AM

Doug, there were some things in the first act that were unfamiliar to me (I haven't seen the Bolshoi's yet, but we're getting it next season). They certainly aren't in the Nureyev-for-Paris. The second act (betrothal-and-death act) looked very much like the Kirov. BUT, strangely, the ballet doesn't have anything of the same feel as the Kirov's did when under Vinogradov's directorship. This seems consciously old-fashioned and melodramatic (in the acting) and cooly classical (in the dancing). It's an odd mixture, but it worked for me.

#5 doug

doug

    Bronze Circle

  • Editorial Advisor
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 324 posts

Posted 14 June 2001 - 06:19 PM

Alexandra, I like how you characterize the approach and it sounds interesting to me. Wish I could see be there to see it.


0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users


Help support Ballet Alert! and Ballet Talk for Dancers year round by using this search box for your amazon.com purchases (adblockers may block display):