Universal Ballet's "La Bayadere"
Posted 14 June 2001 - 09:25 AM
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.)
Posted 14 June 2001 - 09:57 AM
Posted 14 June 2001 - 10:41 AM
Posted 14 June 2001 - 11:18 AM
Posted 14 June 2001 - 06:19 PM
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