MinkusPugni

Entrance of the Shades

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I could never get enough of that entrance---so much so, that I made my own tape of four different company's performances---one after the other and I play it when I am looking for some serenity.....

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Mme. Hermine it is sometimes performed as first arabesque allongé (that is, with the front arm raised higher than usual) but it depends on the company. I don't have any videos with me at the moment, but when I get home I can compare the Royal Ballet, Kirov, and Bolshoi.

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It would be interesting to see how the entrance of the shades would look like if Matthew Bourne would renew it.

Would male dancers make it more amusing to watch?

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Dr. Coppelius, I definitely think "amusing" would be the word for it! :wink:

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i have seen many a company perform the SHADES scene in the past 30+ years but i have never seen any execute the sequence to include true penche-move arabesques. i find the 'penche' term applied to the shades' choreography a common misnomer in ballet lore.

similarly, the heroine in COTILLON was long said to climax the ballet w/ a series of fouette turns - t.toumanova was the role's originator. from the reconstruction staging i saw the concluding choreography includes a series grandes piroutte, but no fouette turns.

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It would be interesting to see how the entrance of the shades would look like if Matthew Bourne would renew it.

:blink: Please - don't give him any ideas! :beg:

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Especially since Makhar Vaziev would probably think it was "cool" and decide to acquire it for the Kirov...:rolleyes:

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It seems to me that MinkusPugni is very very young (in age)! Not that Im old by any sense of the word (Im 24) - I felt the same way when I was in my early to mid teens - even my late teens. As I got older I began to see the effect of it all. Anyone who changes the Entree de Shades is doing a criminal act the same as taking the balcony scene from Shakeperes Romeo and Juliet! You do not screw with with the Kingdom of the Shades!!

MinkusPugni - You shoudl watch the Bolshoi's production of Bayadere (with Vetrov, Bylova, and Gracheva on the label Kultur). Not that this production is great or anything, but the deep and wide stage of the Bolshoi (along with the very dark stage and blue lighting) allows more turns in the desent of the Shades, and makes the affect of spirits traveling toward the earth more apparent.

But hey, if you have a cool vision, perhaps one day you will stage it! After all, even Petipa himself thought change is a wonderful thing to the old works, and even though people (like me) may gripe, so what? :wallbash:

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Thanks for the half support lol. I have seen most Bayadere productions available. Certainly, live has a greater effect on me but the effect is lost after the giant repetition. A short, sharp precession leaving you wanting more is how it should be. Not overindulgence. Another idea, then seeing as you don't like the cut, is to have the same amount of music used and have lines of six (at the end... don't picture the lines yet) and have a shade come from a wing on prompt, then the next one comes from a wing on OP, then a the next downstage wing on prompt, etc. I don't like this idea as much as my other one, though. I think the general audience would appreciate the cut (though this thread is starting to change my mind!)

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I actually find the current entrance of the shades very restrained and would think that any sort of attempt to change it would be overindulgence on the part of the stager.

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I've just had the pleasure of renewing my acquaintance with the RB's Bayadere this week & yes the Shades scene is certainly mesmerizing. I love the way all the dancers enter & have their moment alongside the corps as a whole. Some dancers may find it boring to perform, but its also a challenge both personal & professional in that they must be able to execute the steps & not let the rest of their colleagues down with wobbles & mistimings. This scene, even more that Swan Lake in my opinion is a test of the quality of a companies corps & the individual abilities of the dancers contained within. Last thursday for example I can tell you the names of the 2 dancers who had wobbles in the back row compared to their colleagues!!

The whole point of the Shades scene is that its supposed to be ethereal & other-worldly & when done correctly the choreography builds up to a crescendo of beauty. The best performance I have ever seen of it was the Marinsky in their new-old Bayadere at the ROH. The choreography & dancing was superb, but the costumes were especially elegant & flattering & the scenery just hit the mark & I spent the last section of it in tears because it was so beautiful.

One mistake that a lot of companies make when staging it is simply using a plain black bckdrop & a ramp as a setting. This is missing the point of the ballet as its supposed to be set in the mountains of India & have an exotic, romantic atmosphere. It needs mountains, moonlight etc to really reach its pinnacle.

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Thanks for reviving this thread, Rebeccadb.

One mistake that a lot of companies make when staging it is simply using a plain black bckdrop & a ramp as a setting. This is missing the point of the ballet as its supposed to be set in the mountains of India & have an exotic, romantic atmosphere. It needs mountains, moonlight etc to really reach its pinnacle.

I don't think the scenic backdrop is necessary when the Shades scene is performed as a free-standing piece on a mixed bill, as it often is. A beautiful backdrop would enhance it, but I don't think it's a make-or-break element.

Of course, in the context of the full staging of Bayadere, it's quite a different matter.

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It would be interesting to see how the entrance of the shades would look like if Matthew Bourne would renew it.

Have the Trocks ever done this? They'd have a lot of fun, but would definitely find a way to remind us of the serious beauty in this passage. They love the art form that they spoof.

By the way, I just re-read this thread and want to reiterate: the entree is wonderful, but gets its significance from what happens after, when the last girl arrives at the floor of the stage, the corps rearranges itself, and everyone dances. If they just exited stage right, we would not be so mesmerised by this passage, no matter how beautifully it was done. Context (in this case, what the entree is leading up to) DOES count.

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I suspect they feel the Trocs corps isn't big enough to really make it effective....

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The Trocks & La Bayadere: the possibilities are endless.....

I've just checked the Trocks website & Bayadere is not in their rep, but I can imagine what they would be able to bring to it & this ballet is just ripe for reinvention!!

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The Trocks & La Bayadere: the possibilities are endless.....

Nikiya confronts Gamzatti. I can't begin to imagine . . . :clapping:

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And oooooh that long scarf! Isadora anyone?

(Even if the Trocs have a small corps, seeing the end 'girl' runaround to start the line again at the other side of the stage (lots of panting I'm sure) makes me smile. Yes, Rebeccadb, endless possibilities in every act for all concerned.)

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I suspect they feel the Trocs corps isn't big enough to really make it effective....

Well, the corps might at least LOOK big enough ..

-- if they made the spaces between the dancers bigger

and

-- if each dancer, after chugging across the stage, disappeared at the other side, galloped behind the scene to the original starting point, and entered a second or third time, panting and puffing, but pretending that they hadn't been on before.

Nikiya and Solor could then dance together on a stage littered with Shades in various stages of exhaustion and collapse. Like this: :sweatingbullets: ...... :foot: ............ :bow: ... :thumbsup:

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-- if each dancer, after chugging across the stage, disappeared at the other side, galloped behind the scene to the original starting point, and entered a second or third time, panting and puffing, but pretending that they hadn't been on before
The only thing missing is the little, red car.

I imagine the Trocks' Shade tutus would resemble something that would be suited to hang on a lamp. :sweatingbullets:

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I <3 Shades. :huh:

I've never seen Bayadere performed live, but watching the Nureyev production for POB on video was a life altering experience. Haha, not really, but like everyone else has said, I also find the entrance hypnotic and mesmerizing. Watching the POB corps girls coming down the ramp one by one with their lovely hyperextended knees and high insteps creating those beautiful lines was enough to convince me this must be one of the most brilliant moments ever created in ballet, regardless of the repetition.

Well said and I couldn't agree more. The video from POB with La Bayadere is also one of the reasons I really have to see this Nureyev production live (my goal is next year in Paris!). I love the entrance; the slow beautiful music and the unison movements of all the dancers; just perfect. It truly reflects the hypnotizing, hallucinating effects of the opium pipe from Solor.

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I will echo the sentiment that the Entrance of the Shades is one of the classic moments in traditional ballet. When I was just starting to take an interest in ballet performances, and wondering what was what, and who was who, I happened upon a DVD of the POB's "La Bayadere". (This was before I had seen any Balanchine ballets, and other 'modernist' choreographers.) And I thought, "the pseudo-Indian stagings are impressive - reminds me of Leon Bakst", but, it was the Shades processional that really hooked me, and then I thought, "So this is what can be done".

I do find it to be a lovely marriage of music and choreography (the only Minkus music that IS lovely to me). It strikes me as being very 'pure': similar to the kind of pure dance Balanchine often tried to achieve in his abstract ballets.

Calling the Shades processional boring is like calling the POB's Grand Défilé boring - I suppose you are either moved by this type of thing, or you are not. Although some find it necessary to explain that this dance depicts Solor's opium dream, I don't think the context particularly matters. The choreography either grabs the attention of the viewer, and transports them to a 'spiritual' place, or it doesn't, and for me it works in a big way as a standalone ensemble dance.

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Calling the Shades processional boring is like calling the POB's Grand Défilé boring - I suppose you are either moved by this type of thing, or you are not. Although some find it necessary to explain that this dance depicts Solor's opium dream, I don't think the context particularly matters. The choreography either grabs the attention of the viewer, and transports them to a 'spiritual' place, or it doesn't, and for me it works in a big way as a standalone ensemble dance.

Thanks for reviving this thread, pherank. I agree with the above (and also with Farrell Fan's absolutist stand upthread).

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Thanks for reviving this thread, pherank. I agree with the above (and also with Farrell Fan's absolutist stand upthread).

Thanks Dirac. ;)

There is of course no one way with art, or feelings. I tend to think that it is as much the viewer's job to find something, anything, worthwhile in an art piece, as it is the job of the artist to create something 'significant'. Much of the time, as viewers, we are just lazy, and wait to be entertained, but art of any depth usually requires work on the part of the viewer...

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jawdrop.gif This topic makes my jaw drop, but not in a good way!!!! LOL I had never noticed this topic thread. But everyone is entitled to his/her opinion. To me the Kingdom of the Shades is one of the loveliest moments in all of ballet. I want it to last forever!

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