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Entrance of the Shades


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#61 Jane Simpson

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Posted 02 December 2012 - 10:26 AM

one can't speak for Makarova, to be sure, but i wonder if in '80 when she was staging her BAYADERE for ABT, she still had unshakable views of her Kirov-heritage Shades in her mind's eye and couldn't see how to get ABT's differently (and less homogeneously) schooled female corps de ballet to approximate Kirov schooling.


Thank you, rg - from the wording ("she was obliged to modify the poses" was the exact quote) I'd thought it meant that for some reason the western dancers couldn't stand in that position for a long time, but I guess your explanation is far more likely.

#62 rg

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Posted 02 December 2012 - 11:50 AM

ah, i see the crux of your question better now, Jane.
"was obliged" - maybe my hunch isn't so much to the point after all.
maybe someone who knows Makarova will see your question and ask The Source.

#63 ascballerina

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 01:44 PM

Check out the Bolshoi's Bayadere, if you can find a copy. It has 3 levels of ramps, so when you count the shades that arrive on the stage floor at one point there are four levels of shades. It is so gorgeous. Now that I have seen that I actually want to see it that way all the time, but no other company does it that way, and I am scared the Bolshoi's new Bayadere (I think there is a new one coming out this season) will get rid of some of the ramps.


They kept the multiple ramps--all four of them, you'll be gratified to hear. The effect was ethereal.

#64 Birdsall

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 06:34 PM

Thank you for the report!

It is not playing in cinemas here until Feb. 17 and 19, and I have a conflict with both dates unfortunately!

#65 kbarber

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 07:18 PM

When I first saw them coming down the first ramp, because it is much shorter than two-ramp versions and only has room for 3 dancers before the first one has to turn the bend, I thought it looked truncated, but when all 4 ramps were full with people arabesquing and cambreing, it looked like some fancy movie special effect. Very cool!

#66 Helene

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 07:56 PM

The Makarova version (which I actually do love) only has 24 Shades, and there are different theories why she reduced the amount. The original is supposed to be 32. It is incredible when you see 32, but 24 is okay too.


According to Katerina Novikova in the Bolshoi "La Bayadere" broadcast today before Act III, there were originally 60 or 60-something -- I missed whether there was something after the "sixty" -- shadows, but that Petipa himself cut it down to 30-something.

#67 Birdsall

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 08:06 PM

Incredible! How did they fit 60 dancers on the stage? Was the arabesque in those days more upright (less forward), so less space needed? Wouldn't 60 dancers have to move at a faster pace so all of them arrive on the floor before the music ends, or maybe the music was longer and cut short only when Petipa cut half the dancers? This creates so many questions in my mind!

#68 ascballerina

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 08:35 PM

Or perhaps the whole thing was just them coming down the ramp?

#69 Helene

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 09:59 PM

Novikova said there was no scenery for the third Act back then. She also didn't mention whether Petipa cut them before the premiere, because of logistics, or after the premiere.

Do they roll the ramp offstage after the entrance? In the HD, they did a close-up on a couple of the dancers, and then suddenly the stage was full of the Shades.



#70 Birdsall

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 05:39 AM

Do they roll the ramp offstage after the entrance? In the HD, they did a close-up on a couple of the dancers, and then suddenly the stage was full of the Shades.



That sounds like a big flub by the cameramen or person in charge of editing/directing the HD......the magic of the entrance is to see them coming out one by one and I always thought it represented Solor's hallucination/dream/memory/etc. of Nikiya......

#71 Helene

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 01:15 PM

We did see that. It was only at the very end when there was a close up, and then they did that sublime scurry into lines on the mostly empty stage.

#72 doug

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 09:36 PM

Petipa used 48 women as Shades in the December 1900 production that was notated. The Shades scene was also performed at the Hermitage; I have no details about the Hermitage performance(s), but perhaps numbers were cut for that stage.

#73 Helene

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 12:40 AM

If someone posts the full transmission to YouTube, like they did for a few others, I'll post an exact quote from Novikova. (An elderly woman was having trouble getting past our end of the row in the dark when Novikova spoke, and I didn't catch everything she said.) Not that what she said was necessarily correct...

#74 ksk04

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Posted 15 March 2013 - 12:11 PM

This is hysterically awful.



#75 California

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Posted 15 March 2013 - 12:58 PM

This is hysterically awful.


This reminds me of the David Gordon piece to the Shades music in 1972 at the Judson Church. It was excerpted in a 1980 PBS special on post-modern dance. Last year he recreated some of this. Here's a NY Times story about it:

http://www.nytimes.c...oject.html?_r=0

He commented in 1980 that he loved the repetition of that music as much as ballet audiences did. He used ordinary people walking across the stage, with a "janitor" busily sweeping in the background. One of the performers was an NYCB dancer, Bart Cook.


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