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Needing advise to buy "La Bayadere" DVD

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rumor has it that nureyev was on the 'trail' of getting the last act's music for his POB staging but ill health prevented him for following-through on his plans.

Actually in "Dancer's Dream," it says that Nureyev considered reconstructing the last act, but ultimately chose the "gentler" ending of having Solor and Nikya reunited in the dream. In this sense Nureyev's version is almost identical to the Kirov version (except in the Scarf duet, Solor pirouettes along with Nikya. But really, that's it.) So it seems as if ending the ballet after the Shades act was an artistic choice.

And hasn't the Kirov dropped the "new-old" Bayadere? The "new-old" Sleeping Beauty has remained in the repertoire but I haven't heard reports of the "new-old" Bayadere being staged in years.

Yes, that is on "Dancer's Dream," but that isn't necessarily definitive. Other people, in interviews, are more in line with what rg posted above. (There are several contradictory statements about other things by artists interviewed on Dancer's Dream, which happens when you talk to artists :tiphat: )

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I haven't seen the "Dancer's Dream" Bayadere, but I own the Raymonda and have seen another (Sleeping Beauty, I think.) The Raymonda is precious to me because of the dance footage, but these films remind me a bit of "The Making of [Harry Potter]" that HBO or studios create to sell the movies. They're a bit softballin my opinion, and I usually fast-forward to the dancing and ignore the interviews and talky footage. They're official, and occasionally piquantly dishy, but I don't find them terribly illuminating, unlike the interviews in the documentary in the POB Jewels DVD or the charm of Delouche's films that lovingly depict their subjects.

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The Komleva 1977 Kirov La Bayadere, that is currently unavailable on VHS

is scheduled to be released on DVD for sale January 29th, 2008 from

Kultur International Films, please check our website www.kultur.com

it will be posted there for pre-order the end of December.

Thanks

Andrea

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Thank you, Andrea!

I hope you will come back and let us know when Kultur is about to release other back and new ballet properties. We have a forum focused on miscellaneous video topics.

And a warm welcome to BalletTalk. :shake:

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Sad to say that there's still no release of the reconstructed ballet.

However adding another vote to the 1977 Kirov performance didn't they use the same scenery as the 1900 production (the reconstructed one) for this production for the first acts--but not the Shades? (Wikipedia says so but they coul dbe wrong) which would add another partial element of authenticity. (to make things more confusing apparantly recently the Marrinsky has taken to performing the 1940s version again--but using all the desings, or so I've read, of the 1900 reconstruction...)

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yes, it seems the Ponomarev/Chabukiani etc. production of BAYADERKA from the '40s used the scheme of the 1900 scenery for it's scenes outside the temple, in the palace and on the palace terrace. the Shades scene of that prod. did not reflect what the new/old Bayadere by Vikharev brought back.

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In an odd turn around the current Bolshoi version--that Grigorovich did in 1991--uses scenery based on the original 1877 designs, not the 1900 ones.

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interesting detail about the 1877-link in Grigorovich's BAYADERKA.

is this noted in one of the slender monographs Grigorovich authored for Planta(?) press? or some other source?

i hadn' realized the scheme for the 1877 production was still well documented in Russia, which is why i assumed the mid-and late-19th Soviet productions went to the 1900 sources. Though i suppose Grigorovich's Bolshoi production aimed to have a different 'profile' from that then in Leningrad.

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interesting detail about the 1877-link in Grigorovich's BAYADERKA.

is this noted in one of the slender monographs Grigorovich authored for Planta(?) press? or some other source?

i hadn' realized the scheme for the 1877 production was still well documented in Russia, which is why i assumed the mid-and late-19th Soviet productions went to the 1900 sources. Though i suppose Grigorovich's Bolshoi production aimed to have a different 'profile' from that then in Leningrad.

Grigorovich joined the Kirov in 1946 when its current Bayaderka production was in the Ponomaryev 1941 staging after Petipa with additions by Chabukiani. It was in this production that Grigorovich had appeared in the corps de ballet when in 1948 Nikolai Zubkovsky introduced the Golden Slave variation, a role that he would himself essay later in his career.

The Bolshoi definitely had a, “... different profile"... to the Kirov and some might say at times, their productions of the same ballets were at two performing extremes.

The Bolshoi performing tradition of Bayaderka dated back to 1904, when it was staged by Alexander Gorsky with the Maryinsky designs. One cannot help but wonder if Gorsky who had helped to develop Stepanov's notation, staged the production from memory, notes or his own notation his talent for which, may have played a role in his abrupt transference from the Maryinsky Theatre in 1900 where having been nominated to become a premier danseur, was eight days later suddenly appointed regisseur at the Bolshoi.

Vassili Geltzer restaged the ballet at this theatre in 1907 and it was again revised in a new production in 1917 with Balashova and Mordkin. In 1923 the ballet was again re-staged at the Bolshoi in a Soviet version with Gorsky responsible for Acts 1-3 with Vassili Tikhomirov responsible for a new Act 4.

As far as I can discover, prior to Grigorovich’s 1991 production, the last production had been staged in 1940 by Ivan Smoltsov and Valentina Kudryatseva for Marina Semyonova who is still alive and perhaps the last person to dance Nikiya at the Bolshoi before Nadezhda Gracheva’s debut on November 17, 1991, a gap of more than 40 years.

Finally, my vote is for Gabriella Komleva a wonderfully musically sensitive and expressive dance actress.

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thanks for all the above.

i meant to note in my reply that my remarks were addressed specifically to the designs that were part of Grigorovich's '91 prod. which are said in a previous post to differ from those of the Kirov traditions by looking not to the 1900 design scheme but to the original, 1877 designs.

i wondered where this reference to '77 comes from. is it noted somewhere in the histories of Moscow's connection to BAYADERKA? if so, where?

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I admit I've never seen the Bolshoi's production (is it on DVD? I'm curious to now). I also have extremely mixed feelings about Grigorovich's restagings of the classics--I think he always put a lot of thought behind them and they're handsome productions but sometimes his decisions of change were really misguided, still I think I enjoy them a lot more than other Western ballet fans I've spoken to. The cynic in me thinks that with Simon Virsaladze passed away he simply didn't know any othe rmodern designer to use so had to resort to the originals ;)

Anyway this is what I do know:

From the Bolshoi's official website:

Libretto by Marius Petipa and Sergei Khudekov

Choreography: Marius Petipa

New scenic version: Yuri Grigorovich

Scenes from productions by Vakhtang Chabukiani, Nikolai Zubkovsky, Konstantin Sergeyev used

Sets and costumes after sketches by designers of the first production (1877) revived by Valery Firsov,

Nikolai Sharonov (sets) and Nikolai Sviridchikov (costumes)

Supervisor of scenery and costumes revival: Valery Levental

Premiered on November 25, 1991.

Presented with two intervals.

Running time: 3 hours 30 minutes.

So I'm not sure how faithful the designs are--probably less so than the Marrinsky's are to the 1900 production, this sounds a bit more like "inspired by".

I assume why the Marrinsky's 40s production used most of the sets from the 1900 revival simply because they were still in decent shape and were the last sets they had--and kept with them. But that's just a guess--of course the reason they were used for the reconstruction was the 1900 production, as you know, was the one that was notated.

Leonid thanks for your detailed information! You may want to update the Wikipedia Bayaderer page where they wrongly seem to think the last time the Bolshoi did Bayadere was 1917 until the Grigorovich production.

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Grigorovich's Bolshoi staging of LA BAYADERE was released on videocassette here in the US by Kultur - see NYPL listing below - i don' t think the tape was re-released on DVD but i could be mistaken.

Gamzatti in this production is, if i've got this correctly, Maria Bylova.

the credits below are those from the cassette, which aren't very detailed.

La bayadère / presented by the Bolshoi Ballet ; choreography by Yuri Grigorovich ; music by Ludwig Minkus.

West Long Branch, N.J. : Kultur, [1991?] (140 min.) : sd., col.

Timing given as 146 min. on wrapper.

Danced by the Bolshoi Ballet.

Nadia Gracheva [Nadezhda Grachova?] (Nikia), Aleksandr Vetrov (Solor), and others.

Videotaped in performance.

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Oh I hope it'll be transfered to DVD--if only so I can see these designs, but I'll keep my eyes open for the video. Have you seen it? What did you think?

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the video is very dark, stage-light was probably not adjusted for the filming.

in the Shades scene, it's more or less impossible to make out any details.

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Shame, although that seems to be a problem with a lot of Bolshoi ballets on film particularly those Grigorovich stagings...

(Even more disappointing is going through old threads on here and readying that around 2004 they said that filmings of the reconstructed Kirov Sleepign Beauty and Bayaderer were very likely to happen "very soon" :wub: )

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given the news from the current director of the Maryinsky ballet co. (Y. Fateev) that these productions will no longer be performed, it would seem these new/old stagings will not only not be filmed, they will not be presented and thus may not last (and wait) for a new director, etc.

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I admit I've never seen the Bolshoi's production (is it on DVD? I'm curious to now). I also have extremely mixed feelings about Grigorovich's restagings of the classics--I think he always put a lot of thought behind them and they're handsome productions but sometimes his decisions of change were really misguided, still I think I enjoy them a lot more than other Western ballet fans I've spoken to. The cynic in me thinks that with Simon Virsaladze passed away he simply didn't know any othe rmodern designer to use so had to resort to the originals ;)

Anyway this is what I do know:

From the Bolshoi's official website:

Libretto by Marius Petipa and Sergei Khudekov

Choreography: Marius Petipa

New scenic version: Yuri Grigorovich

Scenes from productions by Vakhtang Chabukiani, Nikolai Zubkovsky, Konstantin Sergeyev used

Sets and costumes after sketches by designers of the first production (1877) revived by Valery Firsov,

Nikolai Sharonov (sets) and Nikolai Sviridchikov (costumes)

Supervisor of scenery and costumes revival: Valery Levental

Premiered on November 25, 1991.

Presented with two intervals.

Running time: 3 hours 30 minutes.

So I'm not sure how faithful the designs are--probably less so than the Marrinsky's are to the 1900 production, this sounds a bit more like "inspired by".

I assume why the Marrinsky's 40s production used most of the sets from the 1900 revival simply because they were still in decent shape and were the last sets they had--and kept with them. But that's just a guess--of course the reason they were used for the reconstruction was the 1900 production, as you know, was the one that was notated.

Leonid thanks for your detailed information! You may want to update the Wikipedia Bayaderer page where they wrongly seem to think the last time the Bolshoi did Bayadere was 1917 until the Grigorovich production.

As leonid pointed out, it's indeed erroneous to think that there was no La Bayadère at the Bolshoi after 1917, but also typical for the tendency in historical surveys of this theatre to let everything begin again with Yuri Grigorovich and act as if nothing much happened between Gorsky and him - one might call this period the Bolshoi "Dark Ages". (Something that former AD Alexei Ratmansky always tried to reset, precisely by paying attention to ballets that were staged in those Dark Ages.) The 1923 production was performed no less than 126 times until 1936. The WW II revival was performed by Marina Semyonova and Sofia Golovkina. Only afterwards the full-length ballet disappeared from the Bolshoi rep and just the Kingdom of the Shades Act was kept until Grigorovich revived the whole ballet in 1991.

No chance the new/old Mariinsky productions will be filmed. They didn't bother with them when they were new and in, they're not going to now.

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I've noticed that about the Bolshoi--there's definetly an era there where, particularly for revivals of the classics, you can find out next to nothing.

I really think it's one of the most depressing thoughts I can think of re the current state of ballet that these works probably won't be performed again and even more likely won't be filmed. Sigh. It's times liek these I wish I was a wealthy billionaire who could finance something :wub:

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Excuse my reply to myself but one thing--if Grigorovich did indeed base his designs on the 1877 production, I wonder if he did for the Shades too. Wikipedia (never too dependable I admit) says this about the original 1877 Shades design compared to the 1900 revival:

"Among Petipa's most striking changes for this revival was the change of setting for the scene The Kingdom of the Shades from an enchanted castle in the sky on a fully lighted stage, to a dark rocky landscape at the peaks of the Himalayas."

I suspect Grigorovich followed the more familiar later staging...

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Nureyev's Paris Opera Ballet production of LA BAYADERE somewhat keeps to the pre-1900 scheme, w/ the Shades sc. set in a place more open and more fully lighted rather than moonlit and rocky.

credits as follows:

Bayadère : Three-act ballet. Chor: Rudolf Nureyev after Marius Petipa; mus: Ludwig Minkus, revised & orchestrated by John Lanchbery; scen: Ezio Frigerio; cos: Franca Squarciapino; lighting: Vinicio Cheli. First perf: Paris, Opéra Garnier, Oct. 8, 1992; Paris Opéra Ballet.

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So far, the POB is best in my opinion, though it's been a long time. the orchestra performance foremost, was incomparable. Then cast, Hilaire's charisma, unparalleled, and Guerin had the beauty and technique that inspires. both were very musical. The costume and the setting the stage i haven't seen any that will rival. I recently saw Bolshoi version with Lantratov and Zakharova. I din't pay much attention to the setting but whatever Grigorovich touches loses the classical beauty of the grand classical. I certainly noticed choreographic differences that are not appealing. There was added scene for Gamzatti, which I didn't find necessary. I haven't watched Mariinsky on dvd, only pieces. I believe it was Victoria Tereshkina & Vladimir Shklyarov on dvd however, with all respect, Tereshkina is not attractive, and has an old and aggressive look on her face. She has nothing in common with Nikiya. I think she could be a good cast as Gamzatti. Shklyarov is a very good dancer, but I've seen better Solor at Mariinsky. Normally I won't pay to see a non Russian ballerina in main role, but I will check out ABT's this summer with Cory Stearn as Solor, and in Zakarova's production, but I have low expectation. So enjoy your POB version, which is also free in its entirety on YouTube.

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So far, the POB is best in my opinion, though it's been a long time. the orchestra performance foremost, was incomparable. Then cast, Hilaire's charisma, unparalleled, and Guerin had the beauty and technique that inspires. both were very musical. The costume and the setting the stage i haven't seen any that will rival. I recently saw Bolshoi version with Lantratov and Zakharova. I din't pay much attention to the setting but whatever Grigorovich touches loses the classical beauty of the grand classical. I certainly noticed choreographic differences that are not appealing. There was added scene for Gamzatti, which I didn't find necessary. I haven't watched Mariinsky on dvd, only pieces. I believe it was Victoria Tereshkina & Vladimir Shklyarov on dvd however, with all respect, Tereshkina is not attractive, and has an old and aggressive look on her face. She has nothing in common with Nikiya. I think she could be a good cast as Gamzatti. Shklyarov is a very good dancer, but I've seen better Solor at Mariinsky. Normally I won't pay to see a non Russian ballerina in main role, but I will check out ABT's this summer with Cory Stearn as Solor, and in Zakarova's production, but I have low expectation. So enjoy your POB version, which is also free in its entirety on YouTube.

Totally agree with you on the POB being the best La Bayadere DVD; I have that very DVD myself and it really is so wonderful! Isabelle Guerin and Laurent Hilaire are perfect as Solor and Nikiya!

Nureyev's production in general is so impressive; the costumes, the decor, the music and the choreography is wonderful too. I just wish he had included the fourth act, that's the only problem I have with his production - I know he did intend to restore the fourth act, but does anyone here know exactly why he didn't restore it in the end?

I used to have Natalia Makarova's production on DVD with Altynai Asylmuratova, Irek Mukamaedov and Darcey Bussell in the lead roles - great all-star cast!! I have also seen the more recent Royal Ballet recording with Tamara Rojo, Carlos Acosta and Marianela Nunez - again, another great all-star cast, but unfortunately, Makarova's version is not what it should be. It's such a cookie-cutter of a production, but I do applaud Makarova for putting in the final act. But I really hate what she and John Lanchberry did to Minkus's wonderful music!!

I haven't seen that Mariinsky performance, but I really don't want to. I totally agree with you on Viktoria Tereshkina; she is NOT a Nikiya, she's a Gamzatti! And poor Vladimir Shklyarov! He's one of my favourite dancers, but every time I hear he'll be partnering Tereshkina, I feel really sorry for him; she's probably one of the worst ballerinas for him to partner! It's so unfortunate because he's a great dancer and he's also a really good actor, but every time he dances with Tereshkina, his acting abilities never really show, simply because she never gives him reason to emotionally connect with her. In terms of technique, he does his best to strongly partner her, but I'm not so sure it works because she's such a hard technician. I think it's fair to say that if Shklyarov ever got the chance to dance La Bayadere with his wife, Maria Shirinkina, we'd probably see a huge difference.

I think the only La Bayadere DVD that could outshine the POB would be if someone restaged the reconstruction with the notated choreography restored 100% and filmed it for DVD. But of course, we would need some excellent dancers who are also good actors. smile.png

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Amy, I found this: (quote: "he could not create the fourth act (for technical reasons, but also because of his failing health) after Petipa (the temple collapsing, the anger of the gods following la Bayadère’s death) because Minkus’ original music and the choreography had been lost since 1919, Rudolf Nureyev ended his ballet with the « Shades » act ")

from the page: http://www.nureyev.org/rudolf-nureyev-choreographies/rudolf-nureyev-la-bayadere-petipa

Perhaps that sort of explains why Nureyev never did the fourth act in his version for POB.

At any rate, I am now going to try to find a DVD of that version. :)

-d-

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if mem. serves, Nureyev's plan to locate and make use of the last act of Minkus's LA BAYADERE, which he intended to stage, went unrealized due to his ill health, but it has been suggested that his aim when preparing his POB production of BAYADERE was to include the final, temple destruction scene.

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I think there was a documentary about Nureyev's Bayadere and he mistakenly photocopied the score wrong or something in a rush and so he thought he had found the final act and copied it but hadn't. He got back to Paris and realized he did not actually copy the last act. Maybe I am wrong about this, but I remember seeing something that said that.

As for Tereshkina, I hear she is a very nice ballerina to partner because she is not diva-like at all. I do agree that her looks are great for Gamzatti, but I saw her as Nikiya and she was very decent. Not earth-shattering, but no slouch either. In my opinion, she is not always spot on in her acting, but she is always very committed and trying very hard to create drama. She doesn't always achieve the best results but you admire that she is committed and working as hard as she can, and when she hits the nail on the head it is very good. I never feel like she is ever phoning a performance in. Her hard work makes me root for her.

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