cubanmiamiboy

Needing advise to buy "La Bayadere" DVD

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I was wondering about "Bayadere" on DVD. My experience with the ballet in video comes basically from the only copy I own, the beautiful Nureyev staging for POB, but maybe i'm getting behind the times, so I want to update myself on this matters and get a hold on whatever is considered now the most accurate version . Any suggestions...?

Thanks...!

:tiphat:

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Why do you think the POB version is inaccurate? (I ask because it's the most accurate and complete version I know on DVD or video. Both Makarova's and the Kirov's productions are cut (and Makarova's third act is a reconstruction, and a pastiche). The last act went long ago; like the original ending to "Giselle" (when Bathilde comes back to forgive Albrecht), it didn't suit early-20th century tastes and, in Russia, dances were pulled out of that act and put into the betrothal scene. If Doug Fullington sees this he'll be able to answer much more fully than I can.

Edited by Alexandra
adding two sentences

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Why do you think the POB version is inaccurate?

:tiphat: Hi Alexandra...No, in ANY WAY (God forbidden!) do i doubt of the accuracy of the POB version, when actually that's the only one i've ever seen, and i happen to love !....I just thought that maybe, with all the new restagings and revivals and reworkings based on the Stepanov notations that has been taking place lately there was something out there that can be consider superior by the experts and that perhaps i'm not aware of. If not, i will be very happy to be still updated in terms of "Bayadere" accuracy with my old VHS of the POB... :rofl: Thank you again for your response. As an amateur, I always like to relay on the expertisse...!

:rofl:

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As opulent and traditional as the Nureyev production is - doesn't it also include a lot of Nureyev's own choreography and a few slight modifications to the choreography as well? (ie male corps dancing in Acts 1 & 2, and Gamzatti's variation being different from the ones usually danced?)

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Is there any hope for release of a Kirov New/Old Bayadere? :tiphat: Not 100% pure, as has been noted elsewhere, but it would be a valuable document for ballet lovers everywhere.

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As opulent and traditional as the Nureyev production is - doesn't it also include a lot of Nureyev's own choreography and a few slight modifications to the choreography as well? (ie male corps dancing in Acts 1 & 2, and Gamzatti's variation being different from the ones usually danced?)

I'm sure the male corps dancing is added -- but I don't know if that is by Nureyev, or from the Kirov. Kurgapina helped in the staging, if I remember correctly. I can't speak to Gamzatti's variation -- but the production (compared to Nureyev's other restagings) is .... tasteful :tiphat:

Cristian, there are at least two other versions on DVD or video that you may like. One of the Kirov dancing the work, and another, the Makarova staging for the Royal Ballet. I don't care for that version, but it does have Asylmuratova as Nikia.

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when choosing something to discuss in the BAYADERE chapter for my BALLET 101 book, i chose the soviet/kirov version w/ komleva and abdiev. hardly ideal, but filmed on the very stage where petipa worked on his last revision and w/ settings connected to 19th c. traditions.

i don't think i'd change that decision if i were asked to do a similar intro the ballet today, unless o'course a reasonable filming of vikharev new/old version were put on the market.

still, i fully understand and respect that there might be as many opinions as there are BT members weighing in here.

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I, too, would go with the Kirov/Komleva/Abdiev version. Of course, I'd say get all of them, but if you have to make a first choice, then I'd lead with that one.

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:tiphat:

Thank you all for your always wonderful expertisse advisement!...I think i'm gonna keep busy doing some "Bayadere" researching homework ...

I, too, would go with the Kirov/Komleva/Abdiev version.

I just ordered it :wink:

Of course, I'd say get all of them.

Good idea...will do. So far this is what i've found:

The Makarova staging for the RB (1992) with Altynai Asylmuratova and Irek Moukhamedov.

Another Makarova staging for the LSB with Svetlana Zakharova and Roberto Bolle.(any thoughts on this one?)

A 1996 VHS Bolshoi production with Nadia Garcheva and Alexander Vetrov.( ..?)

Your favorite 1991 Kirov production with Gabriella Komleva and Rejen Abdyev.(ordered already)

but if you have to make a first choice, then I'd lead with that one. (Komleva/Abdiev)

Well, in fact i'm gonna be comparing all of them with my own first choice, my old Nureyev's POB copy with Isabelle Guerin and Laurent Hilaire.

:thanks: all again!

:tiphat:

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Hi. I've never seen "La Bayadere" in its four acts live. :wub: In Cuba we had to wait until the late 90"s to see a staging of "The kingdom of the Shades", and it isn't still a very well known ballet and choreography. Hence, my experience with this ballet comes basically from the only copy i own, an old VHS with the beautiful Nureyev staging for POB, but maybe i'm getting behind the times, so I want to update myself on this matters and get a hold on whatever is consider by the critics the "Bayadere"most accurate choreography nowadays. IF THERE IS ANY iVERSION IN THE CURRENT MARKET THAT OVERPASS THE POB ONE, WHICH ONE SHOULD I BUY?

Mel, doug, bart?

:wink:

Did the POB version end with Nikiya and Gomez reuniting in the afterlife (the 'Hollywood' Happily Ever After ending) and was it in four acts? I saw the May 2006 ABT performance which used the Makarova production, and that exactly was how it ended. I find it a little too sugary, and would like to see another version.

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Agnes, the POB version ends with Shades. There's no Destruction of the Temple Act.

I don't think you'll findl it sugary. I prefer this version to others. I like the dancing :wink:

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I recently watched both the POB's and Royal Ballet's Shades scenes simultaneously on different screens.

For me, the differences between them -- as between POB and the Kirov, at least as far as I remember it -- have a lot to do with the cinematography and the "look" which the designers and stagers have tried to achieve.

It's not that one is better, imo, but that they seem to have been spun from quite different aesthetic sensibilities.

The POB Shades scene is truly ghostly -- blue-white silhouettes emerging from the darkness as they descend the ramp. They reveal themselevs gradually. It's stunning and seems to have come from an different century the Royal's Shade scene, which is evenly lighted throughout and more burdened with detail. The POB Shades (32) are slender, ethereal beings. The Royal Shades (only 24) have corporeal weight from the first appearance of the first Shade -- you can see their costumes in detail (even stretch marks across the bodices, how they did their makeup, etc., and -- in certain closeups -- a great deal more than you want to see.

The POB version takes place in a vast, clean, empty space, with a dark backdrop in which the tropical vegetation is only slightly visible, and pale white luminiscent floor. The Royal has drooping trees overhanging the ramp; it's clearly the Covent Garden stage, and little effort has been made to forget it.

The POB version ends with Solor supporting Nikiya in arabesque as the 32 Shades surround them in a circle, each extending one arm in homage towards the couple. It's a beautiful image, but the end seems to come too abruptly. The curtain descends. The curtain calls begin. You know that something is missing, even if you don't know the history of this and other productions.

The Royal's version -- staged by Makarova -- shifts from the Shades act to an image of Solor once again lost in his opium dream. Other characters enter, and the entire High Braham/ Gamzatti/ et al . plot resumes. After the temple destuction, out comes the smoke machine. Nikiya re-emerges to save Solor (or at least his spirit) from the cataclysm, as she ascends a stairway and Solor holds the other end of the long white scarf.

Makarova's reconstruction, it seems to me, provides an opportunity for the Royal to do a bit of melodrama and to create effects that are like a final, heroic outburst of 19th-century stagecraft. It's fun on that level, but in no way truly moving.

Both versions are danced wonderfully, although I found myself looking more closely at the purity of Laurent Hilaire and Isabelle Guerin, partly because I could see it so clearly defined in the filming.

As has been said before, these classics are vast works with long and complicated performance histories. "In my father's house are many mansions," and there's much to enjoy in each of them.

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Did the POB version end with Nikiya and Gomez reuniting in the afterlife (the 'Hollywood' Happily Ever After ending) and was it in four acts? I saw the May 2006 ABT performance which used the Makarova production, and that exactly was how it ended. I find it a little too sugary, and would like to see another version.

On the contrary, i've never seen the "lost act"...and all the reviews that i've read don't give to the Makarova's vision too much sympathy... :wub: What about the score...?...one can always make it at least music-worthy

:wink:

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there is no way to hear the long-lost last act of LA BAYADERE except in the case of the vikharev new/old kirov/maryinsky 'reconstruction' - which has neither, to the best of my knowledge been audio- or video-recorded by the company.

makarova's production employs music for her last act in the temple that was fashioned esp. for her by john lanchbery - after what i assume were unsuccessful attempts to get the original minkus music out of soviet russia. i believe the current maryinsky version w/ the last act had to be put back together by the stagers b/c some of that act's music had been moved since the mid-1920s into the ballet's other acts. 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.

so, not only is there no commercially available video of the last act, there is no audio recording of this so far either.

i think after vikharev and his fellow-stagers finally pieced the music back into its intended shape they managed to copyright the work for the maryinsky.

having seen (and heard) this version in nyc in 2002 i can say how thrilling it was to become acquainted with this final act and how frustrating it is to note that no audio or video recording has be made.

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i think after vikharev and his fellow-stagers finally pieced the music back into its intended shape they managed to copyright the work for the maryinsky.

having seen (and heard) this version in nyc in 2002 i can say how thrilling it was to become acquainted with this final act and how frustrating it is to note that no audio or video recording has be made.

Now, I am intrigued! :wink: Pray tell, what is the plot of this lost act supposed to be?

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Both versions are danced wonderfully, although I found myself looking more closely at the purity of Laurent Hilaire and Isabelle Guerin, partly because I could see it so clearly defined in the filming.

:wub: Hi bart, and thank you so much for your wonderful and detailed analysis!

Well, now that i know that i won't see any original Petipa/Minkus on the reconstructed "lost act" :( , and that my Nureyev POB version is very well liked among the experts :P , it's obvious that i will be looking up to rg's suggestion , the 1991 Kirov Komleva/Abdyev production...(it's only on VHS on Amazon, and currently unavailable). BTW bart, ever since i saw for the first time the Nureyev's POB video, i've also been enchanted by the Guerin/Hilaire duo.. :wink:

:tiphat:

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to confirm the date of the filming of the soviet/kirov BAYADERE, it's 1977 - dating of videos gets complicated b/c sometimes the distributor notes the date the title was marketed w/ its label and not necessarily when the perf/filming got done.

fyi:

La bayadère / USSR Gostelradio ; presented by Dennis M. Hedlund ; television director, Elena Macharet ; choreography by Vakhtang Chabukiani and Vladimir Ponomarev after Marius Petipa, staged by Chabukiani ; music by Ludwig Minkus.

U.S.S.R. : Gostelradio, 1977 ; W. Long Branch, N.J. : Kultur International Films. (130 min.) : sd., col.

Recorded in performance at the Kirov Theatre, Leningrad.

Scenery, Orest Allegri, Konstantin Ivanov, and Adolf Kvapp.

Performed by the Kirov Ballet.

Gabriella Komleva (Nikia), Redzhep Abdien [Rejen Abdyev] (Solor), Tat'iana Terekhova (Gamzatti), Gennadii Seliuskii (Chief Brahmin), Yuri Potemkin (The Rajah), and company.

Conductor: Victor Shirokov.

Intermission narration in Russian.

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cubanmiamiboy:

The Kirov ballet recently brought to the Met in New York city the "restored" staging of their original "Bayadere" (they did the same with The Sleeping Beauty). The difference with the ballet we've seen in the theatres and videos is amazing. I haven't seen this "original" version on DVD.

From the commercially available Bayaderes, there are 2 which I would recommend because they are "standard", both staged by Natalia Makarova for the Royal Ballet and for La Scala. Either of these two DVDs is wonderful, it's a matter of choice about the cast. The La Scala recording came out recently, and is superb, with Svetlana Zakharova and Roberto Bolle.

I always avoid Nureyev's POB version (which I saw at the Met in NYC) because it was recorded with wide angle almost all the time, to capture the lavish settings but leaving the dancers distant from the viewer, almost like part of the settings.

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to confirm the date of the filming of the soviet/kirov BAYADERE, it's 1977 - dating of videos gets complicated b/c sometimes the distributor notes the date the title was marketed w/ its label and not necessarily when the perf/filming got done.

Thanks, Rg. Yes, i was refering to the marketing date, which is 1991, but i knew that this was an older work from the 70's, which actually, it would be very exciting to look at, giving the fact that back then there was not a strong emphasis on production lavishness at the Kirov, (which is closer to my own experiences on what i was used to consume in Cuba), so the choreography is way more exposed..

:tiphat:

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I am surprised there wasn't more talk of the Bolshoi production with Gracheva/Vetrov, both of whom gave gorgeous performances. Vetrov's Shades solo is one of the best I have seen. To anyone familiar with this production, I would love to know who the Gamzatti was---and also, the 3 soloists in the shades scene. There is one scene in this production I can live without---it's in the Gamzatti 'tutu' scene---before Nikiya's basket dance. A male corps flies around beating what looks like tom-toms and behaving like refugees from 'Prince Igor'. :smilie_mondieu:

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I am surprised there wasn't more talk of the Bolshoi production with Gracheva/Vetrov, both of whom gave gorgeous performances. Vetrov's Shades solo is one of the best I have seen. To anyone familiar with this production, I would love to know who the Gamzatti was---and also, the 3 soloists in the shades scene. There is one scene in this production I can live without---it's in the Gamzatti 'tutu' scene---before Nikiya's basket dance. A male corps flies around beating what looks like tom-toms and behaving like refugees from 'Prince Igor'. :)

Well, here's where you have different strokes for different folks. Of the 5-6 Bayadere's I have, I rank this in a tie for the bottom spot (the other being the recently released La Scala production)

First this production looks old and worn, and no beauty in the first place. I hate the blocking, (and this is a personal issue; I find the badly applied blackface offensive).

If there were other considerations I could overlook some of this but I find Gracheva sound but more boring than Wonder White Bread (for those not from the US, this is NOT a compliment) . She did not move me one bit.

The Gamzatti is Bylova(hopefully I have that right).

I can't get that this is a dancer with a major company, she is SOOOOOO sloppy. And she seems to find it difficult to get up fully on point. I REALLY hated her.

Vetrov. Yes, he is dashing and looks like a Solor and a lot of his dancing is very showy and exciting. He was the only reason

I kept the tape.

Well, there you have it. Of course this is all my opinion and others will differ.

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I think that if you're going to start with Bayadere's, start with either the POB or Kirov videos. I'm of the very strong opinion that starting with Makarova's version of La Bayadere gives one a false impression of the ballet. I admire her for trying to reconstruct the "lost act" but in the process she sheds so much of the ballet that it practically becomes the Cliff Notes version of La Bayadere. I started with the Makarova version (at the ABT, then on video) and so I was shocked to see the POB video. Wow, this is Grand Ballet, I thought. At first I was impatient at the spectacle, but eventually I came to appreciate Petipa's design of pairing the pageantry of the Betrothal Scene with Nikya's personal tragedy, and then with the austere beauty of the Shades act.

And I've never appreciated 8 dancers more than in La Bayadere. Makarova uses 24 Shades. The POB, Kirov and Bolshoi use 32. 24 Shades - beautiful. 32 Shades (especially when danced with a corps as well-trained as the Kirov or POB) - breathtaking.

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Completely agree with canbelto. I saw ABT's performance this May, and now am watching the POB version. And what a difference! The POB version is more aligned with how an Eastern tragic myth might be staged for a ballet. Makarova's staging had that Hollywood happily-ever-after / good-over-evil flavor to it...more of a Western thought process.

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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.

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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.

They brought it to NY in 2002. It was very long. I actually found it rather boring :tiphat:

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