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Needing advise to buy "La Bayadere" DVDmost accurate version...?


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#1 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 30 July 2007 - 01:22 PM

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:

#2 Alexandra

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Posted 30 July 2007 - 01:29 PM

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, 30 July 2007 - 01:41 PM.
adding two sentences


#3 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 30 July 2007 - 02:16 PM

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:

#4 art076

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Posted 30 July 2007 - 03:09 PM

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?)

#5 carbro

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Posted 30 July 2007 - 03:52 PM

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.

#6 Alexandra

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Posted 30 July 2007 - 04:13 PM

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.

#7 rg

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Posted 31 July 2007 - 09:30 AM

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.

#8 Mel Johnson

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Posted 31 July 2007 - 01:47 PM

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.

#9 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 31 July 2007 - 07:54 PM

: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:

#10 agnes

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Posted 01 August 2007 - 10:12 AM

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:


[size=1]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.[/size]

#11 Alexandra

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Posted 01 August 2007 - 11:32 AM

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:

#12 bart

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Posted 01 August 2007 - 12:16 PM

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.

#13 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 01 August 2007 - 12:41 PM

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:

#14 rg

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Posted 01 August 2007 - 01:20 PM

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.

#15 agnes

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Posted 01 August 2007 - 01:41 PM

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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