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


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#31 rg

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Posted 16 January 2009 - 08:36 AM

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.

#32 EricMontreal22

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Posted 19 January 2009 - 05:17 AM

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.

#33 rg

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Posted 19 January 2009 - 06:43 AM

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.

#34 leonid17

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Posted 19 January 2009 - 12:26 PM

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.

#35 rg

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Posted 19 January 2009 - 01:11 PM

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?

#36 EricMontreal22

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Posted 19 January 2009 - 06:12 PM

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.

#37 rg

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Posted 19 January 2009 - 06:23 PM

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.

#38 EricMontreal22

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Posted 19 January 2009 - 08:20 PM

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?

#39 rg

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Posted 20 January 2009 - 06:12 AM

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.

#40 EricMontreal22

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Posted 20 January 2009 - 06:47 AM

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: )

#41 rg

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Posted 20 January 2009 - 07:17 AM

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.

#42 Marc Haegeman

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Posted 20 January 2009 - 09:34 AM

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.

#43 EricMontreal22

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Posted 20 January 2009 - 01:49 PM

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:

#44 EricMontreal22

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Posted 20 January 2009 - 04:34 PM

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...

#45 rg

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Posted 20 January 2009 - 05:25 PM

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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