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Ranking Bayaderes?how to judge.


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#1 whetherwax

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Posted 07 April 2008 - 07:35 PM

I've just got my 1977 Kirov bayadere. I have the Royal ballet one (and am saving for the POB one). I enjoy them both for differing reasons. The feeling I get from browsing the board is that the Kirov and POB ones are somehow better than the Royal ballet production. Could anyone give me an idea why this might be so. I want to understand the nuances of why certain productions are deemed more worthy. The Markarova third act seems to irritate some viewers. I want to understand what to look for in a good production. It isnt JUST personal taste - is it?

#2 FauxPas

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Posted 08 April 2008 - 07:40 AM

The Kirov 1977 is the Sergeyev production and is a classic and the template for the Paris Nureyev version and Makarova's version for ABT and the Royal Ballet. I frankly prefer the leads in the Royal Ballet performance because they have greater emotional depth and dramatic flair than the POB dancers. I cannot fault the dancing of Guerin, Hilaire and especially Platel but they are very much on the surface emotionally. Their first priority seems to be technique, style and placement and acting seems an afterthought. They strike me as cold. However the same criteria bear glorious fruit in the "Shades" scene - particularly the corps. I saw this production live at the Met when the POB toured New York with the same cast as well as with Carole Arbo and Kader Belarbi and later Platel as Nikiya and LeRiche as Solor. Delphine Moussin was one of the Gamzattis. The filming was done when the production was new. The Met tour showed the cast after they had performed it many times and I remember greater authority and warmth from the live performance. They were all more inside their roles but still dancing superbly.

The Makarova staging is admirable in many ways and has allowed the ballet to be performed complete outside of Russia. However, Makarova has a desire to weed out the character dance and exotic aspects of the piece. The Betrothal Grand Pas has all the wonderfully kitschy tribal dances (e.g. the drum dance) edited out as well as the "manu" dance and other character pieces. It looks more like "Sleeping Beauty" or "Raymonda" with pure classical dances albeit in the "exotic" faux Indian style. Like all the Petipa ballets performed in the West, all the bits where the children's corps dance are removed as well. The Kirov Sergeyev has the contrast of pure Petipa classicism with exuberant character dances.

#3 Hans

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Posted 08 April 2008 - 06:54 PM

Honestly, I mostly watch the tape of Makarova's "Bayadère" for Asylmuratova's performance. For everything else, it's the Maryinsky, although I really enjoy Platel's dancing as Gamzatti, too.

#4 whetherwax

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Posted 08 April 2008 - 08:25 PM

Thanks for replying - so the Kirov performance is relished by those who love its historical truth ( in spite of those bad rug hairdos). I think Komleva is great - her hysterical fast dance before dying is wonderful but like Hans I find Asylmuratova so moving and Mukhamedov is good too. So you're saying that one's response is personal taste but if you have a sense of history and a good understanding of what is fine dancing your experiance is enhanced.That really no one could rank the performances and that any disapproval i pick up from browsing is the result of an individual response and not part of an agreed canon?


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