whetherwax

La Scala bayadere version

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Svetlana Zarkarova doesnt do that mad little dance in this version. Does anyone know why? It is the Markarova production but this dance is omitted. Could it be because her body -type is wrong for such a dance? Asylmuratova and Guerin look wondrous doing this variation but maybe Zarkarova is just too long and elegant to sway her hips so fetchingly.

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I assume you are referring to the coda of Nikiya's slow dance in the betrothal scene--Asylmuratova is another long-limbed (although not tall) ballerina, so I don't think it's a problem with body type.

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Maybe Zakarova is afraid it would get out on youtube and ruin her career in politics?

She shouldn't worry -- there are nude photos of Arnold Schwarzenegger up on the net, and it didn't keep him from getting elected governor of California, and when he runs for president, he'll succeed in laughing it off....

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It seems Makarova allowed her version to be chopped & changed at the drop of a hat. I've also just started another related thread about the different Lanchbery versions that have been used. It was that very same "mad dance" you refer to that started me thinking...

For my money, the La Scala DVD version is simply not competitive. The principles are good, and the video quality is certainly superior to both the Paris & RB versions, but the smaller roles and corps simply are no match. Until something better comes along (from say.. St.Petersburg!), I'd stick with the Paris and RB versions, and in addition I'd recommend the "Dancers Dream" documentary, with fascinating rehearsal footage and insights from the dancers preparing for a revival of Nureyev's version. It really is a must-see!

:) As for A.Schwarzenegger and the Neo-Cons, all I can add is, Hasta la vista, baby!

Jack

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As rg has said on another thread, this little dance was not in the version Makarova set for the Royal Ballet - it had not been done until Asylmuratova came along and the other Nikiyas didn't do it. It shows, I'm afraid, one of the problems of videos - all they show is that dancer in that performance.

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Svetlana Zakharova has danced the uptempo coda when it was required, eg. the Kirov/Mariinsky and the Paris Opera versions, numerous times. Nothing to do with body type, just a matter of following the choreography of the production she is in.

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As rg has said on another thread, this little dance was not in the version Makarova set for the Royal Ballet. . . .
Nor did she include it when she staged it on ABT, which she set prior to RB. The RB & ABT stagings are, as far as I recall, identical. The omission may have been a matter of taste, or possibly an accommodation to streamlining.

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I think that Makarova felt that the music was too folk dancey in sound and the steps were too jaunty for Nikiya. So Lanchbery came up with that lyrical whirling theme and more liquid, sinuous choreography. I think it was a personal taste of Makarova's having danced the original jaunty uptempo theme at the Kirov to change it for her version in the West which seems to be the standard version outside of Nureyev's version for the POB (which follows the Kirov 1940 template very faithfully).

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Are you referring to the coda of Nikiya's dance with the basket of flowers containing a snake? If so, in my opinion Asylmuratova. does the best coda No one else does it with such verve and speed. I saw the RB version before POB or La Scala and waited for that wonderful bit, but none lived up to Asylmuratova's.

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Are you referring to the coda of Nikiya's dance with the basket of flowers containing a snake? If so, in my opinion Asylmuratova. does the best coda No one else does it with such verve and speed. I saw the RB version before POB or La Scala and waited for that wonderful bit, but none lived up to Asylmuratova's.

I agree that Asylmuratova's is by far the best, she was an exquisite dancer , there is a recent clip on You Tube of Aurelie Dupont doing this variation, and she does not make too bad a job of it at all.

However, I have never really liked this variation, it does not seem to fit the character of Nikiya, she is sad and full of longing to start with, but when she thinks that the basket of flowers are from Solor it pleases her and she finds a littler happiness, hence the up tempo response, but she is soon betrayed.. I feel the choreography could portray her mood in a much better way. than it does.

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However, I have never really liked this variation, it does not seem to fit the character of Nikiya, she is sad and full of longing to start with, but when she thinks that the basket of flowers are from Solor it pleases her and she finds a littler happiness, hence the up tempo response, but she is soon betrayed.. I feel the choreography could portray her mood in a much better way. than it does.

I quite agree. It could be that I grew up with the Makarova version which doesn't have that variation, so I am not used to it. But before that, she is so sad and filled with longing and sorrow.

Then...he gives her flowers...and her joy is just TOO MUCH! She is bouncing all over the place. It is manic and almost disturbing (to me), like a prelude to the mad scene or something.

The more restrained joy she shows in the Makarova version just seems more believable and less, well, crazy...

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However, I have never really liked this variation, it does not seem to fit the character of Nikiya, she is sad and full of longing to start with, but when she thinks that the basket of flowers are from Solor it pleases her and she finds a littler happiness, hence the up tempo response, but she is soon betrayed.. I feel the choreography could portray her mood in a much better way. than it does.

I quite agree. It could be that I grew up with the Makarova version which doesn't have that variation, so I am not used to it. But before that, she is so sad and filled with longing and sorrow.

Then...he gives her flowers...and her joy is just TOO MUCH! She is bouncing all over the place. It is manic and almost disturbing (to me), like a prelude to the mad scene or something.

The more restrained joy she shows in the Makarova version just seems more believable and less, well, crazy...

LOL I guess the hyper basket dance is a bit TOO MUCH, but I watched versions by the Mariinsky and Paris first. Then, I bought the earlier Royal Ballet version of Makarova's with Asylmuratova which includes that dance, so when I watched the La Scala and the later Royal Ballet versions without the dance I was a bit shocked, b/c I expected it. My first reaction was, "Why did they take that out???"

It does seem like Makarova tried to do away with all the silly stuff in Bayadere and keep it mainly tragic. She took out the Manu (jug of water on the head) dance, the group of men pounding drums and throwing them up in the air, etc. She even made the Golden Idol fit in at a better place (personal opinion). So when you watch Makarova's version it moves faster dramatically and stays pretty tragic throughout. I actually like it a lot. BUT am I the only one who feels her final act (which is supposed to be a marriage ceremony) seems like the characters are going to a funeral??? I mean, we know everyone is going to die, so, in essence, it is a funeral, but the characters don't know that. I feel like Makarova's final act (which she pretty much created) has such a gloom and doom feel to it even in the dancing that it seems almost funny that a wedding is supposed to be taking place!!!

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BUT am I the only one who feels her final act (which is supposed to be a marriage ceremony) seems like the characters are going to a funeral??? I mean, we know everyone is going to die, so, in essence, it is a funeral, but the characters don't know that. I feel like Makarova's final act (which she pretty much created) has such a gloom and doom feel to it even in the dancing that it seems almost funny that a wedding is supposed to be taking place!!!

You have a point, however, I'd keep in mind everyone knows it isn't a happy wedding. Solor DEFINITELY does not want to be there. Gamzatti very much knows that. And there is a shade that everyone feels, interrupting the proceedings. It is clearly, by this point, a forced marriage, and Gamzatti knows that her triumph is only apparent, not real. (Or at least that is how I read it). Hence the ominous feeling over the event. Well that, and, as you say, we know what is going to happen :)

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BUT am I the only one who feels her final act (which is supposed to be a marriage ceremony) seems like the characters are going to a funeral??? I mean, we know everyone is going to die, so, in essence, it is a funeral, but the characters don't know that. I feel like Makarova's final act (which she pretty much created) has such a gloom and doom feel to it even in the dancing that it seems almost funny that a wedding is supposed to be taking place!!!

You have a point, however, I'd keep in mind everyone knows it isn't a happy wedding. Solor DEFINITELY does not want to be there. Gamzatti very much knows that. And there is a shade that everyone feels, interrupting the proceedings. It is clearly, by this point, a forced marriage, and Gamzatti knows that her triumph is only apparent, not real. (Or at least that is how I read it). Hence the ominous feeling over the event. Well that, and, as you say, we know what is going to happen smile.png

I agree with what you say, although Gamzatti seems so anxious to have Solor at any cost (bullying Nikiya) that I would think she would be somewhat happy she's getting what she wants assuming she could get him to fall for her once they are married. But you are right that deep down inside she KNOWS he has his mind and heart elsewhere.

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Having filmed the Makarova version of La Bayadere (also viewing it and the RB/La Scala versions several times), and particpated in interviews with Ms. Makarova where she described her reasoning for including some dramatic actions and especially a last act (I may edit this later to include her quotes), I can say that...

1) There is a specific moment where Nikiya points an accusing finger at Gamzatti after being bitten by the snake, and a reaction by Gamzatti (though the reaction--either feigned shock that Nikiya dared accuse her, contempt, or nervous guilt--depended on who performed the role) and Solor to this news.

2) Nikiya doesn't take the antidote because, when she looks to Solor, he is walking away with Gamzatti (after a surreptitious unhappy/guilty look back at Nikiya--which neither she nor Gamzatti see), so defeated and heartbroken Nikiya lets the poison kill her.

3) In the last scene of the Shades act, Solor awakes to find that Gamzatti and entourage have arrived at his door and she proceeds to stalk slowly towards him as he slowly tries to back away and then stops. A literal/physical exemplification of Gamzatti's power and ability to force him to face her & her intentions.

4) There is a moment in the final act (I think after the 'candle dance' but before the PDQ) in which Gamzatti has a solo that expresses both her yearning for Solor and frustration/rage, while the other protagonists remain 'frozen' in place. A sort of dance soliloquoy on her part.

5) Nikiya's ghost is present at the wedding to remind Solor that he made a vow to her on the sacred flame; to confront Gamzatti through the use of a flowergirl who offers a similarly suspicious basket, and by G's horrified reaction, so demonstrate Gamzatti's guilt; and to show her (Nikiya's) continuing love for Solor.

6) There is also a point where the priest literally forces Solor to kneel on the alter--so it is literally a forced marriage in all ways.

7) Finally, the gods wreak vengeance on the wedding party because they (Rajah, priest, Gamzatti et.al.)murdered their Bayadere/temple girl. Nikiya's ghost is just the messenger. That Solor also dies, is a prize for Nikiya who can now lead him to 'the promised land/level/ring of heaven/nirvana/cloud9 whatever to enjoy a happier afterlife.

Just some observations of a rather convoluted plot, but luckily with some great footage and dancer-actors to demonstrate its nuances of motivation.

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I think it was a personal taste of Makarova's having danced the original jaunty uptempo theme at the Kirov

Did Makarova in fact dance Nikiya when she was with the Kirov? I was told by one of her contemporaries that she danced Gamzatti, and the clear implication was that she didn't therefore have a real sense of Nikiya's role - which may be unfair. In either case, I think the variation as seen in the reconstructed original made far more sense, and if you can't have that, then keep the coda because it makes the variation more complete.

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Having filmed the Makarova version of La Bayadere (also viewing it and the RB/La Scala versions several times), and particpated in interviews with Ms. Makarova where she described her reasoning for including some dramatic actions and especially a last act (I may edit this later to include her quotes), I can say that...

1) There is a specific moment where Nikiya points an accusing finger at Gamzatti after being bitten by the snake, and a reaction by Gamzatti (though the reaction--either feigned shock that Nikiya dared accuse her, contempt, or nervous guilt--depended on who performed the role) and Solor to this news.

2) Nikiya doesn't take the antidote because, when she looks to Solor, he is walking away with Gamzatti (after a surreptitious unhappy/guilty look back at Nikiya--which neither she nor Gamzatti see), so defeated and heartbroken Nikiya lets the poison kill her.

3) In the last scene of the Shades act, Solor awakes to find that Gamzatti and entourage have arrived at his door and she proceeds to stalk slowly towards him as he slowly tries to back away and then stops. A literal/physical exemplification of Gamzatti's power and ability to force him to face her & her intentions.

4) There is a moment in the final act (I think after the 'candle dance' but before the PDQ) in which Gamzatti has a solo that expresses both her yearning for Solor and frustration/rage, while the other protagonists remain 'frozen' in place. A sort of dance soliloquoy on her part.

5) Nikiya's ghost is present at the wedding to remind Solor that he made a vow to her on the sacred flame; to confront Gamzatti through the use of a flowergirl who offers a similarly suspicious basket, and by G's horrified reaction, so demonstrate Gamzatti's guilt; and to show her (Nikiya's) continuing love for Solor.

6) There is also a point where the priest literally forces Solor to kneel on the alter--so it is literally a forced marriage in all ways.

7) Finally, the gods wreak vengeance on the wedding party because they (Rajah, priest, Gamzatti et.al.)murdered their Bayadere/temple girl. Nikiya's ghost is just the messenger. That Solor also dies, is a prize for Nikiya who can now lead him to 'the promised land/level/ring of heaven/nirvana/cloud9 whatever to enjoy a happier afterlife.

Just some observations of a rather convoluted plot, but luckily with some great footage and dancer-actors to demonstrate its nuances of motivation.

Thanks for all the info. That helps make the wedding as sad understandable. Overall I do love Makarova's version of Bayadere. I think the only wish I have is that she could have kept the Shades at 32, but I read that the Met's stage could only hold 24. When you watch versions with 32 it seems to go on forever and is mesmerizing! But I guess 24 Shades all in synch is pretty amazing too, so I can't really complain.

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