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La Bayadere Spring 2012

107 posts in this topic

Did anyone see Boylston's Met premiere? thanks.GIF
I was there last night. Hee Seo danced a really fine and very promising Nikiya. She has a creamy upper body epaulement and lots of lyrical elegance in the feet and legs. The upper body flows and the footwork in Act I was quite proficient with delicacy and precision. Seo's face is very expressive and her Nikiya shone with a serene radiance. The duet with Solor in the first temple scene was full of passion and she threw herself into the poses with a little more naturalness than Part did on Tuesday. The harem pants solo in the Betrothal Scene was very well danced with easy extensions and smooth transitions from standing stretched upward on pointe to deep penchée with the leg extended back and upward. In the Kingdom of the Shades, Seo started out very well but then seemed to freeze up in the Scarf Solo variation with the unsupported pirouettes (Part has trouble with that section too). She lost smoothness and control and got a bit wobbly. However she recovered for the coda with a whiplash series of chainé turns (much faster than Part on Tuesday). The last act, Seo had nicely light quiet jetés. All in all, Seo was lovely but needs to get a bit more physical strength in turns, stamina in the "Shades" section and develop just a bit more dramatic authority. Last night Seo seemed well on her way.

Vadim Mungatirov (product of the Perm Academy and the Royal Ballet School) is a fine young dancer (only 22). Long elegant body, beautiful smooth turns and a beautiful light high jump. Beautiful lines and lovely arms. His mime is clear without the passion and authority Gomes has. His solos got big applause. I would say he would be a fine acquisition if the English National Ballet would be willing to give him up or share him with ABT.

Isabella Boylston danced Gamzatti very, very well with exciting attack and strong technique. She did have one or two tentative moments (a tiny inconsequential flubbed traveling step in the "Pas de Venus" Gamzatti solo in the Pas D'Action in the Betrothal Scene PDD and a passing bit of initial stiffness in the Makarova choreographed solo in Act III). After that little flub Boylston turned in a bravura prima ballerina performance in the coda showing off excellent Italian fouettés finished by a solid set of regular fouettés. Her Gamzatti is a bit of the spoiled petulant princess without the grandeur Murphy brings to the part. However, Murphy only recently developed full dramatic authority in this role and Boylston is just starting out. A bit more experience and she will be more than fine.

Barbee was again the High Brahmin with Hammoudi rather bland and goofy looking as the Rajah Dugamanta. Christine Shevchenko danced the happy 1st shade solo, a somewhat stiff Devon Teuscher danced the difficult 2nd shade and a fine Simone Messmer danced the 3rd shade solo very well. I wonder what is up with Leann Underwood who often dances the shade solos and other soloist roles? She is very fine. I also think Gemma Bond would have done a better job than Devon Teuscher. Craig Salstein had an amazing night as the Golden Idol - very high and tight and fast turns and jumps. He was an explosion of energy up there.

The sets look much better from the orchestra level where the light hits them better and the painted perspective is at the correct angle. I told my companions after Act I that if this is the future of ABT, then it will be fine. I was a little less enthusiastic after Act II but still found it a very fine evening. Evidently Corey Stearns did well at the matinee (I was at work but heard first-hand reports).

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I'm really enjoying reading all the La Bayadere reviews. I have never seen Herrera dance Nikiya. I saw her as Gamzatti years ago (1996 - Amanda McKerrow was Nikiya and Julio Bocca was Solor. All were fantastic!) I'm going to see Gillian Murphy at the Saturday matinee in the part of Nikiya. I've seen her dance Gamzatti a few times and she excels in that role. Has anyone seen Murphy as Nikiya? I'm most concerned about Denis Matvikeno as Solor. I've only seen him in a couple of gala performances and I wasn't that impressed. Has anyone seen him as Solor or in any other full length role? I'm thinking Simone Messmer will be a very good Gamzatti because she's always wonderful, no wonder what she's dancing. I agree with Abatt that Stella Abera should be a principal. But I'm afraid it's not going to happen at this point in her career. Four years ago Stella was supposed to dance Giselle, but then she got injured. She never get the opporutnity to dance Giselle again. As wonderful as she was as Myrta, I still would love to see her as Giselle.

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I agree with Abatt that Stella Abera should be a principal. But I'm afraid it's not going to happen at this point in her career. Four years ago Stella was supposed to dance Giselle, but then she got injured. She never get the opporutnity to dance Giselle again. As wonderful as she was as Myrta, I still would love to see her as Giselle.

I couldn't agree more. Stella is now at the pinnacle of her career and it's sad both for her and her potential audiences that she hasn't been given the opportunity to dance the major principal roles. Maybe if she were to change her name to Abrerova....

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So what is the story - injury? illness? or are they just toying with our emotions?

Diana posted on her official Facebook page (no login reqired to view):

http://www.facebook....252826048061382

Dear friends.

I deeply regret that I won't be able to perform tomorrow night at the MET. I've been quite sick last few days. Unfortunately there wasn't enough time to prepare for much awaited "La Bayadere". I am very sorry.

I wish all very best to my dear Marcelo, Veronica and Natasha!

Look forward seeing you all at my next performance: "Onegin" on June 4th.

Yours,

Diana

I'm definitely crushed...CRUSHED!! But am looking forward to seeing you all there!

And I hope Diana recovers soon--she did seem quite sick when I saw her on the stage door on Sat night...

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Stellar performances from both Cojocaru and Vasiliev in tonight's Bayadere (Thursday night). Great rapport between the two. The strangest part of the performance was the Gamzatti-Solor pdd. Pairing Misty Copeland and Vasiliev was an odd decision which did not do either of them any favors and put both in untenable positions. There was a great contrast between his great elevation and her complete lack thereof, despite his visible efforts to dial it down and her efforts to do her best. This incongruency didn't allow me to fully enjoy his variation, even though it was spectacularly performed. On the other hand, both the duet with Cojocaru in the first scene and the entire Shades act were fantastic. Cojocaru is very musical and technically superb. She and Vasiliev are dramatically convincing, both on their own and during their duets. His double assembles are truly unbelievable---I've seen him execute them several times before, but I am still stunned every time. Just like last year in Coppelia, he ran out of real estate towards the end of his variation.

Among the other performers, Stella Abrera stood out as the third Shade.

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I saw Part in the opening performance, and she was ravishing.

I also saw the Tuesday performance and have to concur: Part was incredible - Beauty and Poetry incarnate - and her partnership with Gomes was out of this world. Osipova should add a very interesting dimension to the story. I had a ticket for Friday, but gave it away as a present to a very dear person and snatched a very good Orchestra seat for Saturday night instead. I wouldn't mind seeing Veronika again, but I just wanted somebody else to witness her great art, too.

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absolutely thrilled to hear that all the casts this week have been quite exceptional and more than satisfactory (especially in regards to the Wed evening cast)

would love to hear how Veronika dealt with being substituted in...I'm sure she was given a heads up, but it's always nice to get an update on how she dealt with nerves

off topic: I much like many of you, have wanted Stella to get promoted to principal for the past 5/6 years. She definitely was on track when she was working on Giselle (personally I think that's a role that suits her better than Myrta), but her injury took her out of the game. While she's been recovered for a few years now, I think the severity/unpredictability and long recovery period of the injury (since it involves her lower leg/ankle/foot) makes promoting her risky. However, the most refreshing thing about Stella is that regardless of what role she is dancing, she really commits and embodies it fully; her versatility, control, and line makes her a beautiful dancer to watch. That alone makes her one of my favorite ballerina's at ABT who I can't imagine deserves a promotion more.

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Like Ilya, I thought Cojocaru and Vasiliev were excellent together. I also felt that it was unfortunate that Copeland had to debut her Gamzatti as Vasiliev's partner. She barely left the ground, and he was flying through the air. It looked disjointed. Cojocaru's deep back bends were especially wonderful in Act I. Vasiliev has very bulky legs, a sometimes sloppy line, and the white tights did him no favors. However, he is exceptional in his spins and jumps. I also thought he did well in the characterization aspect. I wasn't very impressed w. Joe Phillips as Bronze Idol. Can we have Herman or Angel back in that role, just for one night?

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No one has mentioned any technical problems for Cojocaru (unlike her Giselle last week). Were there visible problems that anyone noticed?

I also see that she will perform again this Monday, with a different partner (Cornejo) and Osipova as Gamzatti. Rehearsing the same role with two different partners in a matter of days is rather demanding, isn't it?

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Having seen Vasiliev before, I knew what to expect: big, big, big! Yes, it was thrilling. But pairing him with Misty... not a great idea. In Act 1, he almost lost hold of her in one of her deep bends and she gave him a very annoyed look. But, then, she was playing Gamzatti very haughty--not with the kind of pathos that Gillian can inject into the role and give it some sympathy--so perhaps it was all of a piece. (She did get some wild applause at the curtain calls.) That said, I have rarely seen the final act danced so well--Vasiliev turned Solor's delirium and despair into something of a mad scene. Much as I love Marcelo in this role, Vasiliev made the most of the drama in the final scene.

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Misty seemed to have her own little cheering section somewhere in the auditorium. Every time she completed a variation, that section in particular would go nuts.

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No one has mentioned any technical problems for Cojocaru (unlike her Giselle last week). Were there visible problems that anyone noticed?

What an odd question... I'd rather like to know if she did anything of good, especially artistically. :-) I love her first solo at the sacred fire, I think at the moment nobody makes it in such a mystical and magical way. She danced la Bayadere for the last time in July 2009 and the memory of it still makes my heart beating faster: movements were having a special depth, a sort of higher density, as she was evoking and then moving in a fluid divine entity. Was anything of this there?

Anyway she hadn't any kind of thecnical of physical problem in La Sylphide in London on Monday. Her jumps were relevant, even though on that side she will never match Air Osipova :-) . I was surprised by her cabrioles: she was beating with such an energy that the noise made my think she could be wearing a pair of Mariinsky Czarda boots!

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Did she change back into harem pants for the curtain call after the Kingdom of Shades tutu scene?

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No one has mentioned any technical problems for Cojocaru (unlike her Giselle last week). Were there visible problems that anyone noticed?

What an odd question... I'd rather like to know if she did anything of good, especially artistically. :-) I

Asking if someone who is ill has recovered demonstrates concern, not necessarily malicious intentions. I don't think it is an odd question at all.

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No technique problems have been mentioned because there weren't any to speak of. She was totally "on" last night. Her first act, in particular, was the most thrilling. Great fluidity of movement.

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Did she change back into harem pants for the curtain call after the Kingdom of Shades tutu scene?

Has Makarova Bayadere not the last act in New York? Usually it comes after the Shades.

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No one has mentioned any technical problems for Cojocaru (unlike her Giselle last week). Were there visible problems that anyone noticed?

What an odd question... I'd rather like to know if she did anything of good, especially artistically. :-) I

Asking if someone who is ill has recovered demonstrates concern, not necessarily malicious intentions. I don't think it is an odd question at all.

WHO is ill? Anyway, if that was the intention, it could have been asked in a better and gentler way, in my opinion. BTW the reports about Giselle are quite confusing: she can have had a bad night, of course, but a partnering virtuosity of Corella was considered the sign of an injury. Reading the comment, it seems he was so generous to make her fly across the stage without touching the ground (as Kobborg too almost always does): I don't understand how one can think a dancer on stage on pointe for 2 hours could have problem putting a foot on stage at that point!

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[

Has Makarova Bayadere not the last act in New York? Usually it comes after the Shades.

Yes, we have the third act staged by Makarova. The Bronze Idol does his variation in that act, and Nikiya comes back in the harem pants outfit. I think NY and London have the same exact production.

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No one has mentioned any technical problems for Cojocaru (unlike her Giselle last week). Were there visible problems that anyone noticed?

What an odd question... I'd rather like to know if she did anything of good, especially artistically. :-) I

Asking if someone who is ill has recovered demonstrates concern, not necessarily malicious intentions. I don't think it is an odd question at all.

WHO is ill? Anyway, if that was the intention, it could have been asked in a better and gentler way, in my opinion. BTW the reports about Giselle are quite confusing: she can have had a bad night, of course, but a partnering virtuosity of Corella was considered the sign of an injury. Reading the comment, it seems he was so generous to make her fly across the stage without touching the ground (as Kobborg too almost always does): I don't understand how one can think a dancer on stage on pointe for 2 hours could have problem putting a foot on stage at that point!

My apologies for inadvertently starting this exchange! I'm a huge Cojocaru fan. I got to see her in person a couple of years ago at the Met on "Super Saturday" in Beauty, and I've got three DVDs with the Royal (her Giselle, Beauty, Nutcracker). Her history of injuries and foot problems has been well-publicized for years, so when people discussed the changes in the Giselle choreography last week (coming off pointe in the first act hops, e.g. -- an unsupported sequence), that was alarming. I'm sure all of us who love her were hoping nothing serious had happened to her in the injury department. It's great to hear that the Bayadere went well and there's no lingering evidence of serious injury, at least that audience members could detect. That's all I was asking. Sorry!

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[

Has Makarova Bayadere not the last act in New York? Usually it comes after the Shades.

Yes, we have the third act staged by Makarova. The Bronze Idol does his variation in that act, and Nikiya comes back in the harem pants outfit. I think NY and London have the same exact production.

Not exacly the same because the costumes are different, but I'm pretty sure the choreography is exactly the same, as in La Scala, Hamburg Ballet, Corella Ballet and many others. And if I remember well, Nikiya is wearing that costume only in that scene (and there are not harem in La Bayadere).

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My apologies for inadvertently starting this exchange! I'm a huge Cojocaru fan. I got to see her in person a couple of years ago at the Met on "Super Saturday" in Beauty, and I've got three DVDs with the Royal (her Giselle, Beauty, Nutcracker). Her history of injuries and foot problems has been well-publicized for years, so when people discussed the changes in the Giselle choreography last week (coming off pointe in the first act hops, e.g. -- an unsupported sequence), that was alarming. I'm sure all of us who love her were hoping nothing serious had happened to her in the injury department. It's great to hear that the Bayadere went well and there's no lingering evidence of serious injury, at least that audience members could detect. That's all I was asking. Sorry!

Sorry to you too.flowers.gif My reaction comes from the fact I found some comments about Giselle very strange: I was worried something could be wrong too, and was happy to see on Monday that everything was ok (and on Saturday even better, I've been told by a reliable friend present at Sylphid Dress rehersal). Cojocaru is often cutting the hop on point diagonal, because I'm happy to know she is crazy but not silly and there is no reason to risk to destroy herself in that diagonal. maybe she did it even shorter this time. I've already said about another comment. Another remark has already been dicussed by a person present at the performance. I don't understand what else she changed in the second act. I was happy to read that she did 2 triple pirouettes in her solo: it's hard to believe it happened, but who knows ... Of course it can have been a bad night, yet the comments posted here honestly seem not the best to understand what really happened on stage.

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At Thursday’s Bayadere (Cojocaru-Copeland-Vasiliev), there was a sizeable contingent from the Mikhailovsky, including Vladimir Kekhman and Mikhail Messerer. Also present were the Danilians. I wonder if there is any particular reason for this.

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At Thursday’s Bayadere (Cojocaru-Copeland-Vasiliev), there was a sizeable contingent from the Mikhailovsky, including Vladimir Kekhman and Mikhail Messerer. Also present were the Danilians. I wonder if there is any particular reason for this.

Ardani Management represents several people now at ABT (Vasiliev, Osipova, Semionova, Vishneva), as well as the Mikhailovsky. Is that the connection?

http://www.ardani.com/

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Nice to meet with new and old BalletAlertniks, indeed!

On the subject of the costumes, Nikiya makes significant appearances in Act III, after the Shades Act, to disrupt the marriage of Solor and Gamzatti. What she's wearing is not merely an extra costume for curtain calls. Her Act III costume is harem pants, as seen here: http://28.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_kw2j9b3hyM1qa76wbo1_500.jpg

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