Birdsall

La Bayadere Spring 2012

107 posts in this topic

Another stunning Bayadere Friday night. Surprisingly, Osipova was able to make Gamzatti a dramatically interesting character; even more miraculously, she and Gomes succeeded in introducing a nuanced storyline into Bayadere. This feat was anchored in several mime sequences in Scenes 2 and 3 of Act I and in Act III. The inventions were too numerous for me to fully and properly describe here.

Osipova's Gamzatti is intelligent and charming. After being introduced to Solor she breaks the ice by making witty conversation. She then invites him to a game of chess and turns out to be a strong player, further impressing Solor. She gradually wins him over through her charm and wit, and by the time they leave the room together in Scene 2 there is rapport between them.

During the remainder of Scene 2, Gamzatti displays a wide spectrum of emotions: she has genuine feelings for Solor and at times displays vulnerability; at other times, she shows resolve to do whatever it takes to win Solor over and to eliminate all competition. Quite logically, in Scene 3 of Act I she proceeds to do both. In this context, the pas de deux is seen as the continuation of the courtship: Gamzatti tries to charm Solor. She is refined, playful, and full of life. By the end of the pas de deux, Solor is quite smitten. When Nikiya starts her dance, Solor feels remorse; however, Gamzatti distracts him by flirting with him. She has a great sense of humor: when she whispers something to him, he cannot suppress a smile. At this point, one gets the impression that, had there been no poisonous snake, Gamzatti and Solor would get married and live happily everafter. Nikiya's death changes everything. Solor never looks at Gamzatti the same way. A couple of times, his facial expressions in Act III betray that he still has some feelings for Gamzatti; however, he obviously cannot get over the murder of Nikiya.

A fascinating solution to the problem of how to make bland characters interesting and how to make a boring and illogical story gripping and convincing. In many years of watching various Bayaderes, I have never seen anything like this. I would be interested to know whether all this is original or has been done before.

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I was there last night as well. In the past, I always felt that the question was "Who killed Nikiya?" Was it Gamzatti, her father, or the nurse? Last night, there was no doubt who was responsible for Nikiya's death. Did you see the smile on Natalia's face after the snake bit Nikiya? - pure evil. I will go out on a limb and say that Natalia Osipova is the best Gamzatti I have ever seen. And her dancing? She flew through the air during Scene 3 of Act I.

Last night was incredible. Of course I could not help thinking what it would have been like with Diana, but Veronika was lovely last night. Marcelo the Great was the perfect partner to both ballerinas and I could feel the grief that he projected. The Shades - the best I have ever seen in an ABT Bayadere.

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It was nice to meet so many ballet talkers at intermission. Part and Gomes both gave better performances last night as compared to Tuesday. Part conquered the scarf dance, and overall her performance was dialed up a few notches compared to Tuesday. Osipova was wonderful as Gamzatti. I don't think she's better than Gillian in terms of the technique. They are both very, very strong. However, I did notice a lot more characterization from Osipova than from most other Gamzattis.

Thank you, carbro, for the link about the Harem pants in the finale.

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Nice to have been able to breath a fresh dose of Petipa. Now back to Balanchine. What a lovely bunch of B,talkers! :-)

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May I also add what an appreciative audience. The audience clapped for Veronika when she entered and when the veil was removed. The audience clapped for Natalia when she entered and when the veil was removed.

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Loved Ilya's assessment of the characterization of Gamzatti by Osipova. I totally agree and feel this was a riveting portrayal. Osipova is not just bells and whistles. I feel she is a true artist. The contrast between Part's smooth as silk Nikiya and Osipova's aggressive Gamzatti was terrific theater! With that said she added little details that showed she was not just being a caricature of an evil woman. You felt she truly loved Solor and wanted him desperately. Gomes has a smooth style that works well with Part.

In contrast, Vasiliev was ultra Bolshoi (grand gestures and high leaps and deep back bends) on Thursday. Some criticize this (Copeland barely left the ground as he leapt through the air), but it is now what we expect of him. If he were to match Copeland and stay close to the ground we'd feel cheated. I blame administration for this pairing. I've never heard such screaming for anyone like I heard for him. But I personally don't think he is just circus tricks. The way he left the stage as Nikiya was dying hunched over in deep shame was a great detail. I think he is an artist, one that will divide people, and one who needs to always be paired with someone on his wavelength who can compete.

Just bought a ticket for Semionova and Hallberg tonight. Wasn't going to go to 3 but decided why not. After 2 Bayaderes my partner Tim says he will shop and eat while I see a third!

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By the way, comparing Part and Cojocaru....on Thursday Cojocaru had wonderful moments. Some balances were long held. Her pliable back, her grand jetes, etc. terrific. But I did think the scarf dance did not come off the way it is supposed to. She made up for it by her high velocity turns across the stage in the coda. In contrast, Veronica Part was beauty incarnate but very careful which works in this role, so I am not criticizing. Just stating the differences. Cojocaru was more of a risk taker. Part was more gentle, sweet, beautiful, soft. I loved both women. Love comparing and contrasting different dancers.

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May I also add what an appreciative audience. The audience clapped for Veronika when she entered and when the veil was removed. The audience clapped for Natalia when she entered and when the veil was removed.

So glad to hear this! It always feels so awkward having to wait before clapping in this ballet -- especially for a dancer one is so thrilled to be seeing again.

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I was there last night as well. In the past, I always felt that the question was "Who killed Nikiya?" Was it Gamzatti, her father, or the nurse? Last night, there was no doubt who was responsible for Nikiya's death. Did you see the smile on Natalia's face after the snake bit Nikiya? - pure evil. I will go out on a limb and say that Natalia Osipova is the best Gamzatti I have ever seen. And her dancing? She flew through the air during Scene 3 of Act I. Last night was incredible.

Yes, it was a great touch---the fleeting evil smile while Solor wasn't looking at her. As to Osipova's dancing, I agree as well. I had expected forcefulness a la her Kitri, but her Gamzatti turned out a completely different character: the dancing was refined, beguiling, and airy.

Osipova gave an interview several years ago where she described in detail her conception of the role of Giselle. I wish someone would interview--at length--her and Gomes about their approach to Bayadere.

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Did anyone go to the matinee today (Saturday)? Murphy, Matvienko, Messmer.

I did, but am interested in others' opinions..........

I think that Simone Messmer was superb----very understated, well thought out, nuanced, technically and physically beautiful.

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Juliet, I was at the matinee too. Messmer was excellent. I think Murphy is more effective as Gamzatti than Nikiya. I thought Matvienko was very good, and I appreciated the opportunity to see him in a classical role. The only other times I've seen him is at Kings of Dance (which I'm trying hard to forget it was so awful) and at galas doing things like Radio and Juliet, which I cannot stand.

Also went to tonight's performance. Hee Seo had a lot of problems. Her Italian fouettes traveled all over the place, out of control. When she did the fouettes that follow the Italian fouettes, she under-rotated and ended up with her back to the audience. I don't understand how or why she is getting so many lead parts. I LOVED Semionova tonight. Her extensions go on forever. Gorgeous lines. She held some of her balances for an eternity, but not to the point where it became a circus trick. She used her flexible back to max effect in Act I. So glad we will be seeing her on a regular basis. David did well, but he seemed a little off at times tonight.

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Semionova was a treat tonight. Gorgeous dancing. I liked her better than Cojocaru and Part in this role. Was surprised to see Seo end with her back to us as Abatt said above. Also agree about Hallberg. Expected more from him somehow. Overall, Friday night's performance had the most well rounded cast out of the 3 I saw, but I think Semionova is a great permanent addition to ABT. Would like to see her in other roles. Flying home tomorrow. Had a great time meeting some of you.

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I absolutely loved Semionova's Nikiya. The lines, the extensions, the musicality, the almost flawless technique. Hallberg and Seo were rather disappointing, but Polina! I am ecstatic about ABT signing her up.

I also saw Irina Kolpakova during the intermission. Hope it means that she'll be working with Semionova on a permanent basis and that Polina will finally have a real pedagogue that she was deprived at Malakhov's. If that's the case we should see quite a few miracles and wonders in the next few years.

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Great to see you all here tonight! :-)

Indeed, it was wonderful to meet BalletAlertniks for the first time Friday night: Cristian, FauxPas, Bart Birdsall, canbelto, abatt, nysusan and anyone else I missed. flowers.gif

It was a beautiful performance overall. But Part didn't move me. She's too understated for my taste. Osipova was brilliant. She makes everything -- jumps, pirouettes, you name it -- look effortless. Her power and fearlessness blow my mind. Like Ilya, I expected her Gamzatti to be forceful like her Kitri. But she created a unique characterization: not just imperious and determined to get her way, but sexy and truly in love with Solor. It's great to see Osipova developing into a complete artist. Can't wait to see her Juliet next month. Gomes was tremendous in every respect.

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Very nice meeting the several posters on this site from Florida on Thursday--sorry not to make it upstairs to meet again and see others on Friday.

My reactions to the Th/Fri/Sat night Bayaderes echo some though not all of the above. I thought Cojocaru's dancing was a like a ray of pure light and especially in Act III found her ghostly flights through the marriage ceremony transfixing. She was the most spiritual of the three Nikiyas I saw (though I have to say the story does not exactly paint Nikiya as a Saint: she is having a secret affair and she runs across the stage wielding a knife at Gamzatti.) In the Shades scene she did not seem as effortless to me as she did when she first danced the role w. ABT: still, the quality of her dancing is often transcendent (to my eyes)--with exquisite lines and lovely lifts (Vasiliev partnered her much more effectively than he did Copeland).

I liked Part a lot: Her movie star looks fit the ballet's rather melodramatic, "silent movie" style score perfectly and I thought that the white Act though, indeed, phrased rather gently where another ballerina might be more emphatic (as indeed Semionova in particular was) executed very well. Cautious--perhaps yes. Still this was the best performance I have seen her give (other than her Terpsichore in Ashton's Sylvia where she seemed to embody the music). And in the ballet's final pose, she looked like a Hellenistic sculpture come to life--from the angle I was sitting in I can't imagine it being more gorgeous to contemplate.

I'm a teensy bit less excited about Semionova than others on this board. Though actually I think at this point Mckenzie may have a need to bring in a reliable and experienced ballerina quality dancer for the major works. A lot of his ballerinas are entering the autumnal phase of their careers and though I am thrilled to read good things about up-and-comer- Hee Seo's Giselle, her performance as Gamzatti suggested she still needs to develop before she can carry many of the big classical ballets. (I'm having a hard time picturing her Nikiya though I know she danced it.) And it was not just the fouettés that gave her outright difficulty, but the last act variation where she seemed shaky every time she stepped into arabesque.

As for Semionova, she does indeed have long beautiful lines. In Act I--which seems to me something of a "gift" to any good principal as I've never seen anyone not look beautiful in it--she actually brought a little something extra and to the solo at the wedding scene in particular, some unusual phrasing . As mentioned above, she likes to show off her balance and has a nice balance to show off, though one did sometimes see her adjusting her weight to stay up there. In the Shades scene there were whole passages, in particular the pirouettes done facing out to the audience and concluding with the leg shooting into arabesque behind her, that I thought were executed with more clarity and authority than either Part or Cojocaru...but not to my eyes more beauty or even as much.

Throughout the audience seemed to adore her and I may come to do so (and she may well get better and better). For now it's hard to put a finger on my reservations. In very different ways Part and Cojocaru danced w. a "tonality" or perhaps musicality (?) that I missed in Semionova. It's hard for me to account for my reaction in more technical terms though I do think both danced with more turn out than Semionova. Also, she looks very, very thin (in my opinion even for a ballet dancer) and in the Act I costumes in particular, I wasn't crazy about the look. In Act III I found Cojocaru much more wondrously ethereal and Part more sculpturally evocative. Do I think Semionova a worthy dancer? Certainly and I hope to see her in future--but this is my second time seeing her in a major role and when I saw her with the Mikhailovsky a couple of years ago in Swan Lake I had a similarly admiring but slightly reserved reaction.

On the other hand I very much enjoyed Hallberg whose intense ruminative Solor was my favorite of the three I saw. He really seemed to want to "present" Semionova on this occasion of her first performance with ABT as an official principal dancer and I found that quite likeable as well. For the rest: no-one quite matches up to Dowell's richly decadent air when smoking opium, but Hallberg came closer to that style of desperate sensual indulgence than the other Solors I saw. I think, too, that he has been clearly influenced by his time at the Bolshoi--he even had bouncing old-style Bolshoi hair in the classical divertissement--and he now performs with great intensity and charisma, while still dancing with beauty and finesse. Every position is fully stretched, but nothing looks merely posed.

I do wish he would give up the double assemblés which, in my opinion, don't suit him and always look mediocre unless done very well indeed. Gomez made a much better choice to dance simpler choreography at that point. Gomez also makes Part look, if not a feather-weight, then at least as if she is very, very easy to partner. Vasiliev brought his breathtaking elevation and intense personality to Solor and was thrilling to watch. While I don't expect him ever to look like Dowell, I could wish he had cleaner landings much of the time. I did think he partnered Cojocaru very well--she looked dreamy in the lifts. I also love his upper body, although it does look as if it belongs atop a longer pair of legs.

Other notes: I am on record as saying that Gamzatti is a thankless role...well, I guess for Osipova there are no thankless roles. She was wonderful in every way. Stunning classical dancing entirely at one with extraordinary characterization. Even before the veil was lifted from her face you felt the arrogance emanating from her every pore and then the moment she saw Solor her eyes registered a change inside of her (don't know how well that projected as I was downstairs and not too far away). You could see she felt something new whether love or desire...and the performance built from there adding layer to layer. Uncertainty, vulnerability, fury, cold hatred, guilt (the rather dark guilt of tyrants), and a determination to win at all costs. As for the dancing--when Gomez and she made their entrance for the betrothal scene together, they rode the air with gorgeous ease and splendor. Well matched? They looked as if they had been schooled and dancing together for years. It was the best I have ever seen this entrance look -- nothing and no-one has ever come close. And well, for the rest of the Act I divertissement, take it from there: her dancing was fantastic.

As has already been mentioned, in Thursday night's performance Vasiliev and Copeland were a less than ideal match and it was not just the jumps. When Osipova and Gomez played chess during the Djampe dance, one saw a whole play of actions and reactions between them. Copeland and Vasiliev just seemed sort of glum and at least when I was watching them over the chessboard, they looked as if they had not even discussed how to play the scene. That said, I thought she was excellent in her variations in both Act I and especially Act III. The choreography for that last solo (Makarova's?) has odd little shifts of direction and emphasis that I thought she handled more comfortably and effectively than either Seo or Osipova. ((n the Petipa I found Osipova pretty much incomparable.)

Unlike in Giselle, the corps--in this very exposed choreography--danced as if it had met its match. I actually though they got shakier, not better, each night I went culminating Sat night with one of the women making an outright silly mistake during one of the "easier" moments --raising her arm when everyone's arms were lowered. She was not just a beat or two off either: she seems to have entirely mistaken the section of the music she was dancing. In Act II, also, I thought that ABT's traditional problem was very much in evidence in ways it had not been in Giselle: each woman very obviously had a slightly different angle of the wrist or different way of splaying fingers in port de bras. What I wouldn't give to see this with the Maryinsky or Bolshoi...Still kudos for everything that was lovely and, as the Shades scene progressed, energetic and buoyant. I also enjoyed the ensemble dancing in Act I at every performance and some very fine dancing from the different soloists I saw in Act II including, in the second shade solo (I believe Friday night but will not swear) Devon Teuscher who is new to me and, in the third solo (I believe Thursday) Stella Abrera; I enjoyed Kajia in the same solo as well.

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I have to say the story does not exactly paint Nikiya as a Saint: she is having a secret affair and she runs across the stage wielding a knife at Gamzatti

Ok for the knife (but she repents immediately) but I've never felt Nikiya affair as improper, maybe it was my supeficiality, anyway nobody seems hurted by the love story except for the fact that it plays against their interests. She is not Cristian and I don't know how Hinduism is about this things, but even the Vestal Virgins, in Rome, after a while were free to leave and get married.

Commenting a particular performance once I wrote "there is a sort of sacredness all around her and a mystical intensity in every single movement she does; she is a sacred dancer not in her giving homage to the Gods, but being permeated by divinity: in this way also her love for a man is not a profane affaire but is a true divine grant." Maybe this is the reason I tend to accept it without surprise or the slightest concern.

I totally agree about Gamzatti: I saw Osipova few years ago and loved her, she was still very young so she is probably much better now. It was during a London Tour of the Bolshoi, whose Bayadere gives more space to Gamzatti, something I love because it helps to contruct a more credible carachter. In the same tour Alexandrova really owerwhelmed me: she was able to show Gamzatti feelings, her fragility under the mask, her concerns, her doubts and perplexity and her reasons, to the point it was impossible not to sympathize with her (and being Nikya a very cold and self adsorbed Zakharova, the end of the seond act was a sort of happy end happy.png ). There are not small role for great artists.

I'm afraid I have your same feelings about Semionova. The remark about coaching made in another post could be an interesting point and maybe she will develop in a marvel. For the moment she is a very good dancer I'm not going to miss on this side of the pond...

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Regarding Nikiya's sacred-ness.....I do think she is a human being, and I tell a good friend (who is very religious yet gay) that all human beings fail to live up to their own expectations. No matter how much Nikiya devotes herself to the gods, she is going to fall short of her aspirations. And I think that gives an extra depth. She is devoted to her religion, yet she loves Solor so much. I think we could interpret her so many ways, and it is also why each dancer finds something different even though the choreography is the same. That's why I did not tire of seeing 3 Bayaderes in a row.

By the way, the thing I love about Makarova's staging is the finale when they are basically going up to the Heavens after the temple collapses. What a gorgeous way to end the ballet. I've seen this same production (with very minor changes) on the two Royal Ballet videos and the La Scala video, so I knew how it ended, but reading about the sacred-ness of Nikiya made me think of it. What a gorgeous final scene. I think some people prefer the Russian versions with more character dances, but I love Makarova's staging. It is a more serious work and it takes your breath away at the end.

With that said I also love the Nureyev staging from Paris and the Mariinsky version. The "traditional" Mariinsky version (as opposed to the reconstruction) inserts a wonderful pas de deux for Nikiya and a slave. This was inserted in the 50s by Sergeyev for Dudinskaya. After seeing that interpolation I wish every production would include it. It is wonderful. However, it makes no dramatic sense for Nikiya to show up at the palace and dance right after Solor has been told he is to marry Gamzatti and she doesn't seem to recognize what is going on. Then, she leaves and comes back to duke it out with Gamzatti like normal. Like I said, it makes no dramatic sense, but it is a gorgeous pas de deux!

Re: Osipova: Osipova literally chewed the scenery. Sometimes when people say that it has a bad connotation, but I think she created a three dimensional Gamzatti even if her Gamzatti was very aggressive and mean. This interpretation could have easily devolved into Wicked Witch caricature, but it didn't, b/c she balanced it with such longing and love for Solor. You understood that everything she did was an attempt to hold onto him even though she knew his true love was Nikiya. Her Gamzatti blew the other two I saw totally out of the water. This was a characterization that was amazing!

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reposting in duplication from Heads Up

<<

this now in from ABT press officer:

Please note that Natalia Osipova is ill and will not perform this evening.

The principals will be Alina Cojocaru, Herman Cornejo and Isabella Boylston.

>>

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Quick note on Monday night: Alina Cojocaru is a beautiful dancer with gorgeous arms and stunning musicality. However, in the "Shades" the multiple pirouettes in the Scarf solo weren't quite pristine. You could also see her thinking her way through some of movements - making adjustments to the foot, the hip etc. Nothing major but noticeable. However in the coda she shot like a speeding bullet through the chainés bringing the house down. She is a good turner with high extensions and beautiful line. Her phrasing of the steps to the music is a revelation. I was told by someone who saw her last Thursday that she was much better that evening.

Herman Cornejo danced his solos splendidly with incredible beats and elevation and lightning fast turns. However, he was somewhat blank dramatically and didn't give a lot of emotion for the ladies to work off of. His partnering was fine despite the fact that he was shorter than Boylston and Cojocaru has much longer arms and legs than he does.

Isabella Boylston shook off some of the minor problems she had last Wednesday growing perceptibly in the part of Gamzatti. She acted with more command and really tore into the coda of the Betrothal grand pas. The Italian fouettés were high and solid and the regular fouettés were fast and high if she finished them without total control. She is well on her way.

Roddy Doble was an imposing High Priest depending on height and physical presence without the acting detail that Victor Barbee brings to the role. Sarah Lane shone as the First Shade, Yuriko Kajiya was pleasant but unmemorable as the Third Shade. Maria Riccetto was back as the Second Shade and her technique and control really showed what Devon Teuscher and Melanie Hamrick lack. Leann Underwood has also danced this solo well but seems not to be performing. Craig Salstein again did a fine job as the Golden Idol. The dramatic temperature was lower than several of the performances last week. The only excitement came when Cornejo let loose in his solos and Cojocaru tore through the coda of the "Shades" act.

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I concur with Faux Pas' comments on the final Bayadere and since I am, after all, Golden Idol (not Bronze...no, never Bronze, please) I must say that Craig's was the best of the three I saw in this past week's revival. (Didn't see Arron Scott, alas.) Simkin was wonderfully showy but again he slipped on the top step when returning to his seat, and Joseph Phillips' idol was neat but very cautious--no abandon. (Unlike Corella--but when will we ever see anything like that again?) Salstein's landings on his knee were a little loud, but he gave it his all: much appreciated, Craig!

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Quick note on Monday night: Alina Cojocaru is a beautiful dancer with gorgeous arms and stunning musicality. However, in the "Shades" the multiple pirouettes in the Scarf solo weren't quite pristine. You could also see her thinking her way through some of movements - making adjustments to the foot, the hip etc. Nothing major but noticeable. However in the coda she shot like a speeding bullet through the chainés bringing the house down. She is a good turner with high extensions and beautiful line. Her phrasing of the steps to the music is a revelation. I was told by someone who saw her last Thursday that she was much better that evening.

This totally coincides with what I thought about her performance on Thursday night (May 24). The scarf variation looked very tentative, and I thought she came off pointe even when she wasn't supposed to, but she more than made up for it by the speeding chaines which were done so fast that it was exciting. Overall, I think Cojocaru is wonderful to watch. In contrast, the lovely, soothing Part did the chaines at a very slow/soft speed. I feel that Part's smooth and soft approach works also, but it isn't quite as exciting at that moment in the coda. It is really hard to choose one dancer that you like best in a role, b/c each one brings something different and interesting (probably due to personality). I have never had one opera diva I followed either, always several at any given time. All great artists have their good points and bad points that fans argue heatedly over! LOL

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I attended three Bayaderes: Part/Gomes/Murphy, Semionova/Hallberg/Seo, Cojocaru/Cornejo/Boylston

Three very different interpretations, all world class performances, with their own strengths and minor weaknesses.

Part was majestic, angelical, in a ballet that allows her to show her beautiful lines and musicality. I woudnt say it was her best Nikiya, but it was indeed beautiful, riveting, and very well danced. Murphy was Gamzatti, literally, she is brought a grandeur to the character that has grown over the years, and her dancing was absolutely incredible. Italian fouettes on the spot, with her foot right on her face, and no sign of tension whatsoever, she does them as if she were just there, standing, smiling, she is so strong !. Her variation on Act 3 was flawless, with perfectly centered and musical triple/quadruple pirouetes, bravisima. Marcelo was a perfect match for Part and Gillian, and danced beautifully as well

Semionova is not as soft as Part, yet she was to me the most spectacular Nikiya I have seen in years. Her technique is something else, especially for a ballerina of her height, and she combines that with her really gorgeous lines and very good stage projection. I loved the way she portrayed the scene when she was bitten by the snake (it was my fav), and her solo right before that was to dye for, very intense, you could really feel her love for Solor and her pain. She has a boneless back, so those cambre were like omg !, in the series of arabesques penche, which is usually done with the ballerina starting on point and then going flat foot, she actually stayed on point, raised the arabesque really high, and held the balance for ever, while looking at Solor ! The audience reacted strongly, and she got a well deserved round of applause!

Act II was magical, scarf scene was perfectly executed, with great taste, musical. Next to David the first pdd was like a different world. All the multiple pirouettes were right on, with the music too, not rushed, she had time to execute them and then go to arabesque slowly, she also held a wonderful balance for ever, and ended with pretty fast chaines….the audience again went really wild with her. In Act III, she flew throughout the stage with those gorgeous jetes and her beautiful lines.

David had some minor details in his variations, but he is so elegant, that it really didnt matter to me at all, he partenered Semionova wonderfully too.

Seo was a major dissapointment. First, in my opinion, she is misscasted as Gamzatti. She is too soft and sweet for it. I can see her silky, musical and beautiful phrasing, but she continues to be very, very weak technically, (or I may just had bad luck whenever i have seen her). During the italian fouettes she traveled all over the stage, but more than that, the tension in her body was so high, I actually had this feeling of, god i wish she finishes them asap, so the suffering stops. In the final fouettes, she started well and fast, but fell of point at the end and finished with her back to the audience, as some people mentioned before. Act III variation was also tentative, shaky I would say. Its obvious that they are going to promote her, but i just hope abt management is sure about that big decision, because to me she is just not ready yet.

Cojocaru was splendid; her response to the music is truly unparallel. It may be me, but Alina is so special, that sometimes I feel that she needs to be seen to be believed, what an artist ! This ballet is not the best vehicle for a petite ballerina like her, but those extensions and her magnificent way of showing her beautiful lines make it seem as if it was done for her. She had some technical problems In Act II, during the scarf variation, when she came off point, I think twice, but then.....right after, she held one of the most beautiful balances I have ever seen, holding the scarf up high, in a really, really sky-high arabesque, center stage, with cornejo looking at her, it seemed like it lasted for ever really, people went wild in the theater.

The first pdd of Act II was magnificent, and everything else was flawless, beautiful, musical, with fast multiple pirouettes, and as it was mentioned before, a really fast series of chaines that brought the house down.

Boylston was a good Gamzatti, I think she is still a work in progress (which is expected, given her young age/inexperience) but I liked a lot how she built the character and she was technically very accomplished, no major problems in Act I fouettes (italian and final ones, all well executed) and lovely Act III variation, clean footwork.

Cornejo was a technical marvel, his variations were magnificent, crystal clear with tremendous elevation. The audience also responded really strong to his dancing. I liked that he partnered Alina very well, with no major problems, since he has had problems partnering before, so kudos to a big improvement in this department. I also agree that he has to develop his artistry more, and go deeper into the characterization of his roles.

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I attended three Bayaderes: Part/Gomes/Murphy, Semionova/Hallberg/Seo, Cojocaru/Cornejo/Boylston

Three very different interpretations, all world class performances, with their own strengths and minor weaknesses.

Part was majestic, angelical, in a ballet that allows her to show her beautiful lines and musicality. I woudnt say it was her best Nikiya, but it was indeed beautiful, riveting, and very well danced. Murphy was Gamzatti, literally, she is brought a grandeur to the character that has grown over the years, and her dancing was absolutely incredible. Italian fouettes on the spot, with her foot right on her face, and no sign of tension whatsoever, she does them as if she were just there, standing, smiling, she is so strong !. Her variation on Act 3 was flawless, with perfectly centered and musical triple/quadruple pirouetes, bravisima. Marcelo was a perfect match for Part and Gillian, and danced beautifully as well

Semionova is not as soft as Part, yet she was to me the most spectacular Nikiya I have seen in years. Her technique is something else, especially for a ballerina of her height, and she combines that with her really gorgeous lines and very good stage projection. I loved the way she portrayed the scene when she was bitten by the snake (it was my fav), and her solo right before that was to dye for, very intense, you could really feel her love for Solor and her pain. She has a boneless back, so those cambre were like omg !, in the series of arabesques penche, which is usually done with the ballerina starting on point and then going flat foot, she actually stayed on point, raised the arabesque really high, and held the balance for ever, while looking at Solor ! The audience reacted strongly, and she got a well deserved round of applause!

Act II was magical, scarf scene was perfectly executed, with great taste, musical. Next to David the first pdd was like a different world. All the multiple pirouettes were right on, with the music too, not rushed, she had time to execute them and then go to arabesque slowly, she also held a wonderful balance for ever, and ended with pretty fast chaines….the audience again went really wild with her. In Act III, she flew throughout the stage with those gorgeous jetes and her beautiful lines.

David had some minor details in his variations, but he is so elegant, that it really didnt matter to me at all, he partenered Semionova wonderfully too.

Seo was a major dissapointment. First, in my opinion, she is misscasted as Gamzatti. She is too soft and sweet for it. I can see her silky, musical and beautiful phrasing, but she continues to be very, very weak technically, (or I may just had bad luck whenever i have seen her). During the italian fouettes she traveled all over the stage, but more than that, the tension in her body was so high, I actually had this feeling of, god i wish she finishes them asap, so the suffering stops. In the final fouettes, she started well and fast, but fell of point at the end and finished with her back to the audience, as some people mentioned before. Act III variation was also tentative, shaky I would say. Its obvious that they are going to promote her, but i just hope abt management is sure about that big decision, because to me she is just not ready yet.

Cojocaru was splendid; her response to the music is truly unparallel. It may be me, but Alina is so special, that sometimes I feel that she needs to be seen to be believed, what an artist ! This ballet is not the best vehicle for a petite ballerina like her, but those extensions and her magnificent way of showing her beautiful lines make it seem as if it was done for her. She had some technical problems In Act II, during the scarf variation, when she came off point, I think twice, but then.....right after, she held one of the most beautiful balances I have ever seen, holding the scarf up high, in a really, really sky-high arabesque, center stage, with cornejo looking at her, it seemed like it lasted for ever really, people went wild in the theater.

The first pdd of Act II was magnificent, and everything else was flawless, beautiful, musical, with fast multiple pirouettes, and as it was mentioned before, a really fast series of chaines that brought the house down.

Boylston was a good Gamzatti, I think she is still a work in progress (which is expected, given her young age/inexperience) but I liked a lot how she built the character and she was technically very accomplished, no major problems in Act I fouettes (italian and final ones, all well executed) and lovely Act III variation, clean footwork.

Cornejo was a technical marvel, his variations were magnificent, crystal clear with tremendous elevation. The audience also responded really strong to his dancing. I liked that he partnered Alina very well, with no major problems, since he has had problems partnering before, so kudos to a big improvement in this department. I also agree that he has to develop his artistry more, and go deeper into the characterization of his roles.

Great reviews of the ones you saw! Loved reading your review! I agree that Cojocaru is special and did do some wonderful balances the night I saw her along with many other wonderful effects. The scarf variation was the main thing that made her look almost confused. I also agree with your comments about Semionova. I saw Cojocaru, Part, and Semionova in that order and thought Semionova was the best, graceful like Part, but not as soft; daring as Cojocaru but more stable. Semionova's Swan Lake video, by the way, is very nice. The reviews on Amazon make it sound like it is a very modern, reworked Swan Lake, but I actually find it pretty normal except for the sparse sets. If you don't mind sparse sets and a slight reworking of the story, and you like her, I think you will love the video if you don't have it already. New Yorkers are lucky to have Semionova sign on as a permanent principal with ABT.

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