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La Bayadere Spring 2012


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#46 annamicro

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Posted 25 May 2012 - 09:02 AM

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.Posted Image 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.

#47 Ilya

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Posted 25 May 2012 - 02:02 PM

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.

#48 California

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Posted 25 May 2012 - 02:43 PM

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/

#49 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 25 May 2012 - 05:01 PM

Great to see you all here tonight! :-)

#50 carbro

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Posted 25 May 2012 - 08:21 PM

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.tumb...a76wbo1_500.jpg

#51 Ilya

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Posted 25 May 2012 - 11:12 PM

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.

#52 Ceeszi

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Posted 26 May 2012 - 03:36 AM

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.

#53 abatt

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Posted 26 May 2012 - 05:51 AM

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.

#54 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 26 May 2012 - 10:55 AM

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

#55 Ceeszi

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Posted 26 May 2012 - 11:04 AM

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.

#56 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 26 May 2012 - 11:19 AM

And when Gomes jumped in ! :-)

#57 Birdsall

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Posted 26 May 2012 - 11:20 AM

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!

#58 Birdsall

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Posted 26 May 2012 - 11:33 AM

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.

#59 nanushka

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Posted 26 May 2012 - 12:16 PM

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.

#60 Ilya

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Posted 26 May 2012 - 04:09 PM

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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