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La Bayadère and accompanying music score


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#1 Eleni Papanou

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Posted 14 June 2012 - 12:35 PM

Hi everyone:

I'm an author with a main character who is a ballerina. I scoured the internet and discovered the captivating La Bayadère. From the moment I read what it was about I was drawn in because the storyline mirrors my own character's interior journey.

I've already watched the famous "Kingdom of the Shades," along with the death of Nikiya and grande finale where Solor and Nikiya are reunited. I would like to know the name of the music that corresponds with each dance. I have the titles but have no clue where they fall within the performance. I was thinking of following the list as I watch the full ballet tonight with my daughters.

I've searched the internet and can't seem to find anything to help me, and I so want to get this right in my novel. I wrote out the scene yesterday, and it makes me more passionate about getting it right because it worked out so well with my character's inner growth. Are there any sites that have a program guide that displays what piece of music corresponds to a particular dance?

Any assistance would be greatly appreciated, as well as any comments about this ballet. I've read several already in this forum, but I wouldn't mind hearing more about this wonderful ballet.

Thanks!

#2 carbro

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Posted 14 June 2012 - 01:16 PM

Welcome to BalletAlert!, Eleni.

The musical sequencing depends on which version you're referring to. ABT and the Royal Ballet are the same production, both staged by Natalia Makarova. Paris Opera Ballet, Mariinsky Ballet and Bolshoi Ballet each have their own, distinct versions.

#3 Eleni Papanou

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Posted 14 June 2012 - 02:09 PM

Thanks for your quick reply. I'm having fun learning about all the ballet terminology, etc. I was going to watch the Paris Opera Ballet this evening.

Are you saying that the dances don't always line up with Ludwig Minkus's score? If I watch the ballet with a list of the music, does that mean it won't be in the same order as the composer's. Sorry, if I sound confused because I am! LOL. I wish I could find a program somewhere that would show me what piece is performed with what dance. If not, I guess I don't have to actually name the piece of music and just set the scene of how the dance is performed. I want to be as accurate as possible.

Also something to consider, if there are different versions, it might not make sense to include the song title and just capture the atmosphere. Any opinions?

Thanks again. I appreciate your help.

#4 Birdsall

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Posted 14 June 2012 - 02:22 PM

You might want to buy a Bayadere recording on iTunes by Richard Bonynge (conductor) which is the Lanchbery orchestration of Minkus' score. It is probably the sequence of music most familiar to Americans and many Europeans. It gives the musical terms (Ex: "Tempo di marcia giocosa") for each piece. It doesn't tell you which dance is happening, but after watching a dvd of it (I would suggest the Royal Ballet's 1991 version with Asylmuratova since it coincides with the Bayadere audio recording for the most part with minor changes that I suggested above). Once you've watched the whole ballet on dvd (over and over if possible.....when I bought this particular Royal Ballet Bayadere I found it quite easy to watch over and over) you will know in your mind what is being danced at any moment once you just listen to the recording I mentioned from iTunes. You'll know when it is a variation for Nikiya or Solor or when the corps dances, etc.

That is my suggestion. Bayadere is one of my favorites, so please let us know when your book is published! I will read it!

#5 Birdsall

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Posted 14 June 2012 - 02:33 PM

To answer another question of yours La Bayadere as performed in Russia has many character dances that are not included in the American Ballet Theatre's (and many European ballet companies') versions. I think the Mariinsky, the Bolshoi, and probably other companies in Russia AND the Paris Opera Ballet's version (by Nureyev) have these character dances. One example is a variation for a girl with a jug of water on her head which is very cute. There is also a group drumming. The Golden Idol is most often danced during these character dances.

In the one that most people in America and many places in Europe see, however, it is the Makarova version, and when she staged it she cut out a lot of what I call "the silly stuff" (I don't mean to say I dislike the character dances.....I enjoy them). She made the work into a much more serious story. She also created a final act (that had been lost during Soviet Russia).

You might want to read online (maybe Wikipedia) to find out how there is quite a complicated history behind La Bayadere and how it came to Europe and America. There is too much to go into and Wikipedia probably explains it better than I do.

I have to admit that I am probably in the minority, but I love Makarova's version of Bayadere. I think most people prefer the Nureyev production that he staged in Paris which is on video and is probably a more "traditional" Bayadere. But I love the Makarova production b/c there is closure (an ending that is actually quite scenically beautiful).

So my personal vote is: get the 1991 Royal Ballet Bayadere w/Asylmuratova (she includes the "Happy Flower Basket Dance" that Makarova's production normally omits, by the way). This is the Makarova version.

Also, get the Bonynge recording of it on audio (either order the cd or get from iTunes).

I actually listen to the music of Bayadere while doing cardio!

Bart

#6 Eleni Papanou

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Posted 14 June 2012 - 03:34 PM

Once you've watched the whole ballet on dvd (over and over if possible.....when I bought this particular Royal Ballet Bayadere I found it quite easy to watch over and over) you will know in your mind what is being danced at any moment once you just listen to the recording I mentioned from iTunes. You'll know when it is a variation for Nikiya or Solor or when the corps dances, etc.

That is my suggestion. Bayadere is one of my favorites, so please let us know when your book is published! I will read it!


Thanks, I was thinking of doing the same thing, and I most definitely will mention when the book is published! I'll post in this thread, but my book is not directly a story about ballet, but it's a big part of my character's life, and I love how it almost magically fit into my her personal thread as Nikiya was her last role. It was like serendipity struck when I discovered this ballet. I need the passion to come out in the character's performance. This particular ballet in my book actually veers off the plot when Nikiya reaches into the basket of flowers. She discovers something else inside, but it's closely related to the meaning and reason behind Nikiya's refusal to accept the antidote. This why I call it serendipity! I'm so glad I found this ballet. I can't tell you how much depth and emotion this added to my character.




So my personal vote is: get the 1991 Royal Ballet Bayadere w/Asylmuratova (she includes the "Happy Flower Basket Dance" that Makarova's production normally omits, by the way). This is the Makarova version.

Also, get the Bonynge recording of it on audio (either order the cd or get from iTunes).

I actually listen to the music of Bayadere while doing cardio!

Bart


Wow, am I glad I signed up for this forum. I never realized just how many variations of this ballet were out there. I saw the basket dance of which you speak on Youtube and have included this in my scene, so you pretty much answered my question on which version I need to focus on. I found a copy of the music you suggested on Emusic. I do lots of cardio and get many story ideas this way. Maybe I'll try this on my run tonight!

Thanks again for all your help. And if anyone wants to add anything further, I will check back often as I love the research aspect of writing!

#7 Birdsall

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Posted 14 June 2012 - 04:09 PM

Make sure to read about Bayadere on Wikipedia.

http://en.wikipedia....ki/La_Bayadère


Early on people warned that Wikipedia can be wrong since people submit info but now I think Wikipedia has people looking for mistakes. I find Wikipedia fairly accurate the times I have read something I am familiar with, but there could be mistakes. It is actually hard to find info on particular ballets, but there is a LOT of info on Bayadere on Wikipedia. I think there used to be more, but someone has edited it. Just don't necessarily base research solely on Wikipedia's info. You will want to look in other places and maybe fact check on your own, although you might not need actual extensive research on the actual ballet itself.

You will understand why there are different versions of the ballet after reading about it.

Natalia Makarova (a ballerina) was responsible for staging the Kingdom of the Shades for the first time in the U.S. and then later she staged the full ballet in NY. Later Nureyev staged the whole ballet in Paris. I think his version is closer to the Russian version of the ballet and includes the character dances.

But, like I said, Makarova's version is probably what most Americans and the British have seen, and plus her version has been staged all over Europe as well. I could be wrong, but I suspect more people know her version than any other. It is a more streamlined and more "tragic" (atmosphere-wise) or "serious" version, in my opinion.

The 1991 video is Makarova's version, but Asylmuratova supposedly demanded to dance the "Happy" dance (my term for the basket of flowers dance). But normally you will not see that in the Makarova version. Instead, she gets the basket and does a more slow dance (which actually fits better dramatically). As much as I like the "happy dance" it is a bit over the top when she knows Solor is still getting married to Gamzatti. LOL If you're being dumped, even getting a basket of flowers from the guy dumping you would not normally cause you to jump around with glee! LOL Maybe it would, but I doubt it! LOL

#8 Eleni Papanou

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Posted 14 June 2012 - 04:20 PM

Make sure to read about Bayadere on Wikipedia.

http://en.wikipedia....ki/La_Bayadère


Early on people warned that Wikipedia can be wrong since people submit info but now I think Wikipedia has people looking for mistakes. I find Wikipedia fairly accurate the times I have read something I am familiar with, but there could be mistakes. It is actually hard to find info on particular ballets, but there is a LOT of info on Bayadere on Wikipedia. I think there used to be more, but someone has edited it. Just don't necessarily base research solely on Wikipedia's info. You will want to look in other places and maybe fact check on your own, although you might not need actual extensive research on the actual ballet itself.

You will understand why there are different versions of the ballet after reading about it.

Natalia Makarova (a ballerina) was responsible for staging the Kingdom of the Shades for the first time in the U.S. and then later she staged the full ballet in NY. Later Nureyev staged the whole ballet in Paris. I think his version is closer to the Russian version of the ballet and includes the character dances.

But, like I said, Makarova's version is probably what most Americans and the British have seen, and plus her version has been staged all over Europe as well. I could be wrong, but I suspect more people know her version than any other. It is a more streamlined and more "tragic" (atmosphere-wise) or "serious" version, in my opinion.

The 1991 video is Makarova's version, but Asylmuratova supposedly demanded to dance the "Happy" dance (my term for the basket of flowers dance). But normally you will not see that in the Makarova version. Instead, she gets the basket and does a more slow dance (which actually fits better dramatically). As much as I like the "happy dance" it is a bit over the top when she knows Solor is still getting married to Gamzatti. LOL If you're being dumped, even getting a basket of flowers from the guy dumping you would not normally cause you to jump around with glee! LOL Maybe it would, but I doubt it! LOL


LOL, you do make an excellent point about Nikiya's state of mind. However, the happy dance fits with my story, and it was so beautiful because my character was in a bad state before she danced, which then soon turns to darkness during the reveal of what lies hidden in the basket, so it fit with my story line.

By the way, I did read the Wikipedia version, but I never trust it as my only source for any of my story research. I prefer to get personal opinions from people who actually are well versed in the subject of which I'm writing...which is why I signed on here. I could never get the personal opinions and responses that I've so far received here! Thanks again!

#9 Eleni Papanou

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Posted 15 June 2012 - 10:04 AM

I saw the Royal ballet performance last night and loved it, as did my daughters and husband. I have a different take on the basket dance now that I've seen it all the way through. Nikiya could be dancing with a smile because she wants to prove she can't be broken, and then when the snake bit her, her true feelings came out. This puts a new perspective into the scene I wrote. Art is truly subjective.

It's still going to take several listens to the score to be familiar with them enough to identify them in the ballet.

I ordered the DVD of the performance in France from Netflix and plan to watch that one next.

I also ran to the score last night, and I loved it so much I'm going to alternate classical music with my other music in my cardio from now on.


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