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Paris Opera Ballet La Bayadere


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#1 colwill

colwill

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Posted 30 November 2001 - 02:34 PM

Every year I make the trip to Paris to watch the Paris Opera Ballet dance, this year I attended two performances of La Bayadere on the 19th and 21st November.

The heart of any ballet company is the corps de ballet; the POB is served most magnificently. The dancers, both male and female, performed with outstanding professionalism and superb musicality. The sheer beauty of those arabesque penchee on the entrance to the shades act, with never a fault, was enough to melt the hardest heart and worth the ticket cost alone. Many revues praise the principle dancers and forget the artistry of the c-d-b.

The cast on the 19th was:
Nikiya Delphine Moussin
Solar Jean-Guillaume Bart
Gamzatti Leatitia Pujol
Fakir Fabien Roques
Golden Idol Benjamin Pech
1st Variation Nathalie Aubin
2nd Variation Clairemarie Osta
3rd Variation Fanny Fiat

I was disappointed with this performance. Bayadere is a ballet where the drama is driven by passion and pathos with mime paying a large part. Moussin, Bart and Pujol danced technically without fault but with a total lack of the emotion needed to convince the audience that this was a love story thwarted by jealousy and betrayal. The dancing of the 3 variations (and the c-d-b.) lifted the whole performance. It was interesting that Fanny Fiat danced two totally different parts, as well as the 3rd variation she also danced the Indian pdd.

The cast on the 21st was:
Nikiya Agnes Letestu
Solar Jose Martinez
Gamzatti Eleonora Abbagnato
Fakir Lional Delanoe
Golden Idol Benjamin Pech
1st Variation Isabelle Ciaravola
2nd Variation Clairemarie Osta
3rd Variation Fanny Fiat

This was a different Bayadere! Letestu was the most perfect Nikiya I can remember, she was desperately in love with Solar and he with her. She has the most expressive arms and hands and her pointe work was a joy to watch. Martinez danced Solar with tenderness, passion and despair. The air was electric whenever either or both were on stage. I had watched Abbagnato dance Gamzatti when the POB visited the Lowry in Manchester last year when she gave a very poor performance – in this performance she seemed like a different dancer. I was very impressed with her interpretation of the music, maybe she was not aggressive enough in the ‘fight’ with Nikiya, but sparkled in her solo and pdd in Act 2.

Finally I have to say that the POB dances the most enjoyable, musical and precise version of Bayadere of the five companies that I have seen. Maybe the Royal Ballet will change my mind in February!

[ November 30, 2001: Message edited by: colwill ]




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