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Bayadere at the Bolshoi

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My first exposure, two days ago, to the Bolshoi theatre was Bayadere, in the Yuri Grigorovich

production of 1991, of which this was the 89th performance, and according to Violetta Maynietse in the program notes, preserves..."in so far as possible the Mariinsky original'.

Since the Mariinsky now features the reconstruction of 1890, the Grigorovich version, as with his Swan Lake, tries to tell the tale without reliance on pantomime as an intrinsic element of a three-act work and to let dance 'do' it all.

The cast was: Anna Antonicheva Nikia- Yekaterina Shipulina Gamzatti -Vladimir Neprozhny Solor- Andrey Bolotin Little Golden Idol "Shadows" variations: Yekaterina Krysanova 1st-

Natalya Vyskubenko 2nd- and Irina Semirechenskaya 3rd. [i'll keep this condensed]

The cast is unkown to me, and I will not have much to say about individual performances, except for some general impressions. I really wanted to see the Bolshoi version, after having seen the Mariinsky 1890 reconstruction last year in St. Petersburg, once with Vishneva and a second time with Daria Pavlenko.

Ms. Antonicheva was a perfectly secure and convincing Nikia but gave a performance that left no indelible impressions. Vladimir Neporozhny is a dancer in the princely mold, tall, good physique,


Ms Shipulina was the big surprise in this performance, making of the role more than I've seen anyone else do. She was certainly the audience favorite, and in my opinion the best Gamzatti I have seen. She enlivened the stage with her every appearance. Her buoyant jumps were the treat of the second act. The Grand Pas was great classical dancing, even if the Minkus music, conducted by Alexander Kopylov, sounded more circusy than customary.

The third act staging brought out the symbolic 'snake', which the descent of the Shades from the mountains indicates, as they form the 32-unit rectangle, symbol of the earth.

The three Shade variations,, are to me, the center of this ballet.

The three dancers in this performance, were all of what seems the Bolshoi esthetic preference: long-limbed, tall and physically refined. All were first-rate. My favorite of the three is Ms. Krysanova.

The Grigorovich version ends with Solor alone, the temple collapsing, and Solor's demise without redemption.

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Thanks for sharing your impressions, chiapuris.

Now that we have the new/old Mariinsky version, the statement in the booklet that the Grigorovich adaptation preserves the Mariinsky original "in so far as possible" sounds really out of tune.

Hope you'll be seeing a lot more at the Bolshoi and please keep us updated.

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Thank you, chiapuris. I especially enjoyed your comment on the Shades:

The third act staging brought out the symbolic 'snake', which the descent of the Shades from the mountains indicates, as they form the 32-unit rectangle, symbol of the earth.

I'd never heard that before -- thank you!

I'd seen this production in DC a few years ago, and had many of the same impressions. The mime was vestigial, but also seemed to have been passed down to the dancers by way of the children's game "telephone": unrelated gestures that produced nonsense sentences.

Please write more of what you're seeing!

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