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I saw Bayadere on 17th Oct and 1st Nov. The first cast (Tamara Rojo, Carlos Acosta and Marianela Nunez) I'd seen before, but they surpassed themselves this time. Carlos Acosta's Shades variation was completely unbelievable - multipule pirouettes that slowed down at the end to almost come to a stand still, doulbe cabrioles that seemed to hang in the air.... :rolleyes: Tamara Rojo was beautiful technicially, but what really stood out was the contrast in her earthy first act to her etherial second act.

On 1st Nov Alina Cojocaru, Johan Kobborg and Laura Morera danced the leads. Johan was great! :wink: (as always...) He was sooo in character the whole time, and made you really believe that he loved Nikiya. Nikiya is one of my favourite Alina roles- I love the way she uses her arms and upper body- and her betrothal scene dance was gorgeous.

Have to give a mention to the corps - more together in the shades than I've ever seen them in anything.

What did everyone else think?

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I'm going on the last night (13th) where I think it will be Nunez, Acosta and Rojo. I am really looking forward to it - especially the kingdom of the shades which my teacher told me all about. I really like a good corps de ballet scene.

Incidentally, what is the correct way to pronounce the ballet. Is it "bey-a-dare" or "bye-a-dare" or something else?!

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Welcome, rojo fan and thank you very much for posting that! We have several Londoners here, but you're awfully quiet -- as you can tell from Giannina's and Watermill's posts, we want to read about what you're seeing!!!!!!!

Beckster, a friend who saw Nunez's performance liked it VERY much; I hope you'll enjoy it. I'll await your review with interest.

I've always heard Bayadere pronounced BYE a dare.

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I've copied these over from Links: two London reviews of this run of Bayaderes, covering several casts.

Do people agree with Brown's assessment of Rojo's partner?

Two reviews of the Royal Ballet:

  • La Bayadère with Marienela Nuñez, Thiago Suares, and Lauren Cuthbertson.
    Marianela Nuñez began this season's run of Bayadères dancing a transfixingly cold-hearted Gamzatti. On Monday she made her debut as doomed heroine Nikiya, negotiating a transforming U-turn into virtue. Nuñez is a strong, plush dancer and she rightly didn't risk playing Nikiya as a sanctified waif. Instead she used her powerfully arched back and plumb-centred technique to orchestrate her own passionate music inside the role.
  • Romeo and Juliet with Tamara Rojo and David Makhateli. Also, two Bayadères, one with Daria Pavlenko, Roberto Bolle, and Zenaida Yanowsky, and the other with Nuñez, Suares, and Cuthbertson.
    Ballerinas are a company's crown jewels, and they need looking after. If you have the Hope diamond, you don't stick it on a Matalan jacket. Tamara Rojo, opening yet another run of the Royal Ballet's favourite ticket-seller, Romeo and Juliet, has been partnered with a low-grade new signing and a cast that on opening night looked thrown together rather than lovingly planned.

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I saw Tamara and David Makhateli in R&J on 30th November, and I think in general the critics have been a bit harsh. This could be due to the fact that the company has done R&J very recently prior to this revival, and so the critics may be getting a little bit bored of it. There was one critic who moaned that all the supporting roles were badly undercast, although I thought Martin Harvey as Mercutio and Edward Watson as Benvolio were fantastic (can't wait to see Watson as Romeo!). I'd agree that David Makhateli looked quite timid as Romeo, although I quite liked his first act. This might have been because it was his first opening night with the RB, or it could have just been because Tamara Rojo was unbelievably fantastic, and gave him too much to live up to in comparison! :) Her third act was especially moving- her potion scene extremely vivid- kind of a silent scream technique.

Anyway, getting back to Makhateli, I personally thought he was ok, quite average, but not really good enough to hold his own up against Rojo. My dance history teacher was there and told me that she didn't think too much of him. She suggested a Rojo/Acosta R&J. Now there's a thought...

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Hi everyone. I saw the performance on 31st with Daria Pavlenko and Roberto Bolle, with Zenaida Yanowsky as Gamzatti.

This was my first Bayadere, and I was a bit annoyed by the overly complicated plot-I kept having to look in my programme, because I found some of the mime a bit meaningless?

I also wasn't that inspired by Daria, she seemed a bit expressionless to me compared to Zenaida, who was fantastically venemous!

I have read some rave reviews about The Kingdom of the Shades but I must have had a bad night for it because the corps looked pretty wobbly (not that I could even begin to attempt it myself!)

Overall though I really enjoyed it, and Ivan Putrov was the Bronze Idol was the icing on the cake-he was brilliant! Has anyone seen his Solor? I hear that's great too.

Also is there anyone who's seen Romeo and Juliet and wants to share? I'm not going for ages but I do get to see Alina Cojocaru and Johan Kobborg :D

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Thanks for that, rojo fan -- I'm afraid that critics sometimes do get tired of seeing the same thing again and it's hard to keep that tiredness out of a review. But they should try!!! I thought some of the comments were a bit harsh, too, but I also see the point of matching dancers and providing a ballerina with a suitable partner.


Thanks for posting -- we love it when people jump right in. If you're not used to ballets like Bayadere I can see how they'd be confusing -- one does have to read the program notes to figure out what's going on. When you've seen one or two -- or three -- it begins to make more sense, although some people never like them.

I'm not in London, so can't comment on the performances -- just like to read aobut them :toot: But I did want to welcome you.

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Last night I saw the Royal Ballet perform La Bayadere. Nikiya was performed by Tamara Rojo, Solor by Carlos Acosta, and Gamzatti by Marianela Nunez.

I really really enjoyed this ballet. I’ve never seen it before, and parts of it were quite breathtaking. I was sitting right at the back of the amphitheatre as usual (cheapskate). I wish I had made notes at the time, as I’m going to find it hard to remember everything I thought!

So, off we go to some weird Indian land where salwar kameez and tutus are worn in equal number. I’ve seen Tamara Rojo before several times, and I do like her. She was very good in this, not just her dancing but also the acting. Her horror when the Brahmin professed his love was perfectly judged. Then everyone went off and Carlos Acosta started dancing. I was sitting in the theatre thinking that I have a bit of a prejudice to him, he seems rather arrogant. But his dancing was just amazing so I’m going to have to let him off. After all, Nureyev wasn’t exactly the nicest person around. He started with some really huge jumps. I don’t know what they were (possibly double cabrioles?) but he just seemed to hang in the air and do the slowest and most emphatic beats I have ever seen. It was quite amazing.

Scene 2, and I just LOVED Gamzatti. I much prefer her character to Nikiya. I have never seen Nunez dance a major role before – in fact I’ve never noticed her as a dancer, and because of her name I was expecting her to look more like Rojo. She was very pale and very haughty, and I liked her character and her dancing a lot. Again Rojo made me take notice of her acting – her revulsion at the ayah was very real. Scene 3, they all celebrate that Solor has dumped Nikiya for Gamzatti. Some rather horrible fuchsia gingham tutus here, and some lovely dancing by all three leads. I think it was in this scene that Nunez did a multiple pirouette that made the audience gasp. I don’t know how many it was because I never count, but it was at least four. I liked the contrast between the two female leads, with Rojo doing a lot of adage work and Nunez doing a lot of fancy jumps. At one point Rojo got her scarf wrapped over her face, but fair play to her she carried on and did a pirouette and it came off. If that had been me I would probably have taken out a couple of temple dancers and ended up in the orchestra pit – which explains why she is a professional dancer and I’m not. That and the fact that I’m rubbish.

The Kingdom of the shades. Now I had heard good things about this and I was really looking forward to it, and I thought generally it was very good. The corps were very together, but one of the soloists had some very annoying mannerisms which put me off a bit. Again Acosta and Rojo danced beautifully and sent shivers down my spine. Acosta doing quintuple pirouettes and doing more of those huge jumps. Rojo with some lovely sustained balances. I liked the way the corps were at the sides doing steps which reflected the main action. And then it all finishes with a bit of an anticlimax, dancing-wise. Some fairly standard corps de ballet dancing and pdds, thunder and lightening, and Rojo and Acosta reunited in eternity by a long scarf. It had all the hallmarks of a great ballet - weak story, great dancing, everyone dies … I loved it.

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I've seen three of the Bayadere casts, and although I enjoyed the Rojo team a lot, for sheer excitement I'd go for the one performance given by Nunez, Thiago Soares and Lauren Cuthbertson. Nunez was just wonderful - confident, expansive, emotionally moving - it was the night she stepped out of 'very promising soloist' into 'young ballerina'. The even younger Lauren Cuthbertson is expected to take this step before too long - she's doing Juliet in the spring - and already she's a fine Gamzatti, rather gentler than most. Soares is a potentially exciting dancer, and he can act too - has anyone seen him in his pre-RB days? Altogether a real night to remember.

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Ballet.co.uk has several reviews of Bayadere. Here's one by Lynette Haywood:

La Bayadere

First nights at the Royal are notoriously tricky. Too often in the past, the Royal’s first nights have looked under rehearsed in parts, with nerves all too apparent. And yet there is a pull about first nights, particularly this, the opening night of the season. It’s good to see the company again after a long break, and there is a sense of expectancy. This night seemed particularly significant: last season’s opener, a very nervy, tense unfocussed version of Nureyev’s Don Q which decidedly lacked oomph told a lot about the state of the company under the newly arrived artistic director Ross Stretton. Things could only improve compared to that.

There are other reviews of this and other RB programs in the Magazine:


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