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Bayadere premiere

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how about this?

I thought I'd treat you to a quote from today's Bayadère review in the NRC Handelsblad (more or less the paper of record in Holland).

After some remarks on the set and the awkward dresses it concludes:

"What makes this production successful [de kracht van deze voorstelling ligt in] is the dancers' high level [kwaliteit] and spontaneity. If you're looking for the pure beauty of classical dance there's a lot to enjoy in the exemplary corps and in ballerina Aysem Sunal, who gives the deceived Nikia stirring nobility, poetry and passion."

I should note the review is by Ine Rietstap (a dancer from the fifties) who cannot mention the DNB's Larissa Lezhnina without using the words "robotic smile".


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Someone else from Belgium here! I haven't gone to La Bayadere yet. Is it good enough to spend money on going? I'm a student so I don't have a lot of money to spend on ballet performances, so I can only go if it's really worth it. I would love to see it though. I saw RBF in the Nutcracker, in Ghent, and i loved it.

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Marjolein, I'm joining the band :cool2:

Ofcourse you should go and see it ! For once we have a classic that's not totally ruined. Keep in mind that you have more chance in a fairly good seat and MUCH more affordable than anywhere else !

Herman, is Rietstap from another planet ? :unsure:

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Last night I was at a The Hague (home of NDT) performance of La Bayadère, and clearly Ine Rietstap's show must have been on a much kinder gentler planet than mine.

The corps was far from "exemplary". I'm not a stickler for everybody being 100% in line, but there comes a point when even my eyes can't gloss over a badly uneven ensemble. At some point I wished Solor would've handed me the opium pipe.

It must have been a very bad night. I talked to Denvers during a break, the artistic director (he and Sunal do make a gorgeous couple!), and he said six soloists were down with injuries.

Last minute changes can affect the entire company performance. Still I can't help but wonder how they got those injuries. Apart from a Solor variation or two (Howard Quintero) most of the dancing was taken in a rather unchallenging way. First I thought the legs didn't go up much because of some notion of stylistic accuracy. But gradually I got the feeling the dancers just weren't pushing themselves. They're apparently used to audiences who'll accept this anyway.

You will be pleased, Viviane, our Nikiya was Aki Saito. However I was not impressed. She was fine, in that she made no mistakes, and in the Shades act things started revving up a bit. However in the 2nd Act pointy-finger dance at the engagement ceremony Nothing Happened. So based on my memory Saito really doesn't top Sunal. I'm truly sorry to be so harsh (that's why I don't write reviews, profesionally) but in Amsterdam this risk-avoiding dancing of Saito's would not have gotten her beyond demi-soloist (Grand Sujet) rank. And even then it wasn't like we were looking at an good company with the upper half of the troupe lopped off. When you're dancing Petipa a good show starts from the corps, rather than from the top.

Just a question. Does the Flanders never ever dance with an orchestra? I mean, added to the constant touring that could be part of the problem too. Dancing to canned music is a rather dispiriting affair, because you can't go anywhere without parting from the music.

Denvers told me they'll doing a Giselle next year, hopefully they'll be in better shape then. (Though again, you'd have to wonder, if that's going to be Denvers' and Sunal's last season.)


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Herman, so sorry to read about the complete mess ! I doubt you would be more enthusiastic about Sunal in recent years. So far I haven't seen Aki Saito in much classical, but she's a welcome alternative for Sunal to me. And it's hard to believe she was dancing risk-avoiding...I have seen her in better days, that's clear.

I will try to see her somewhere in this role though to make up my own point of view and will report :)

They rarely perform with an orchestra and I agree : that's killing !

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Thanks for the review, Herman :rolleyes:. Glad that you don't blame us for having pushed you into this wonderful night out :grinning:.

Thing is, Viviane, Saito may be an agreeable soloist in smaller parts, but Nikiya is altogether a different kettle of fish. But then again, that goes a bit for the whole company when tackling these great Petipa ballets, starting with Sunal. I'm sure both would be fine in the manu dance. That said, it's a shame the corps didn't make much of an impression, because that was by far the best part of the evening I attended.

They hardly ever perform with an orchestra. Some years ago they used to dance premieres of new productions with orchestra, and at the same time recorded a tape which was used for the rest of the run. But even that doesn't seem to happen anymore. It's a shame because the few times I heard them play (the Orchestra of the Flemish Opera), it was excellent, and we have an able conductor in Koen Kessels.

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