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Makarova's Bayadere


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It seems that the Sylve/Gomes three performances of Makarova's La Bayadere did not occur, although she did dance one performance (sans Gomes) on February 27, according to HET's website. There is, however, a wonderful vid on the site with Makarova speaking about and rehearsing the ballet. Any chance to see Makarova, looking and sounding wonderful, is surely worth a click (on the word "hier"):


Did anyone see a performance of this production? If so, please post.

Added later: Sometimes when I try the above link it gives another page (only sometimes)! If that happens to you, just click on that page to solisten. And then click to

"La Bayadère in het NOS Journaal" and you'll get to where the above link goes when it feels like it. I guess Makarova is worth the detour.

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Drb, I saw this performance yesterday, Friday March the 2nd.

I had a great time, but I deliberately went on a day that some of my preferred dancers were scheduled, so I could not be disappointed!

The lovely Ji-Young Kim makes a truly enchanting Nikiya, she's beautifully delicate with an exceptionally graceful upper body + arms. And Tamás Nagy was of course a perfect Solor, combining the strength and pride of a warrior with his typical gentlemanly elegance.

Gamzatti was danced by Julie Gardette, to whom I had not really paid much attention in previous performances, but obviously I've been missing out: she succeeded very well in making Gamzatti stunningly beautiful and emotionally understandable, but still rather reserved. It was not at all hard to believe that this cute and frail Gamzatti was also cold enough to actually have her rival in love killed...

Also worth mentioning was Nicholas Mishoe as the Bronze Idol. At the beginning of the 3rd act, this statue on the stairs of the temple comes to life to dance. I guess the role doesn't bear any relevance to the storyline itself, but it was one of my highlights for the evening! Judging by the enthusiasm of the rest of the audience, I was not alone.

Another unexpected highlight for me was the Pas d'Action in the Palace Garden in the last scene of Act 1.

I guess I'm a bit of a drama-junkie, so in fairytale ballets I usually feel like I am just "waiting for the lyrical bits" during things like national dances or dancing beverages of any kind. But I thought this Pas d'Action was absolutely delightful, the dancing was so fresh and pretty!

Oh, and for the clip with ms. Makarova from the Dutch news: perhaps it's easier to just go directly here:


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I did see two performances of La Bayadere, unfortunately with the same soloists. Due to Marcelo Gomes' injury I did not get to see him and Sofiane Sylve. Instead I saw Igone de Jongh, Inaki Urlezaga and Marisa Lopez twice.

This was the first time in years I saw De Jongh in a full-length Petipa ballet, and she has clearly matured since. Particularly on the first night performance she was really good, never making the mistake of overacting, making sure the drama came from the dancing first.

Why the company shells out to fly Urlezaga over frankly beats me. Admittedly he was better than in his dismal Swan Lake, last year, but still you're looking at a kind of McDonalds dancing. All night you're thinking he's saving himself for something big, but the big thing never happens. (Of course his solo variations do get a big hand, but even there he never lets his hair down.)

I'm sorry to say Marisa Lopez is not a dancer I like in classical rep. She's a Balanchine dancer. In addition I think the company is investing more in her than is warranted. That being said she was entirely satisfactory, especially in the acting parts, her having such big features that even the bat of an eyelash registers in the last row.

The Entrance of the Shades is obviously the big banana in this ballet. Well, let's just say there's evidence there are only two ways to do this: too fast or too slow. I've never seen it this fast. Of course the dancers can't help this; it's got to be Makarova requiring this pace. Also the flow is taken out of the choreography by making the plie just a little dip, so that there's really a full stop in the movement rather than a plie out of which the pointed right foot emerges to continue the mvt.

Thirdly, with Makarova the entrance of the shades comes right after the opium smoking scene. The dance with the lights has been moved to the last act, heaven knows why. By making the scene with the pipe, the couch and Solor's emotional devastation this brief, the entrance of the shades becomes just a set piece, rather than the hallucination of a man in despair. The rather prosaic pace of the entrance completes the picture.

And yet the power of this piece is such that one's affected nonetheless. And the same goes for the entire show. I was quite satisfied the first night. Igone de Jongh did what a big girl is expected to do: she was the balletic and dramatic centre of the entire night, ably abetted by Lopez. I would have loved to have seen another good soloist couple, but alas it didn't happen. Apart from Gomes, Ruta Jezerskyte was also injured. I had wanted to see her and Cedryc Ignace performing Nikya & Solor.

On the first night the three shade soloists were in great shape, particularly Emanouela Merdjanova, one of those 100% reliable dancers in the middle ranks, an impeccably elegant dancer and a beautiful woman to boot. On the second night, Sarah Fontaine did the third solo. (On the first night Fontaine, one of my favorite dancers, did the charactere drum dance, which had been cut the second time around; an indication, perhaps, that La Bayadere really exhausts the company's ranks.)

Mimi, I cannot believe you missed Julie Gardette previously. She's a delightful dancer; very pretty, with an unique comical gift. She would be a great Swanhilda, except that this company doesn't do Coppelia, never has in 50 years of HNB. She was, for instance, very good in Symphony in C, 3d mvt, in its most recent run.

Finally I cannot help mentioning Anu Viheriaranta, the bitesize redhead from Finland. It doesn't matter if she's dancing in a ensemble of six, with a soloist doing fouettes right in front of her. You're bound to watch Anu just the same, because she's so musical.

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Mimi, I cannot believe you missed Julie Gardette previously. She's a delightful dancer; very pretty, with an unique comical gift. She would be a great Swanhilda, except that this company doesn't do Coppelia, never has in 50 years of HNB.

I think there are plans for a re-take of Coppelia in the 07/08 season, but the 07/08 performances won't be officially presented to the audience until March 16th. So until that time we're in unknowing anticipation! :jawdrop:

If it's true though, I hope they will agree with your idea of casting ms. Gardette in the title role! :blink:

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