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Royal Ballet LA BAYADÈRE in Canadian Cinemas, May 2

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From OpusArte/DigiScreen:

The Royal Ballet presents

LA BAYADÈRE (The Temple Dancer)

in Canadian cinemas from Covent Garden

An exotic tale of love and revenge in legendary India!

On Saturday May 2, Montreal distributor DigiScreen presents London's exquisite Royal Ballet in cinemas throughout Canada in one of the ballet's most popular productions LA BAYADÈRE (The Temple Dancer). The Royal Ballet production appears on over 30 Canadian screens as part of The Royal Opera House's international Opus Arte Cinema series. It is sure to be a thrilling treat for audiences to enjoy three of ballet's biggest stars - Tamara Rojo, Marianela Nuñez and Cuban superstar Carlos Acosta.

Romantic India provides the setting for one of The Royal Ballet's favourite full-length works: La Bayadère, a tale of love, murder and vengeful judgment by the gods. At the centre of this showcase of classical dancing is the warrior Solor (Carlos Acosta) and his love Nikiya (Tamara Rojo), the beautiful temple dancer (bayadère) of the title. Nikiya provokes the murderous jealousy of her wicked rival, Gamzatti (Marianela Nuñez), encouraged by the High Brahmin, whose own designs on the bayadère are far from pure. Seeking solace in opium after the death of his love, Solor hallucinates an afterworld – the Kingdom of the Shades – filled with one of classical dance's most famous images as multiple spectral Nikiyas fill the stage. With the collapse of the temple, destroyed by the gods, Solor and Nikiyia are finally reunited as spirits in the next world.

Originally choreographed in 1877 by Marius Petipa, La Bayadère was later adapted by The Kirov Ballet and re-created in this three-act version by Natalia Makarova with naturalistic and detailed designs that create a rich setting for an exotic tale. Two star ballerina roles, the epitome of a 'White' ballet and a Bronze Idol, who comes briefly but spectacularly to life, are just some of the elements that make this a perennial favourite of The Royal Ballet repertory.

"Gorgeous Dancing! I do love this lavish production!" – Ballet Magazine

With music by Ludwig Minkus orchestrated by John Lanchbery, La Bayadère was captured live at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden in High Definition and Full Surround Sound on January 15 & 19th, 2008.

Montreal distributor DigiScreen Corporation, in partnership with Royal Opera House's Opus Arte releases 16-20 HD productions throughout the year.

Tickets will be available at $19.95 + tax per adult, $16.95 + tax per senior and $9.95 + tax per child. For cinema locations and to purchase advance tickets throughout Canada visit www.empiretheatres.com/opusarte. For Landmark Cinemas in Alberta and BC, go to www.landmarkcinemas.com. For independent theatres in Vancouver and Waterloo, please visit www.festivalcinemas.ca, www.princesscinemas.com

To discover more about The Royal Ballet, please visit: http://www.roh.org.uk/discover/ballet/index.aspx

About Royal Opera House http://www.roh.org.uk

The Royal Opera House is the home of three world class performing companies - The Royal Ballet, The Royal Opera, and The Orchestra of the Royal Opera House. It is a focal point for England's national and international artistic excellence, where the evolving traditions of opera and ballet are taken to the highest levels. This is the Royal Opera House - a shining symbol of excellence without compromise since 1732.

Opus Arte

http://www.opusarte.com Opus Arte, owned by the Royal Opera House, has been recording in High Definition for the past decade and has amassed a substantial catalogue of outstanding productions from around the world. Opus Arte led the way by being the first company to release a Classical HD-DVD, and also the first to release a Classical Blu-ray disc into the world market. Working closely with top organizations such as the BBC and TVE, Opus Arte has enabled a large number of people to share the magic of seeing an opera or ballet live. Partnerships with the world's top opera houses has enabled Opus Arte to capture some of the most magnificent productions ever experienced on DVD for people to enjoy over again.

About DigiScreen Corporation


DigiScreen is a digital network for the distribution and presentation of independent film and alternative content. The company's low-cost high quality HD technology allows exhibitors to access content with a very low overhead.

DigiScreen launched the network in 2007 with an exclusive collaboration with Opus Arte and the Royal Opera House of London. Thanks to this collaboration, the company is able to showcase the world's most prestigious contemporary performing arts companies in an ongoing series of spectacular operas and ballets. These productions are captured live, in High Definition, from locations such as Convent Garden (London), Palais Garnier (Paris), Teatro Real (Madrid), Licieu (Barelona), War Memorial (San Francisco) and other great stages of the world. These HD productions are presented exclusively by DigiScreen and its partners to audiences in more than 300 cinemas across the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Europe, Japan and Australia. Presentations in South Africa and other territories will be starting shortly.

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Cinemas and show times:

Screenings will take place at Empire Theatres at 1:00 p.m. local time.

Participating cities: St. John's, Halifax, Sydney, Fredericton, Saint John, Moncton, Charlottetown, St. Catharines, North York, Mississauga, Ottawa, London, Kitchener, Kingston, Richmond Hill, Burlington, Bolton, Winnipeg, Edmonton, Calgary, Vancouver, North Vancouver and Victoria.


Screenings will also take place at Landmark Cinemas in Winnipeg, Calgary, Kelowna and Nanaimo at 11:00 a.m. local time.


Possibly showing at the Princess Twin in Waterloo at 1:00 p.m.: www.princesscinemas.com (Digiscreen says yes, but no confirmation on the Princess site)

Showing at the Ridge Theatre in Vancouver, www.festivalcinemas.ca, at 10:00 am PT.


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The cast sheet listed only the three leads, and the final credits rolled by quickly, but from what I could gather, the dancers in this performance were:

Nikiya - Tamara Rojo

Solor - Carlos Acosta

Gamzatti - Marianela Nuñez

High Brahmin - Gary Avis

Rajah - Christopher Saunders

Aya - Genesia Rosato

Golden Idol - José Martín

Fakir - Kenta Kura

Solor's Friend - Valeri Hristov

1st Shade - Yuhui Choe

2nd Shade - Lauren Cuthbertson (Hikaru Kobayashi in the ensembles)

3rd Shade - Helen Crawford

I found the performance a little disappointing. If a third DVD of Makarova's production is to be released, there ought to be a very compelling reason to do it, but I didn't see it today. I expected more of Rojo. Technically she was very accomplished, and her balances were remarkable, but since her performance will inevitably be compared with those already filmed, I have to say that her earthly Nikiya was not Asylmuratova class, and her Shade Nikiya was not on par with Guérin. I wasn't entirely happy with the way her entrance was filmed because the camera seemed too focused on other characters, and the props weren't handled as well as they could have been. The scene with the dagger wasn't timed well (I think Rosato was too slow to grab Rojo's hand) and, more importantly, the snake bite didn't register strongly. The dropping of the antidote wasn't filmed properly either, the consequence being that a number of audience members who hadn't seen the ballet before didn't fully understand what had happened. It wasn't until they read the synopsis subsequently that they realized that Nikiya had already died.

Perhaps Acosta's performance came across strongly in the theatre, but it didn't on screen. His dancing didn't take off until the engagement party, but while his jumps were very fine, the turns were less so. Since the film was a composite of two performances, I can only conclude that he didn't turn cleanly on either night. I was happy to forgo Bolle's slight, self-satisfied smirk at the end of his nailed pirouette sequence, but if Acosta's publicity machine is going to market him as the "world's greatest male classical dancer," I don't think it's unreasonable to ask why Bolle's solo dancing is more secure technically.

It goes without saying that Nuñez had no problems with her turns. Her variation and coda were sensational.

The women's corps was a little ragged, and in the D'Jampe dance they almost looked hunchbacked. Were their scarves too short for them to stand up straight? It wasn't until the last act that they seemed to get in sync. The POB this wasn't.

Still, I was happy as soon as the curtain came up on the engagement party, because there at the front of the ensemble was Sergei Polunin executing wonderful entrechats six. At one point in the subsequent adagio, I was so struck by Hikaru Kobayashi's penché arabesque that I found my eyes veering toward her instead of Nuñez. Probably not the intended effect.

Among the Shades, Choe was excellent, and if Cuthbertson wasn't Letestu calibre, she was more secure than Viviana Durante in the RB's previous film.

Full marks to Gary Avis. The audience seemed to like Kenta Kura best, and he did whirl and jump very impressively.

If I were to buy the future DVD, it would be primarily for Nuñez, and probably only if I could unload my Zakharova-Bolle disc first. I certainly didn't dislike it, but I didn't love it either.

What would really be of greater interest to me at this point would be a film of Malakhov's production with Polina Semionova.

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