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La Bayadere- Spring 2010


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I went saturday nigh too and I was very impressed with Cory's debut. Compared to the last two years, one can see a tremendous evolution in his dancing/partnering and acting skills. His stage presence in magnificent and he has probably all the attributes required to be become a great noble dancer. I also agree that technically, he still has a lot of work to do, especially I dislike the little energy/height of his jetes.

Again, compared to last year his technique seems much improved.

He partenered Veronika pretty well, some of the difficult lifting did not look good but overall he did a great job and they looked great together.

Veronika was gorgeoulsy lyrical and passionated. Her dancing is so expansive and luxurious and her jetes, once again, were breathtaking.

Michele danced/acted much better than on Tuesday night, her 3rd act variation was flawless, beautiful.

Sarah Lane stood out as the first shade, she threw a couple of beautifully executed triples pirouettes and the diagonal on point was perfect, quick and strong. Brava ! I also love the way she uses her upper body, I wish she were given more opportunities, her potential is huge.

Kajiya and Ricetto also nailed their variations. On the other hand, I didnt like the way the three of them danced together, each seemed to go dancing on her own.

The corp was very well synchronized and looked gorgeous tonight too.

Simkim danced Bronze idol and as mentioned before, almost fell at the end when going up the stairs.

He danced very well although I think I was expecting more, I actually like better Salstein on this character.

Will Herman dance this again ? He and Angel are the best I have seen doing it.

I also wanted to mention that in all the performances that I attended there seemed to be a lot of empty seats (at least in orchestra level).

Also, the audience did not seem not be as involved in the performances as I usually see at the Met.

I hope this situation changes as the season progress.

I am tempted to go to see Gillian tonight, i am sure she will be absolutely fantastic (especially in Act II with that prodigious technique)

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Will Herman dance this again ? He and Angel are the best I have seen doing it.

I

Herman and Angel were both brilliant in the Bronze Idol variations. I doubt Herman will ever be doing that role again. It is now beneath his level, as it is a soloist role. Isn't it ironic that Herman and Angel, two of ABT's most dazzling talents, happen to be brothers in law.

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Herman and Angel were both brilliant in the Bronze Idol variations. I doubt Herman will ever be doing that role again. It is now beneath his level, as it is a soloist role. Isn't it ironic that Herman and Angel, two of ABT's most dazzling talents, happen to be brothers in law.

I agree, I doubt I will ever see him again doing this. I just thought about an especial performance, like for example, when Nina came back and danced Nikiya, I remember that Irina danced Gamzatti that night...it was incredible.

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Irina was a great Gamzatti. I don't know why she's not doing that role anymore.

Irina was a great Gamzatti! Agreed. I'd also love to see Vishneva dance this role. Technically there's enough in it to show her off, but I think her sometimes "sly" or evil facial expressions would be well suited to it. She's always rather passive in any of the other big ballerina roles (Swan Queen, Giselle); sort of the same. Her Odile is good because she turns on the nastiness. Her "Scheherazade", while a silly ballet seen today, was mesmerizing. Gamzatti is one of the great villainess roles in ballet. She should do it.

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Dvorovenko is wonderful as both Nikiya and Gamzatti. This season ABT fielded only three Gamzattis and Murphy was the only one who also dances Nikiya this season. In the past Susan Jaffe, Paloma Herrera, Cynthia Harvey, Leslie Browne and Amanda McKerrow alternated the parts. In Russia, Natalia Makarova danced Gamzatti as well as Nikiya at the Kirov.

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Dvorovenko is wonderful as both Nikiya and Gamzatti. This season ABT fielded only three Gamzattis and Murphy was the only one who also dances Nikiya this season. In the past Susan Jaffe, Paloma Herrera, Cynthia Harvey, Leslie Browne and Amanda McKerrow alternated the parts. In Russia, Natalia Makarova danced Gamzatti as well as Nikiya at the Kirov.

Two years ago Irina danced a Nikiya to remember for ages !

It was very disappointing not to see her scheduled for Bayadere this year....and yes, her Gamzatti was amazing too, only saw it once though.

I remember her italian fouettes were spectacular.

How about Osipova ? Has she ever danced either of the roles ?

I can imagine her flying all over the stage in Act III !

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How about Osipova ? Has she ever danced either of the roles ?

I can imagine her flying all over the stage in Act III !

Osipova does both roles. She started out doing Gamzatti and more recently has been essaying Nikiya if I have the order correct.

Clips of both are available on youtube.

:)

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How about Osipova ? Has she ever danced either of the roles ?

I can imagine her flying all over the stage in Act III !

Osipova does both roles. She started out doing Gamzatti and more recently has been essaying Nikiya if I have the order correct.

Clips of both are available on youtube.

:)

THANKS !!!!

I just saw the video of her Nikiya and I am still speechless !

Gosh, why didnt she dance that here !!!!!

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I saw Gillian's Nikiya last night. Her technique was wonderful and secure, as expected. In fact, I think she had the strongest technique of all the Nikiyas I saw in this run. Her performance wasn't as lyrical or poetic as Part's or Vishneva's, but it was a good start. Stearns was better last nigth than he was on Sat evening. Moreover, he performed the difficult lift in Act I that was omitted in his erlier performance with Part. Hee Seo looked a little sloppy as compared to her performnace on Fri evening. Misty Copeland is back. She danced the first Shade variation.

Bolle attended a dress rehearsal of Lady of the Cams. on Monday afternoon, so it's looking like he will probably - hopefully- be there tonight.

Also, the casting sheets in the lobby contain some additional info. on Sleeping Beauty that is not on the ABT website. The casting for Lilac Fairy and Carabosse is as follows:

June 14 Part ; Raffa

June 15 Ricetto ; Van Hamel

June 16M Abrera; Bystrova

June 16E Abrera; Raffa

June17 Ricetto; van Hamel

June 18 Ricetto; Raffa

June 19M Abrera; Van Hamel

June 19 E Wiles; Bystrova

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I attended the May 22nd matinee of La Bayadere with Julie Kent, Jose Manuel Carreno and Hee Seo.

I have delighted in the sumptuous beauty of Makarova’s La Bayadere close to 20 times since 1980. I have fallen under the spell of many different Nikiyas, Solors and Gamzattis as they danced their tale of treachery, deceit and love finally conquering all (even an earthquake). Chief among them are Nina Ananiashvili, Julio Bocca and Gillian Murphy and Veronika Part, Marcelo Gomes and Michele Wiles. Unfortunately Julie Kent as Nikiya and Jose Manuel Carreno as Solor at the May 22nd matinee failed to live up to my high expectations from the past.

Julie Kent is a sweet and vulnerable Nikiya, but with regards to her dancing she is not a good fit for the role. In her Act I solo, her back lacks the suppleness needed to show Nikiya’s poignancy. In Act II her jumps are void of both power and height. At the end of Act II her diagonal turns across the stage are missing both speed and precision.

Jose Manuel Carreno is a Solor full of heat and passion. He still has enough charisma to set the stage on fire, but at this point in his career his leaps are not quite as high as they used to be. In Act II one of his double barrel assemble air turns went badly off center. Sad to say, it seems that this great dancer is slowing down.

On a more positive note, Hee Seo’s Gamzatti is a wonder. It is hard to believe she is still in the corps. Seo’s Gamzatti is a spoiled princess whose daddy has given her everything her heart desires. Her longing looks at Solor during the betrothal scene show how much Gamzatti loves Solor, but also wants to control him. Seo’s dancing was spectacular, especially the fouettes she whips off at the end of the betrothal pas de deux.

Roman Zhurbin is a powerfully fierce High Brahmin who mimes his scenes beautifully. As the Radjah, Alexandre Hammoudi looks the part, but seems to be controlled by his daughter, Gamzatti. Jeffrey Golladay is a high-flying whirling dervish of a head fakir.

In the role of the Bronze Idol, Carlos Lopez is very exciting. The Bronze Idol dances a brief, but incredibly difficult solo which requires speeding up and braking at a breakneck pace. As good as Lopez’s performance is, it does not erase the images of Herman Cornejo and Angel Corella as the Bronze Idol. I am looking forward to the day (if it ever comes) when I see a Bronze Idol at least equal to Cornejo and Corella in the role.

No review of La Bayadere would be complete without mention of the corps in Act II (the Kingdom of the Shades). I doubt that there is any more beautiful sight in classical ballet than the moment when the shades float gently one by one down the ramp in the moonlight, their leg stretched behind them in arabesque position. I saw a few wobbles once all 24 shades had reached the stage, but they did not detract from the magic. Overall, the corps’ arabesques were well-timed and in sync.

I have seen a few other productions of La Bayadere - most notably Rudolph Nureyev’s staging for the Paris Opera Ballet. While it was wonderful to see the ballet conclude on such a choreographic high note, for me there was no closure. I also love the fact that in Natalia Makarova’s staging of La Bayadere, evil is punished (with the deaths of Gamzatti, the Radjah and the High Brahmin) and the lovers are reunited in the afterworld. I hope ABT keeps dancing Natalia Makarova’s staging of La Bayadere for at least another 30 years.

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Watched Vishneva/Gomes/Murphy & Murphy/Stearns/Seo this past week and thought both were good, but different ballets. As much as I want Seo/Stearns to be spectacular, I enjoyed the Vishneva/Gomes/Murphy combination much more. When the curtains closed on Murphy in Act I, her evilness filled the stage and radiated into the audience, but Seo had a dainty evil that kind of just hung around. Stearns fulfilled the minimum requirements but wasn't particularly memorable. The Vishneva/Gomes pairing had more fluid lifts and chemistry that made the plot at least somewhat believable. Gillian was technically great in both roles, no surprise there, and I thought the Shades were beautiful as well, though I haven't watched many Bayadere performances to compare.

Stella Abrera was in the audience and it seems like she just had a minor illness last week but is fine to dance now!

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I agree Hee Seo's Gamzatti was quite impressive, especially in the betrothal scene. I saw her dance the part twice, the first time substituting for Abrera and then the 2nd time as scheduled with Murphy. Cory Stearns looks much more confident this year unlike his deer in the headlights presence in Le Corsaire.

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