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CharlieH

Ratmansky’s Bayadere in Berlin (4 Nov. 2018 premiere)

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7 minutes ago, CharlieH said:

Berlin Staatsballett will be premiering Ratmansky’s reconstructed Bayadere on Nov. 4, 2018, with repeat performances spread out through February 2019. Some details here:

https://www.staatsballett-berlin.de/en/spielplan/la-bayadere/04-11-2018/718

New designs will be by longtime Ratmansky collaborator Jerome Kaplan. 

My wife and I have planned a trip for this. Anyone else going?

I'm so jealous! I looked at my schedule every which way, but can't make a trip to Berlin work this season. Please tell us all about it and let's hope they bring it back in 2019-20.  I'd also love to see Simkin with his new company.

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3 hours ago, CharlieH said:

Berlin Staatsballett will be premiering Ratmansky’s reconstructed Bayadere on Nov. 4, 2018, with repeat performances spread out through February 2019. Some details here:

https://www.staatsballett-berlin.de/en/spielplan/la-bayadere/04-11-2018/718

New designs will be by longtime Ratmansky collaborator Jerome Kaplan. 

My wife and I have planned a trip for this. Anyone else going?

I am afraid a trip to see this is not in the cards for me. I look forward to reading your response to the production.

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4 hours ago, CharlieH said:

Berlin Staatsballett will be premiering Ratmansky’s reconstructed Bayadere on Nov. 4, 2018, with repeat performances spread out through February 2019. Some details here:

https://www.staatsballett-berlin.de/en/spielplan/la-bayadere/04-11-2018/718

New designs will be by longtime Ratmansky collaborator Jerome Kaplan. 

My wife and I have planned a trip for this. Anyone else going?

Hum. Tempting! I might join, Charlie.😎

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It's 3 hours with 2 intermissions. I remember Mariinsky recon version was almost 4 hours with 3 intermissions. Something missing?

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Posted (edited)
On 6/30/2018 at 3:53 PM, cubanmiamiboy said:

Hum. Tempting! I might join, Charlie.😎

Good. Always a pleasure seeing you at major premieres, Cubanmiamiboy (Cristian)! You’ll enjoy the wonderful art museums close to the Unter den Linden theatre...Pergamom and others.

On 7/1/2018 at 12:14 AM, mussel said:

It's 3 hours with 2 intermissions. I remember Mariinsky recon version was almost 4 hours with 3 intermissions. Something missing?

I was thinking the same, Mussel. It’s not like Ratmansky to cut his Petipa-era ballet stagings. Yet, we've read “clues” that, with this Bayadere, Ratmansky might be rethinking (reinterpreting?) the story, rather than slavishly reproducing every step in the Stepanov notes. So will it, like Grigorovich, end with a very short destruction of the temple following the Shades act? If there’s no full A4, will the Gamzatti-Solor-led Pas d’Action shift back up to the Betrothal act’s diverts, as in the Soviet version? Will Ratmansky opt to not stage the adorable Lotus Dance with children that we see in the full Vikharev recon A4? Will the A2 Staggered Dance (a.k.a. “Dance of the Slaves”) for a character corps (12 ladies & 4 Men), wearing golden pagoda-like headdresses, be cut?

Finally, let’s not forget that this new production will have brand-new designs by Jerome Kaplan. No ca-1900 Imperial sets and costumes as we saw with Vikharev’s recon for the Mariinsky. Yet, I’ll travel with an open mind, as always.

p.s. There’s a chance that the “3 hours with 2 intermissions” was a guess by the webmaster, based on any past Bayadere staged in Berlin? How would the webmaster know the actual running time of this new-old version, if the staging is in process? 

Edited by CharlieH

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On ‎6‎/‎30‎/‎2018 at 4:41 PM, CharlieH said:

My wife and I have planned a trip for this. Anyone else going?

Hello Charlie, yes I, too, am going; I will be attending the premiere and I'm really looking forward to it!

I'm especially curious to see how Ratmansky will be staging the adage and variations of the Grand Pas d'action of the fourth act since, unfortunately, those passages are not notated. However, Lupokhov's essay on La Bayadere may have some answers for the adage. As for the variations, they did survive through the recollections of past dancers and are used in Nureyev's production. I'm also curious to see how the destruction of the temple and the apotheosis will be staged.

I certainly hope you and your wife will enjoy the production, Charlie. :)

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On ‎7‎/‎2‎/‎2018 at 11:24 AM, CharlieH said:

I was thinking the same, Mussel. It’s not like Ratmansky to cut his Petipa-era ballet stagings. Yet, we've read “clues” that, with this Bayadere, Ratmansky might be rethinking (reinterpreting?) the story, rather than slavishly reproducing every step in the Stepanov notes. So will it, like Grigorovich, end with a very short destruction of the temple following the Shades act? If there’s no full A4, will the Gamzatti-Solor-led Pas d’Action shift back up to the Betrothal act’s diverts, as in the Soviet version? Will Ratmansky opt to not stage the adorable Lotus Dance with children that we see in the full Vikharev recon A4? Will the A2 Staggered Dance (a.k.a. “Dance of the Slaves”) for a character corps (12 ladies & 4 Men), wearing golden pagoda-like headdresses, be cut?

Finally, let’s not forget that this new production will have brand-new designs by Jerome Kaplan. No ca-1900 Imperial sets and costumes as we saw with Vikharev’s recon for the Mariinsky. Yet, I’ll travel with an open mind, as always.

p.s. There’s a chance that the “3 hours with 2 intermissions” was a guess by the webmaster, based on any past Bayadere staged in Berlin? How would the webmaster know the actual running time of this new-old version, if the staging is in process? 

My guess is that it could be due to union rules again, the same rules that forced to cut the panorama in The Sleeping Beauty. However, I don't see making major cuts in La Bayadere. Don't forget, Vikharev expanded some of the passages in the fourth act - the entrée and coda of the Grand Pas d'action were expanded (there are no fouettes notated for Gamzatti). Other expanded passages, i.e. the scene of Solor and Nikiya's meeting in Act 1 is in accordance with the notation scores and libretto. I certainly can't imagine Ratmansky putting the Grand Pas d'action into the second act; his aim is to undo Soviet and other 20th century changes, not retain them. We'll just have to wait and see how he manages to stage this grand ballet in three hours.

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On ‎6‎/‎30‎/‎2018 at 11:41 AM, CharlieH said:

... Anyone else going?

I'll be in Germany at the time and will try to attend. The Staatsballett's FB indicates that the guest prima, Polina Semionova, is slated to dance Nikiya at the premiere. They have not yet indicated dancers in other leading roles.

I'm curious to see Semionova tackle the Petipa-era style. She's known for her high extensions, which Ratmansky normally does not allow in his reconstructions. I very much enjoyed Semionova's Nikiya in the previous Berlin version, by Malakhov.

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I am very eager to read impressions and reviews of this production. In a relatively recent interview regarding Harlequinade, Ratmansky indicated a loosening of the reins on the subject of Petipa-era style (as he interprets it). As I recall he said it required an enormous amount of rehearsal, presumably more than the circumstances of most stagings allow.  It will be interesting to see what he and the Berlin dancers do with this Bayadere. 

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An online dance vlog from Australia has a short article on Jerome Kaplan's designs for the Berlin production, with photos of some of the sets. Very pretty and simple, in a clean manner. Instead of the usual tropical setting with palm trees, this appears to be in northern India, as we can see the Himalayas in the background of the betrothal and earthquake scene. There will be an elephant on wheels.

http://dancelines.com.au/200-years-petipas-birth-ratmansky-prepares-bayadere/

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2 hours ago, manhattangal said:

An online dance vlog from Australia has a short article on Jerome Kaplan's designs for the Berlin production, with photos of some of the sets. Very pretty and simple, in a clean manner. Instead of the usual tropical setting with palm trees, this appears to be in northern India, as we can see the Himalayas in the background of the betrothal and earthquake scene. There will be an elephant on wheels.

http://dancelines.com.au/200-years-petipas-birth-ratmansky-prepares-bayadere/

Looks like there will be 4 acts, ended with the destruction of the temple.

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17 hours ago, mussel said:

Looks like there will be 4 acts, ended with the destruction of the temple.

A great catch, mussel. I'm wondering how Ratmansky & team will squeeze the entire ballet into 3 hours, including two intermissions? Maybe they'll do like Makarova and squeeze the first three scenes into one act, ending in the betrothal ("Death of the Bayadere") scene? With the Pas d'Action shifted to the last act, not to mention the disappearance of the Golden Idol (not created until the 1940s), then the betrothal/death of bayadere scene is significantly shorter than that to which we are accustomed. We'll see what transpires on November 4 in Berlin.

While we await the announcement of the full cast of principals, beside Semionova as Nikiya, I note that Semionova's partner in the current run of Swan Lake in Berlin is the Cuban Alejandro Virelles. Perhaps he will also be her Solor? He may be the tallest of the Berlin principals. No idea as to Gamzatti and other roles.

I see that Danill Simkin has been announced as second-cast Solor but, again, only the Solor has been announced for 2nd cast.

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 I intend to go later in the run. I can't go earlier as I have rather a lot of tickets for performances closer to home, I shall console myself with the thought that by the time I get to see this production of La Bayadere it will have benefitted from all the intervening performances it has received and that while the dancers appearing in it at that point may be less stellar than at earlier performances they may well be more inclined to follow the party line as far as performance style and musicality are concerned.

Meanwhile, closer to home, Mr O'Hare seems to be resolutely refusing to acknowledge significant anniversaries of any kind. The Scarlett production of Swan Lake was more of an exercise in thumbing your nose at Petipa than an act of homage to the man and there is little sign that Kevin intends to mark the centenary of Fonteyn's birth in any way, let alone a significant one. As for other anniversaries which occur about this time such as the centenary of the first performances of Le Tricorne and La Boutique Fantasque two important works by Massine I can't see anything happening on that front either.

Edited by Ashton Fan

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On 10/31/2018 at 3:00 PM, Ashton Fan said:

 I intend to go later in the run. I can't go earlier as I have rather a lot of tickets for performances closer to home, I shall console myself with the thought that by the time I get to see this production of La Bayadere it will have benefitted from all the intervening performances it has received and that while the dancers appearing in it at that point may be less stellar than at earlier performances they may well be more inclined to follow the party line as far as performance style and musicality are concerned.

Meanwhile, closer to home, Mr O'Hare seems to be resolutely refusing to acknowledge significant anniversaries of any kind. The Scarlett production of Swan Lake was more of an exercise in thumbing your nose at Petipa than an act of homage to the man and there is little sign that Kevin intends to mark the centenary of Fonteyn's birth in any way, let alone a significant one. As for other anniversaries which occur about this time such as the centenary of the first performances of Le Tricorne and La Boutique Fantasque two important works by Massine I can't see anything happening on that front either.

I will be interested in reading your responses to the production.  I'm very curious about it...

:offtopic:Not sure how I feel about the anniversaries issue. Anniversaries of major ballets in the ballet repertory make the most sense to me if it's a ballet created on one's own company and/or definitive in some fashion or another for the company's history and identity (like Sleeping Beauty at the Royal) because otherwise where does one stop really? Every year could be a 25th/50th/75th/100th anniversary of some significant ballet and even of some significant ballet that a company has occasionally danced.  (All of which is a separate question from whether Massine should be revived more often--to which I think the answer is yes.) 

I was mildly surprised at the Royal's decision to celebrate Bernstein's centenary. The result may have been musically/choreographically interesting, but I thought perhaps it reflected musical tastes and the desire to create an "event" around new work as much as anything else--unless there is an important historical link between the Royal and Bernstein I'm unaware of?? (And if there is, then I'm guessing @Ashton Fan will know!)

On the other hand the lack of announcements regarding the Fonteyn Centenary at the Royal initially seemed genuinely shocking to me, though I have lately been wondering if O'Hare's idea is that the Fonteyn celebration is going to be in Fall 2019 and so announcements should wait until announcements of 2019-2020 season.  Still one would have thought a May 2019 birthday gala or special repertory program would have been an obvious thing for the Royal to do this season.  So that is a bit of a head-scratcher ...

That said, the Royal is dancing so well these days, there is plenty to celebrate about their performances....

 

 

Edited by Drew

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I agree that you should not have to wait for a significant anniversary in order to see a major work revived but the fact is that is probably what is going to take to get Daphnis and Chloe revived because all I could get out of Kevin when I spoke to him about the neglect of the Ashton repertory was that Daphnis is expensive to stage, The argument that it is a masterpiece cut no ice with him but the Fonteyn centenary might just do the trick. The company should revive it  becuase as Ashton said if he had not worked with Fonteyn he would never have developed the lyricism in his choreography.It was revived with its original Craxton designs in 2004 for the Ashton centenary and has not been staged since. You are quite right that the RB seems to be on a roll at present as far as its dancers are concerned. It has several dancers who should be given the chance to dance the Fonteyn role and several young men who should be very be good as Daphnis. The problem with Kevin is that he seems to think that you can leave major works in cold storage for ages and when you revive them they will still look good. But then his  background is with BRB which because of its size, has on occasion, to accept compromise casting and performances which will be good enough rather than outstandingly good. This experience  seems to affect his judgement more than is healthy for any works in the back catalogue which call for solo singers, choruses or extra pianists,

I will do my best to give a coherent account of my experience of the reconstruction.

Edited by Ashton Fan

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15 hours ago, Drew said:

the lack of announcements regarding the Fonteyn Centenary at the Royal initially seemed genuinely shocking to me

Not an exaggeration to say that British ballet goers aren't just shocked, they are disgusted.

 

32 minutes ago, Ashton Fan said:

all I could get out of Kevin when I spoke to him about the neglect of the Ashton repertory was that Daphnis is expensive to stage,

How is it more expensive now than in the past? This coincidentally was the first ballet I saw Fonteyn dance back in 1964.   On a pro rata basis is the Royal Ballet in receipt of fewer funds than in the past?  Concert goers that otherwise ignore ballet will turn out to hear famous scores performed as they were intended, the all Stravinsky programmes conducted by Bernard Haitinck proved that.  Too many triple bills are put together with little regard to the music, the antithesis of Diaghilev's artistic principles of course.

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,Mashinka,

Please don't ask such difficult questions. I have no idea about his motive for saying what he did. Perhaps he finds it easier to say that reviving a particular ballet is expensive  than to say " I don't want to revive it ". 

Edited by Ashton Fan

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I’m in awe of what I witnessed here in Berlin on Sunday night. I’ll try to write a bit more upon return to the US but, for now, let’s say that Ratmansky has triumphed, having carefully researched the steps and flavor in a much more detailed manner than Vikharev was allowed to do at the Mariinsky in 2002. For example, even the steps performed by the 32 shades are a bit different - notably brisker and with a little “kick” of the foot before planting each arabesque.

No Soviet vestiges here, no Golden Idol, no Solor-Chaboukiani variation, no Gamzatti jete variation! Gamzatti dances what’s usually Kitri’s Dulcinea variation from Don Q. Nikia’s shades variation is danced alone; the scarf flies off to the rafters when it’s no longer needed...and what spellbinding dancing from Polina Semionova in that! Alejandro Virelles acquitted himself handsomely as Solor, giving us a hint of his bravura dancing in his one rare solo in the Act IV Grand Pas d’action. But the knowledgeable audience reserved its loudest bravos for the fabulous Yolanda Correa as Gamzatti...even though, for me, it was a bit of a let-down to not see her in the more usual jete  variation  for this character.

Just as we saw with Vikharev’s version, here we saw the Dance of the Slaves” in Act II and the “Dance of the Lotuses” in Act IV, both danced by students (older kids for Slaves & youngest girls for Lotuses). 

Dance-wise, the biggest disappointment came in the somewhat  tepid character dances, especially the Infernal Dance (with drums). Sorry, nobody packs the OOMPH into this like Russians.

 

after thought:

The most surprising take-away from the afternoon chat with Ohman, Ratmansky & Kaplan was the revelation by Ratmansky that the Mariinsky did not provide the full four-act orchestral score to Berlin, despite having earlier promised to do so! Hence, at some point, the Berlin Team was compelled to give the violin-reduction score (part of the Harvard Stepanov Notes Collection) to two musicologists at English National Ballet, who saved the production by doing a complete orchestration of the full ballet...to my ears, the finest, richest Bayadere score around. Farewell to the too-sweet Lanchberry!

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I firmly believe that, when doing a ballet recon, the choreographer should look at the evolution of the work and not jump into too radical changes that might put the production in jeopardy, to the point of being taken out of the repertoire,  which is what has happened so far with all Vikharev works. Temple destructions are usually hard to achieve. I've seen less that satisfactory ones both in Bayadere and in Opera. If he did not achieve that final properly, then we have a problem. The other important issue is to actually bring the original libretto back..the proper story with the real ending. Fake endings do jeopardize classic works-(perfect example with Andersen's The Little Mermaid, where her original suicide is becoming lost in popular folk culture after Disney's changes. Makarova was the real savior of La Bayadere as she was able to rescue the real finale for the modern audiences. By now NYrs are familiar with the whole story, and might look at the Soviet truncated productions with displeasure. I know I do. Ratmansky could enhance this and more by having access to the real music of the last act. The interpolation Dulcinea's variation I don't think was a wise idea. If the original variation/music is not preserved...why didn't they leave Ponomarev jetes one...? Golden Idol should had stayed.

Edited by cubanmiamiboy

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