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Katia Kapustin

Legendary Natalia Makarova coaches Principal ballerina Yasmine Naghdi (Gamzatti) in "La Bayadere"

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The Insight evening gives the opportunity to see Naghdi who makes her debut as Gamzatti during this run being coached as actress and dancer. The other dancers involved are Takada as Nikiya and MacNally as the servant. In addition to seeing Naghdi in the Act 1 scene 2 confrontation between Gamzatti and Nikiyal  we see her dancing the betrothal scene solo and  later some of Gamzatti's choreography from the temple scene in the final act. I shall be interested to know what you think of its contents. The discussion of the work's origins in the nineteenth century obsession with all things exotic and oriental increasingly felt like padding and as something of a non-event as it dealt with the issue of cultural appropriation  which seemed to me to have been included as a means of signalling to the vast audience that these events have that the ROH is a virtuous, culturally sensitive and politically correct organisation rather than telling us that much about the work itself.

Edited by Ashton Fan

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You are right Ashton Fan, it certainly felt as a PC exercise in order to stress their cultural sensitivity :) :) 

The focus of the evening was on Makarova coaching Yasmine Naghdi but in the first part we got to see Akane Takada and Kristin MacNally being coached alongside Naghdi in the Act 1 Scene 2 section.

A fabulous Insight evening! 

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I enjoyed the whole thing--conversation and rehearsals. Just thrilling to see Makarova at work too.

[Spoiler Alert for those planning to watch the video...]

 

 

 

 

But surely the horrifying-though-fortunately-funny highlight was watching the knife go flying out of Takane's hand right in Naghdi's direction and seeing everybody's reaction. Hands down my favorite Royal Ballet educational programming moment ever. 

Edited by Drew

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Thank you so much Katia for posting this.  I love Makarova.  I'm watching it now.

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Natalia Makarova also coached Principal ballerina Yasmine Naghdi in the Act II Shade Solo no.2 Variation. This video was posted by the Royal Opera House on their Facebook page to advertise the Encore screening of "La Bayadere". This is one of the most notoriously difficult very slow solos, demanding utmost control and a steely technic. 

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This recording is not

12 hours ago, Katia Kapustin said:
Natalia Makarova also coached Principal ballerina Yasmine Naghdi in the Act II Shade Solo no.2 Variation. This video was posted by the Royal Opera House on their Facebook page to advertise the Encore screening of "La Bayadere". This is one of the most notoriously difficult very slow solos, demanding utmost control and a steely technic. 

The fact Makarova coached doesn't mean she was happy with the result. I don't want to go into the technical details to harm the dancer but whoever had the idea to post this recording on the internet made more harm than good to her and didn't help the reputation of the company either. Unfortunately the press/publicity departments of even the biggest companies often employ people who have little or no professional knowledge of ballet.

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Would you care to explain Mr/Mrs Laurent? This Act 2 Variation 2 was part of the world wide live screening cinema relay of "La Bayadere" and all fully approved by Makarova and the AD - before and during the screening. This is a clip from the live cinema relay. I don't get why/what you are trying to criticise as she has received rave reviews in the UK for this solo variation! This is The Royal Ballet: nothing flashy, a very clean and controlled mastery of the classical Royal Ballet technic. Perhaps Russian dancers do it differently, but to each their own unique artistry I'd say.

Edited by Katia Kapustin
typo

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Russians do dance it very differently.

I think you will find you posted the third.

Edited by Mashinka
clarity

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The Makarova production reverses the order of the second and third variations from the Russian productions

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if mem. serves it was Nureyev, for the Royal Ballet, who re-ordered the variations of the 3 Shades; i think Makarova's order keeps the sequence of the solos as traditionally given in St.Petersburg/Leningrad.

 

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When Nureyev staged the Kingdom of the Shades for the Royal Ballet in 1963 the three Shades were danced by Park, Seymour and Mason. Later both Bergsma and Parkinson as well as Mason danced the variation which Naghdi is shown dancing in the film. The sequence Nureyev chose for the Shades' variations in London enabled him to show  a marked stylistic and personal contrast in the way in which each of his chosen dancers presented her variation. Beginning with Park's crystalline, speedy footwork providing a contrast with both Fonteyn and Seymour, the second Shade; the sequence then continued with Seymour's almost romantic style approach to her variation with softer, rounded arms and finished with Mason who gave an account of her variation in which you saw both its steel and its beauty. Although I did not see the three named dancers in their allotted solos on the first night, over the years I saw each of them dance the variations which Nureyev had given her on that occasion. Each of them was unforgettable in their allotted variations.

The company continued to cast Nureyev's Kingdom of the Shades with soloists who contrasted in the way that the original cast had done pretty much until the staging was dropped from the company's repertory. It always seemed to me that Nureyev had set out to display the range of stylistic approaches available in classical dance as if they were the range of colour on an artist's palette The first time I saw Markarova's production of the entire ballet I felt disappointed by her staging of the Shades' scene because compared with Nureyev's staging it lacked, and still lacks, grandeur as the corps consists of a mere twenty four Shades as opposed to the thirty two Nureyev had used. In addition the soloists' variations seemed, and still seem, monochrome in comparison with the way in which Nureyev had staged them. As they are performed today the seem more concerned with displaying the performers' technical skills than displaying the relationship between the music and the choreography. I am sure, that when it was first staged by Markarova, the variations were danced more quickly and looked far more like flows of movement than current performance practice seems to dictate.  

Edited by Ashton Fan

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I attended the performance that was broadcast on 13 November, and the slow variation was placed second, and the cabriole variation went third, which wasn't how I remembered Makarova's production, but it was the order used on this occasion. 

Personally, I would have posted Yuhui Choe's performance of the first variation as the finest of the three that evening. The adagio variation was performed much too slowly for my taste, both music and choreography losing all flow and continuity in the process. Perhaps there was a desire to showcase Naghdi's balance and control, but it didn't serve the dance or her dancing all that well.

Edited by volcanohunter

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23 hours ago, volcanohunter said:

Personally, I would have posted Yuhui Choe's performance of the first variation as the finest of the three that evening. 

I was delighted to find that recordings of Ms. Choe’s performance have found their way onto other social media sites. As you said, a fine performance!

 

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Beautiful. 

All three Variations are so very different, as is the music. For this Variation the music is very uplifting and cheerful. Each Variation demands a different technic and each one of the three ballerinas demonstrated that very beautifully. Natalia Makarova picked her three ballerinas for these Variations based on their individual artistry and technical abilities. 

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On ‎11‎/‎19‎/‎2018 at 3:24 PM, rg said:

if mem. serves it was Nureyev, for the Royal Ballet, who re-ordered the variations of the 3 Shades;

You are probably right, Nureyev was notorious for re-ordering, e.g. turning an SB fairy variation into a duet.  It's thirty years plus since we saw his version in London and in the interim I've seen umpteen Russian performances, in fact the Kirov danced it here less than eighteen months ago.  Possibly why I find the Markarova version so lacking.  I only went to two performances and the principles were superb,  The Shades were a mixed bag, but if you were lucky enough to catch Fumi Kaneko, you'd consider her the one that stuck in the memory.

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Yes I agree Mashinka, the Shades were a mixed bag, depending which cast one saw (I think there were 3 casts of Solo Shades). Fumi Kanaeko is indeed a beautiful First Soloist, she was likely dancing in the 2nd cast of Shades.

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Kaneko made a wonderful impression on me when I saw her in a couple of smaller featured roles in Swan Lake —I would love to see more of her dancing. 

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The biggest role I've caught her in was Myrtha  in Giselle and although I prefer my Wili Queens big and scary (she was neither) as an airborne spirit she was superlative.

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11 hours ago, MRR said:

Which principals did you see, @Mashinka?

Nunez & Osipova alternating roles and Muntagirov and Corrales as Solor.

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On 11/20/2018 at 7:05 PM, tutu said:

I was delighted to find that recordings of Ms. Choe’s performance have found their way onto other social media sites. As you said, a fine performance!

 

On broadcast night I was watching live from high up in the ROH amphitheatre. A month later I finally saw the performance "close up" at a cinema. The audience there watched largely in silence, as movie audiences generally do. But after Choe's variation a substantial number of people applauded, the only instance of applause that evening.

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