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Mariinsky La Bayadère | Zellerbach, Berkeley Oct 30 - Nov 3


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13 minutes ago, FireDancer said:

I'm not sure what this means?

Standing on the very tips of your toes ?

Added: It seems to be a big question as to the healthiness on the feet, but I'd be delighted to be proven wrong.

Edited by Buddy
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4 minutes ago, FireDancer said:

No, I mean why do you want to keep "full pointe work as limited as possible"?

Using much more of what I believe is called three quarter pointe or half pointe, using the flatter bottom part of the toe.

Edited by Buddy
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2 minutes ago, FireDancer said:

Nah, it's fine... That's what pointe shoes are for!

Thanks for this response. Could you give me any sources describing how this works with pointe shoes. Also I'd love to hear medical comment on this.

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15 hours ago, Dreamer said:

It is always amazing how we all pick up different things—I could swear Kondaurova did not do that balance in any of her performances in Costa Mesa.  I know that Tereshkina does it twice so I was curious to see if anyone else could pull them off. Well, obviously my attention must have drifted at this moment. Thanks for verifying it. 

Is this the balance by Tereshkina that you're talking about? Pretty amazing. It's at 1:47:20. I saw several performances at the Kennedy Center a couple of years ago, and she was the only one who could pull this off.

 

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2 minutes ago, California said:

Is this the balance by Tereshkina that you're talking about? Pretty amazing. It's at 1:47:20. I saw several performances at the Kennedy Center a couple of years ago, and she was the only one who could pull this off.

 

Yes, Kondaurova did the same :)

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34 minutes ago, FireDancer said:

Yes, Kondaurova did the same :)

Although this is amazing impressive technique, I found it quite unnecessary if the ballerina struggles too long for it, like the second one Tereshkina did. It broke the emotion of the variation which is so important to this particular one. 

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2 minutes ago, Xiaoyi said:

Although this is amazing impressive technique, I found it quite unnecessary if the ballerina struggles too long for it, like the second one Tereshkina did. It broke the emotion of the variation which is so important to this particular one. 

I agree with that :)

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Rachel Howard in her San Francisco Chronicle review says finds the caricature of Indian culture and religion "less easy to ride along with these days"  and elsewhere says perhaps the solution is to do Act iii only – though sympathetic to the production as a whole. I agree with the comment by Letha Ch’ien who teaches art history at Sonoma State that

Quote

“They’re insisting on a purported originality for only this racial aspect, for possibly the most problematic aspect of the ballet, when they don’t insist on that for other aspects of the ballet. It’s conflating authenticity and originality for a racist representation. I think that has no place on stages. It’s very disturbing to see Cal Performances give their tacit approval. I don’t think art has to be politically correct, but this is not a controversial subject. I don’t think it should be done.”

I think we've come to the consensus these days that acting simply shouldn't involve dressing down and impersonating someone who suffers oppression in a particular society. Even old Actor's Workshop exercises involved full sympathy and vulnerability and identification with the character you played. Dark makeup and exotic costumes don't signify anything like that.

*

As far as this Mariinsky production of La Bayadere, I agree that Act iii is what makes it go and I did enjoy watching it from the balcony where the lack of ramps – due to the small stage size – actually seemed to enhance the experience. You could see the whole line of dancers snake back and forth and fill the stage and the changes of position trill or ripple along their whole length. I liked the light green color of the costumes – at least they appeared to me as light green – which seemed less sepulchral than light blue or white, more like sea foam. The puff sleeves seemed to help accentuate the choreographic variations. I also noticed that an overflow of dancers would discretely leave the stage to the rear and return as the composition of the corps changed from crosswise to lengthwise as if the fullness of one direction registered differently than the fullness of the other.

Fedor Lopuhkov, the sometimes anti-Petipa Soviet choreographer – and an influence on Balanchine – writes glowingly of Kingdom of the Shades and says that its great success with audiences is that it is composed in what he sees as strict sonata form, that there are themes and secondary themes "that develop in parallel to the main theme and are contrapuntal to it." These themes, he says may be in "different keys" and he describes the way a choreographer can bring this about, citing various positions, and how the themes may all reappear side by side in the reprise. Which of course begins to sound like a description of "Symphony in C."

 

Edited by Quiggin
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1 hour ago, Quiggin said:

As far as this Mariinsky production of La Bayadere, I agree that Act iii is what makes it go 

Nah. For some maybe, but not for all. Bayadere is everything. The Grand spectacle, the elephant, the Gamzatti-Nikiya cat fight, the parrots dance, the jumps, paint and sexiness of the Golden Idol, the temple destruction and even Gamzatti's fouettes for those who still have Makarova's or Nureyev.  

I wish a long life to the whole production and for the reconstruction to take rooting in other companies! 

Edited to add: And I TRULY hope that the Kingdom of the Shades never becomes a pseudo Symphony in C . 

Edited by cubanmiamiboy
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4 hours ago, cubanmiamiboy said:

Nah. For some maybe, but not for all. Bayadere is everything. The Grand spectacle, the elephant, the Gamzatti-Nikiya cat fight, the parrots dance, the jumps, paint and sexiness of the Golden Idol, the temple destruction and even Gamzatti's fouettes for those who still have Makarova's or Nureyev.  

I wish a long life to the whole production and for the reconstruction to take rooting in other companies! 

Edited to add: And I TRULY hope that the Kingdom of the Shades never becomes a pseudo Symphony in C . 

I agree with you Christian. Bayadere is everything.  I remember seeing the Nureyev version at Paris Opera Ballet a few years ago, in the Millepied era, he insisted of avoiding the blackface of the children at the Bronze Idol sequence so all the children were without tanning makeup. it did not look strange at all.  

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5 hours ago, cubanmiamiboy said:

Edited to add: And I TRULY hope that the Kingdom of the Shades never becomes a pseudo Symphony in C . 

I meant that Lopukhov's general description of choreographic sonata form – with contrapuntal themes all going on at once towards the end – began to sound like some of Balanchine ballets where everything is finally brought together at once, as in Symphony in C and The Four Temperaments.

Anyway here's what I was trying to summarize from FL's essay:

Quote

As in any musical work in sonata form, a choreographic piece in this form should contain alongside the main theme various secondary themes that develop in parallel to the main theme and are contrapuntal to it. In the second section – the development – these themes may be “in different keys,” to use musical terminology. In choreographic terms, this means that they may reappear in different alignments or be made more complex by the introduction of new choreographic themes that flow out of the original ones or arise from within them.

For example, a simple assemblé without elevation may acquire elevation, possibly changing from a petit assemblé en tournant to a grand assemblé and even into an assemblé en tournant; that is to say it may become more elaborate through the addition of midair turns, possible in various alignments – effacé, croisé, with the back, face or side toward the front of the stage. In compositions based upon variations, these themes in the second (development) section may be refined virtuoso pieces; they may interact with new secondary themes to reappear side by side in the reprise.

The coda is essential in a choreographic work in sonata form …

A choreographic coda should be a denouement of precisely the sort we find in “The Kingdom of the Shades,” where a crescendo of virtuosity is justified by the choreographic development, rather than being a mere concoction of impressive movements selected at random [as in the last act of Don Quixote].

Some more here, but not all, in this Google books link, page 173:

https://books.google.com/books?id=50voOBEhZCsC&printsec=frontcover&dq=lopukhov&hl=en&newbks=1&newbks_redir=0&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwi96JTmk9flAhUOQq0KHSoMBNAQ6AEwAHoECAAQAg#v=onepage&q=bayadere&f=false

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Thanks, everyone, for the interesting thoughts and insights.

If we can ride the spectacle, the waves of colorful fantasy, the beauty in the dance, navigate the ‘other’ and finally arrive at images of the sublime, then maybe we’ve made ourselves as happy as could be hoped for.   

 

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