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Review Mariinsky La Bayadere Berkeley 2019

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Since the Russians first brought “La Bayadère’s” Act III to America in a 1961 tour (and then in productions by Russian defectors in the ’70s), the poeticism of this “Kingdom of the Shades” scene has not lacked for passionate proponents. I won’t further rhapsodize except to say that in my view this act is indeed the most immemorial of “ballet blancs,” a genre defined not so much by color as by its psycho-spiritual essence of atmosphere.

“Giselle,” “Swan Lake,” on up through the neo-classicism of George Balanchine’s “Serenade” and even the modernism of Paul Taylor’s “Aureole” — they all share this air. And yet the “Kingdom of the Shades,” when danced by an ensemble possessing the clarity and uniformity of the Mariinsky, remains most transcendent.

Ekaterina Kondaurova was a Nikia nonpareil. She commands the requisite snake-charming torso and ear-high à la seconde, but without an ounce of preening. Her face is sheer glamour, yet there is unfeigned sacrifice in it; I cannot imagine a more sincere performance.

https://datebook.sfchronicle.com/dance/review-mariinsky-ballets-la-bayadere-a-transcendent-yet-problematic-dance

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Thanks so much for posting the review.  I have a ticket for Saturday 11/2 matinee, which is also Kondaurova.  Saw her in Swan Lake last time they were here and I'm really looking forward to this.  Not sure I'm going to make it, though; I spent four nights sleeping on a friends extremely uncomfortable sofa after being evacuated from Santa Rosa due to the fires.  My part of town was in no real danger, but the winds were so strong and unpredictable, the powers that be very sensibly decided it was better not to take chances with blowing embers, and they issued a mandatory evacuation.  My back hurts so much, not sure I can sit through a three hour ballet, which is  frustrating, because what I really need right now is some ballet!😊

Edited by PeggyR

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1 hour ago, PeggyR said:

Thanks so much for posting the review.  I have a ticket for Saturday 11/2 matinee, which is also Kondaurova.  Saw her in Swan Lake last time they were here and I'm really looking forward to this.  Not sure I'm going to make it, though; I spent four nights sleeping on a friends extremely uncomfortable sofa after being evacuated from Santa Rosa due to the fires.  My part of town was in no real danger, but the winds were so strong and unpredictable, the powers that be very sensibly decided it was better not to take chances with blowing embers, and they issued a mandatory evacuation.  My back hurts so much, not sure I can sit through a three hour ballet, which is  frustrating, because what I really need right now is some ballet!😊

Sorry to hear that you're not feeling well, Peggy. The performances appear to be going on just fine. I shared at least one place that a major Russian company visited and performed beautifully at under less than ideal conditions and admire them immensely for being able to do this sort of thing.

At least try to make it to the Shades Act III.  That's where the Costa Mesa performances really shone. In Costa Mesa the performances lasted about three hours with intermissions. So I'm guessing that if you arrive one hour before the end that you should be able to see it. Hope that you're feeling better and are able to see it all.

 

 

Edited by Buddy

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1 hour ago, PeggyR said:

 I have a ticket for Saturday 11/2 matinee....

This Cal Performances post shows the starting time as 1pm.

https://test-na-calp.tn.services/events

Your “11/2 matinee” implies a different time. Maybe your time is a new one.

Also see my above post if you just now looked in.

Edited by Buddy

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1 hour ago, Buddy said:

This Cal Performances post shows the starting time as 1pm.

https://test-na-calp.tn.services/events

Your “11/2 matinee” implies a different time. Maybe your time is a new one.

Also see my above post if you just now looked in.

Hi Buddy:  yes, The performance does begin at 1 pm.  By 11/2 I meant November 2, just too lazy to write it out :)   Sorry for the confusion.

Edited by PeggyR

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The San Francisco Examiner

[A few of my responses in [   ] s.]  

[All roads lead to the Kingdom of The Shades]

"Even more important than the spectacle, though, it offers up dancing of extraordinary skill in a nearly flawless Act 3, where everything that preceded it is crystallized by complex and architecturally pristine movement."

"Where they were less successful as a whole is in transforming precision into soulfulness. Nikia and Solor’s pas de deux in Act 3 was full of elegant legato steps and seamlessly executed partnering, yet never quite rose to the level of poetry, though Khoreva gave intimations of it."

[Here I would tend to disagree, although I can certainly understand this perception. Maria Khoreva, at her very young age, seems to know exactly what's she's doing and does it brilliantly. She knows just where to act her age and just where to be an accomplished artist.]

"What they still lack, though, is a soulfulness that can permeate all that exquisite physicality, and move it toward the sublime."

[For me, in Costa Mesa, they reached the Sublime -- performance after performance.]

https://www.sfexaminer.com/entertainment/mariinsky-ballet-dazzles-with-technical-virtuosity/
 

Edited by Buddy

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