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zxDaveM

Mariinsky Ballet: La Bayadere, London August 2017

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zxDaveM    3,404

I was at the last photo call for this run for the London visit of the Mariinsky Ballet (at the Royal Opera House), Aug 2017, this time for Petipa's 'La Bayadere'

Here are some photos:


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Kimin Kim, Viktoria Tereshkina
© Dave Morgan. Courtesy of DanceTabs / Flickr

 

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Kimin Kim, Viktoria Tereshkina
© Dave Morgan. Courtesy of DanceTabs / Flickr


See more...

Set from DanceTabs: Mariinsky Ballet - La Bayadere
Courtesy of DanceTabs / Flickr

 

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Bluebird    486

I've just posted Gamzatti casting changes in the Mariinsky casting discussion thread but it has occurred to me that those who are coming to the performances might be more likely to read this thread:

 

Osmolkina is replaced by Yevseyeva tomorrow (Friday)

Yevseyeva is replaced by Batoeva for the Saturday matinée

 

http://www.roh.org.uk/productions/la-bayadere-by-marius-petipa

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LinMM    4,433

Oh dear just as I was thinking I was about to,have a chance to see Evseeva!!

 

However Batoeva looks interesting too....( on YouTube anyway) so am still looking forward to it!

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Sim    7,289

A great opening night in many ways.  The dancing from all three leads was excellent, with special mention to Kimin Kim.  I can't remember the last time I saw a dancer with such height in his jumps, such a natural ballon, such speed of turn, such coverage of the stage.  Truly incredible and breathtaking technique.  Victoria Tereshkina as Nikiya was at her usual high standard, and Nadezhda Batoeva was a fine and haughty Gamzatti.  The corps, as the Shades, were simply magnificent.  32 dancing as one, flooding the stage with beauty and lyrical dancing.  Shakirova, Selina and Nagahisa all gave very impressive accounts of themselves in their Shades solos.

 

All this having been said, I found myself strangely unmoved by the end.  I think the RB version makes more narrative sense and I can therefore engage with it on a more emotional level.  When I saw Tereshkina and Shklyarov dance it I was gutted at the end.  Just goes to show the difference a partner can make, even if the production itself doesn't jibe with me.

 

What did move me was the beauty of the Shades.   Seeing such pure perfection can't fail to bring a lump to my throat.

 

A very enjoyable evening, and I really look forward to the other casts.

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MAB    2,371

Kimin Kim performed EIGHT double assembles, Solor used to do four, then some years later six, but eight!  wow!

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LinMM    4,433

Well it's great to see virtuoso dancing agreed as long as this doesn't turn into the equivalent of the 64 fouettés plus issue!!! 

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Sim    7,289

He is magnificent!  The technical fireworks are totally in context, and in addition he is elegant, graceful, has a lovely line and is utterly compelling as Solor.

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capybara    3,884
6 hours ago, Sim said:

He is magnificent!  The technical fireworks are totally in context, and in addition he is elegant, graceful, has a lovely line and is utterly compelling as Solor.

 

But, for all Kim's thrilling technical display, I didn't receive much characterisation from him and, without Solor's story and some chemistry between him and Nikiya, La Bayadere falls a bit flat. Last night's performance failed to involve me despite some beautiful dancing from the corps throughout and I agree that the RB's narrative line works rather better.

 

 

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Bruce Wall    2,446

Just wanted to say that I agree with much that Sim says.  My enjoyment of Bayadere I think is not based on a gut rending emotional connection with the characters.  The story after all is rather meagre - indeed spindly.  For me it is the sweep and dazzle of the technical display in direct correlation with music that Minkus envisioned for a mass balletic audience.  There can be little questioning of the fact I think that his exact intents last night were deployed with wonderful colour and zest by the ever enervating Alexei Repnikov and the devoted Mariinsky orchestra members.  (Earlier in this Mariinsky season the conductors were I thought rather too flat.  Both have conducted with the Royal Ballet.  For my taste Repnikov would be preferable - but then I'm someone who struggles to see the might of Mr. Yates that so many locally champion.) 

 

Kim really stood out last night.  Solar is a good role for him.  He connects dramatically insofar as is here demanded - and the monumental jump he possess - one which has always been colossal - his calling card as t'were - was often graced with a more exacting placement than he has frequently been known to deliver.  Tereskina as ever delighted and has a wonderful line in portraying emotional repression by musically illustrating hesitation in her realisation of the choreographic line.  Batoeva danced much as if her exacting mind - and not just her father - demanded such and the mime between the two ladies in the second scene of the first was riveting in its detail.  

 

Why I prefer the Bolshoi/Mariinsky productions of La Bayadere is because they unashamedly celebrate the circus element of this enterprise.  This is as close as we will, I suppose, still get to the balletic variety bills that were so prevalent in the 19th century.  I actually asked Makarova when she first mounted her production for ABT (I was at its opening and saw the only FULL performance that Makarova actually gave as Nikiya in her production opposite Dowell) why she had cut so many of the character dances in favour of a third act.  She said it was actually a practical rather than an artistic decision.  Western companies she noted like ABT and the Royal Ballet do not have the scope (e.g., number) of trained Russian character dancer counterparts.  This production was to address - and does - those shifts.  Still I, myself, love the character work.  It is so important in terms of the diversity it scales.  Indeed, it gives those parrots a proper voice.  

 

I thought that Tkachenko's Golden Idol vividly wrought and so hope when this company returns - and we know it can't be before 2020 - we might see him in some principal roles.  He danced much more the last time they were here - but then he may not have been able to join the Company in London until late in the day.  Sofia Ivanova-Skobilkova was a souflfetic delight in the Mantu diversion, stunningly communicating with her bugle eyeballs and so tellingly engaging with the young Brits who ably worked aside her.  The fulgent Indian dance never fails but to get my blood flowing much as it seems to do for the entire audience on each occasion.  It's a kind of defibrillator.  Lustrous.  Popov too as the fakir in the first act was wonderfully notable in both his dance and theatrical intent. His frame - and talent - gave size to the proceedings.   

 

The true highlight, however - and what will long live with me - was not just the corps in the Shades sequence but the first and third solos.  Renata Shakirova and May Nagahisa are unquestionably stars of the future - and there is nothing more potent than to be at the onset of the realisation of such potential.  Just think of the thrilling ride so many of us have shared with the likes of Muntagirov and Naghdi.  These two glorious artists offer just such locomotives of balletic apotheosis.  That is a gift at any price; at any time.  

 

Edited by Bruce Wall

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penelopesimpson    1,000

What is also magnificent, Bruce, is your ability to bring those of us who didn't have tickets into the performance.  From your descriptions I can totally imagine the spectacle that it must have been and thank you so much.  I had tickets for tonight but the problems at Waterloo are pretty insurmountable so have surrendered them.  You have certainly whetted my appetite for the future.

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Jan McNulty    11,299
1 minute ago, penelopesimpson said:

  I had tickets for tonight but the problems at Waterloo are pretty insurmountable so have surrendered them.  You have certainly whetted my appetite for the future.

 

Very glad I'm coming in to Euston tomorrow!

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annamk    616
40 minutes ago, capybara said:

 

But, for all Kim's thrilling technical display, I didn't receive much characterisation from him and, without Solor's story and some chemistry between him and Nikiya, La Bayadere falls a bit flat. Last night's performance failed to involve me despite some beautiful dancing from the corps throughout and I agree that the RB's narrative line works rather better.

 

 

 

I agree with this. Kim is technically incredible but last night it was an emotionally empty performance. Not for want of trying, but he's not a natural and personally I think he hasn't yet made it out of the method school of acting. It probably didn't help to be paired with Tereshkina who great technician that she is, can be on the chilly side emotionally. 

 

The corps were wonderful and considerably less robotic than in some of their Swan Lake performances. I enjoyed the shades trio and whilst I think Nagahisa is impressive for her 17 years I don't quite understand why she has been favoured with a soloist role so early. 

 

In some ways it was a pity to see a dancer of Zverev's ability cast as The Slave although of course his partnering was exemplary which brings me to another issue .... The rep that the company have brought this time has so few meaningful male soloist or corps roles. I wish they would acquire something like Ratmansky's Shostakovich Trilogy and bring it here so we could have the opportunity to appreciate the men as much as we have the women. 

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Bruce Wall    2,446
9 minutes ago, annamk said:

In some ways it was a pity to see a dancer of Zverev's ability cast as The Slave although of course his partnering was exemplary which brings me to another issue .... The rep that the company have brought this time has so few meaningful male soloist or corps roles. I wish they would acquire something like Ratmansky's Shostakovich Trilogy and bring it here so we could have the opportunity to appreciate the men as much as we have the women. 

 

Given the stunning wealth of young male talent at the Royal Ballet I so wish THEY would adopt Ratmansky's Shostakovich Trilogy.  There is no question in my mind but that it would be justified ...  What wait for the Russians?  I wonder too - assuming their physical survival - which has already been remarkable - if the Hochhausers would ever bring such.  There is, after all, no linear story tag for them to hang it to.   That said, of course, UK audiences would never have seen Ratmanksy's materful Concerto DSCH had it not been for them.  Truly we owe them much.  

 

Still I think that Trilogy's second act would - if it was acquired quickly by the Royal Ballet - be a wonderful vehicle for the glory that is Gary Avis.  

 

Edited by Bruce Wall

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MAB    2,371

Back in the days when critics possessed wit, one wag described Bayadere as "Giselle, east of Suez", which pretty much sums up the story.  It is daft anyway, a very flimsy love triangle swamped by the distractions of the brilliant dancing of the company.  I've never gone to this ballet for the plot.

 

Regarding the Slave, he is frequently danced by a prominent company member, even principals, an historical thing I suppose,  I too was sorry to see so little of Vasily Tkachenko (wonderful in Infra), his dancing is so good he should be cast in far more roles, he's very easy on the eye too.  

 

Concerto DSCH is a favourite of mine but I can't see the RB performing it when it already has a ballet to the same music.  Has anyone seen Kim in it?  I saw him dance it in Cardiff, absolutely jaw dropping.  Love Kim, virtuosos of his calibre are becoming as rare as hens teeth now, he should be cherished for what he is.

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RuthE    458
2 hours ago, Bruce Wall said:

Just wanted to say that I agree with much that Sim says.  My enjoyment of Bayadere I think is not based on a gut rending emotional connection with the characters.  The story after all is rather meagre - indeed spindly.  For me it is the sweep and dazzle of the technical display in direct correlation with music that Minkus envisioned for a mass balletic audience.

 

Funnily enough, this sums up exactly why I don't really enjoy La Bayadere!  I don't think I'm a proper ballet fan at all, just a theatre/drama fan, and though there are abstract ballets I enjoy enormously, I don't tend to like ones which ostensibly have a plot but are really just about watching people dance...

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RuthE    458
2 hours ago, Bruce Wall said:

Just think of the thrilling ride so many of us have shared with the likes of Muntagirov and Naghdi.  These two glorious artists offer just such locomotives of balletic apotheosis.  That is a gift at any price; at any time.  

 

Just as an aside... this has reminded me that it's so long since the RB last did Bayadere (summer 2013? with no revival planned next season either) that Yasmine Naghdi was at the head of the line of Shades...

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capybara    3,884

I agree that the plot of La Bayadere has its faults (and some!) but the absence of characterisation left many around me last night utterly confused as to what was happening.

 

And I personally do need to identify at some emotional level with what is happening on stage, not just marvel at technical prowess - however amazing that might be.

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VickyPage    234

I don't think there's much to add, when there are such lovely reviews already! Even when I've been to a performance myself, I always feel like I get a better perspective from reading everyone else's thoughts. So thank you! One thing I would comment on is that while I found Kim's acting otherwise pretty poor, I did really like the way he did not smile even once during his pas de deux with Gamzatti in Act II. Anyway, Bayadere is a perfect ballet to showcase the Mariinsky's strong points, so of course the evening was enjoyable!

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Beryl H    756
12 hours ago, MAB said:

Kimin Kim performed EIGHT double assembles, Solor used to do four, then some years later six, but eight!  wow!

 

I love the double assembles sequence, last night was unbelievable, and so fast too, as was most of his dancing last night!

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David    352
6 hours ago, Bruce Wall said:

I thought that Tkachenko's Golden Idol vividly wrought and so hope when this company returns - and we know it can't be before 2020 - we might see him in some principal roles. 

 

Sorry to appear so ignorant but why can't it be before 2020 please? I've been assuming that it will probably be the Bolshoi again in 2018 and then the Mariinsky in 2019?

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Don Q Fan    1,666

I don't think any Russian company is expected here in summer 2018 sadly. Although I'd love the Mikhailovsky to return (and bring their stupendous Spartacus!)

 

Gutted that Yevseyeva won't be in the matinee tomorrow, so glad I saw her in DonQ. 

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LinMM    4,433

Is it something to do with the Hochhausers retiring or something so nothing is actually set up for next year? 

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David    352
4 minutes ago, Don Q Fan said:

I don't think any Russian company is expected here in summer 2018 sadly. Although I'd love the Mikhailovsky to return (and bring their stupendous Spartacus!)

 

 

1 minute ago, LinMM said:

Is it something to do with the Hochhausers retiring or something so nothing is actually set up for next year? 

 

Or is the ROH planning even more alterations?

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LinMM    4,433

Oh and have never heard of a double assemble .....does it just mean doing two very quickly ...to the beat of one as it were...or is it a beaten assemble or brisee? Or even a series of cabrioles? 

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Andy    23

Mr Vaziev said last year during the tour that the Bolshoi already has plans for 2018 so the nearest year might be only 2019

However, the respond from the Hochhausers not known  ;-)

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select*from    85
23 minutes ago, LinMM said:

Oh and have never heard of a double assemble .....does it just mean doing two very quickly ...to the beat of one as it were...or is it a beaten assemble or brisee? Or even a series of cabrioles? 

 

I believe that is an assemblé en tournant making 2 revolutions in the air?

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Beryl H    756

I think double assemble en tournant is what this series of turns in the air landing on the spot around the stage are called, they occur in the Shades scene coda.

 

La Bayadere is my favourite ballet, I think the Shades Scene is Petipa's purest piece of choreography and seems to be a homage to ballet itself, last night was one of the best performances I have seen, I don't normally rave about the corps but I did watch in amazement last night, utter perfection!

 

As well as Viktoria Tereshkina, Kimin Kim, and Nadezhda Batoeva as Gamzatti, there was a superb Idol from young Vasily Tkachenko, a new dancer for me and at last an exciting new male soloist!

 

 

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LinMM    4,433

Ah now you add the en tournant bit it makes more sense ....the double must refer to the turns as in itself a normal assemble is not that interesting a step so couldn't imagine it being so exciting!!

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