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  1. I was lucky enough to attend the 2 weekend performances of Makarova's La Bayadere in Amsterdam. I was not disappointed. On Saturday I saw Anna Tsygankova with Daniel Camargo in the lead roles with Wen Ting Guan as Gamzatti. The performance was very nice, however I much preferred Sunday's performance of the 2 I saw, which was danced by Anna Ol and Young Gyu Choi with Qian Liu as Gamzatti. I found the latter's portrayal of Gamzatti far more convincing than that of Saturday. As Solor, Choi was far superior to Camargo with far better acting skill as well as physical strength as a dancer - his turns and jumps were much stronger and he was able to carry out the required lifts correctly. On Saturday Camargo was not able to fully lift Guan and she sort of slithered down from the height of the lift far sooner than she should have done. That said he was an elegant dancer but I did not get much emotion from Camargo and did not really notice the mime when he danced whereas Choi was very clear with his mime. Anna Tsygankova is a fine dancer indeed executing her moves with grace and ease and it is always lovely to see her dance. Anna Ol was a gentle sensitive Nikiya and you could feel her despair and I really liked her performance. Hard to say who was better, if at all. The corps de ballet and divertissements were all beautifully danced. However the icing on the cake was The Kingdom of The Shades. Saturday night's scene was magnificent so good that a hush fell over the auditorium it really was a special thing to see. Sunday's KotS was very good too just a wobble short of Saturday's maybe, plus the audience was not as quiet. Either way though both Kingdoms were impressive and a credit to the ballet masters/mistresses. The music was fabulous under the baton of Ermano Florio it really was a treat to hear. Costumes were bright and beautiful. I was a little underwhelmed by the Bronze Idol (although he is coloured gold?!) I have seen more bravura choreography for him i n other productions but both Sho Yamada and OScar Valdes gave good strong performances on Saturday and Sunday respectively. At the curtain call on Saturday there was a bit of a flower throw anyway it transpires that it was Anna Tsygankova's birthday so that was nice to see! There are a handful of performances left so if you get a chance to see one I would recommend seeing the show. Photo - Anna Tsygankova/Daniel Camargo/Wen Ting Guan Photo - Anna Ol/Young Gyu Choi/Qian Liu
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