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I received a leaflet for the Big Give today from BRB. This states that the company will be performing in Stanton Welch's staging of La Bayadere in autumn 2017. As far as I can gather this was first produced for the Houston Ballet and then mounted on the Australian Ballet.

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Have had a look on Google and it seems very promising.

Looks very traditional. Guess I will be spending a few more pennies on this.

Edited by Tony Newcombe
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MMMMMmmmm .... Brandon Lawrence and Delia Mathews in Bayadere .... BRB here I come :)

 

Me too!

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Sorry to put a spanner in the works here. The last time I saw Bayadère (ROH 2009 with Cuthbertson, Soares and a disastrously miscast McMeekan - very sad as she was a dancer I loved) I came away with the firm impression that this ballet's time was past and that it played disastrously, with its limp narrative and tinkly score, to all the prejudices that many hold against classical ballet as an art form. Yes, the choreography for the Shades is truly beautiful and I can see a reason to preserve that Act as Nureyev did, but, in general, I would have hoped that there were more interesting and creative projects in which BRB might be investing. Obviously, I'm not presenting my opinion as gospel - it is nothing more than a personal opinion.

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I disagree, John.  If this ballet is done well it is lovely, and a great example of what classical ballet should be.  It has everything:  the fabulous Shades act, gorgeous solos and pas de deux as well as ensemble pieces, bravura dancing from the Golden Idol, and, in Nikiya's 'death dance' one of the most moving 15 minutes in classical ballet.  OK, the music isn't Tchaikovsky, but there are many ballets where the music isn't amazing but somehow it still all works!  

 

Interesting to hear your opinion on it....but please don't dismiss the piece because you saw a poor version of it (unless you just don't like it, in which case fair enough!).  I saw the Mariinsky do it in St. Petersburg a couple of years ago and it was one of the best nights I have ever had at the ballet;  when you see it done like that, you would never want to consign it to the cupboard of dud ballets!

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I am with Sim on this. I was lucky enough to see the Bolshoi do it in the late 90s and they danced it as though their lives depended on it. They didn't view it as a secondary work. I think it is like those other two less performed gems, Le Corsaire and (my favourite) Raymonda, which are better than they are given credit for.

 

If La Bayadere is danced with sincerity and belief it can still be both awe inspiring and moving. My favourite performance was at the Opera House with Altynai Asylmuratova, Faroukh Ruzimatov and Sylvie Guillem as Gamzatti. That was ballet and drama. Nothing dated or fey about it.

 

I am excited about the idea of BRB dancing it next season. In many ways it makes up for the disappointing programme we have this year all by itself. The rigours of the Kingdom of the Shades should do wonders for the corps de ballet and there are a number of exciting potential casts.

 

Can't wait!

Edited by Two Pigeons
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Having just seen the Makarova Bayadere in Amsterdam this news fills me with joy! Can't wait. And I agree with Bruce the mere thought of Brandon and Delia in this sends a shiver down the spine they're made for this ballet - or is that La Bayadere is made for them?!

Edited by Don Q Fan
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I enjoyed Bayadere when I saw it quite regularly with the RB when I was younger. When the Bolshoi brought it to London I took my other half wanting him to see the shades act, but I found myself cringing with embarrassment during act 1. I could tell he hated it and it completely coloured his view of the whole performance. I can't watch it myself now - the shades are still wonderful as are parts of act 4, but I don't enjoy the rest of it anymore.

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I have seen Bayadere twice, once performed by a supposedly stellar cast at the RB and once by the Bolshoi. I have mixed feelings about it. Some of the stuff in Act 1 is a bit cringeworthy and, really, I was impatient for the Shades to appear.

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I love the Shades, and the rest can be good, bad or indifferent depending on the production.  However, I do hope BRB steers clear of the blue parrots - a certain dead parrot sketch always springs to mind!

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I adore La Bayadere and my only disappointment with BRB performing it next year is it will probably mean RB not performing it and I've been dying to see Vadim as Solor, possibly at the cinema also as it's been a while since it was filmed. That said the RB version is possibly my least favourite of all the productions I've seen; no Indian dance, no parrots (sorry, I like them!), abridged version of Nikiya's betrothal dance and other things missed out to accommodate the final act which I'm not keen on. I always associate it with having to hurry back to Cheltenham to see to our old dog and arguments as to whether or not to stay for the last act to see the bronze idol. It was in the day of the separate amphi and it was surprising how many people were not bothering to stay for the last act. I saw every performance POB did at the Lowry all those years ago and this is still my favourite version. However, I have very fond memories of Altynai Assulmuratova dancing it at the ROH and the Coliseum with the Kirov. She was the ultimate Nikiya and I felt very privileged to see her. She can still be seen in the RB version on the dvd with Irek Mukhamadov.

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I don't like the idea that a group of drunken 21 year olds think the best fun to be had is to go into a forest and use crossbow against defenceless wild birds. Wouldn't stop me booking to see Swan Lake though.

Edited by Two Pigeons
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I'm afraid that the prospect of a staging of La Bayadere in an "after Petipa" version does not make my pulse race.  I know that I may appear to be inconsistent but while I would love to see the Nureyev staging of The Kingdom of the Shades with a full compliment of thirty two shades, although I know it to be based on that act as staged by the Kirov in 1941, I am not sure that I want to see a production which I understand to be essentially an amalgam of Markarova's and Nureyev's take on the Kirov production.

 

The 1941 production was a staging which was tailored to the new athletic style of Soviet male dancing as exemplified by Chabukiani and it contains very little mime. I therefore found it rather disconcerting to read Mr Welch's account of his production  in an interview which he gave at the time that he staged it in Australia. He is reported as saying that he had cut the mime, made the ballet faster moving and had given the men the opportunity to display their vigorous technique It sounds as if we are likely to get a version of La Bayadere which is not that different in approach from the ENB's staging of Le Corsaire which feels more like a display of dance than the staging of a nineteenth century ballet. 

 

I can't help thinking that at the time when everyone in the world of ballet will be getting ready to say how much they revere Petipa it will be more than a little unfortunate if the BRB acquires a version of La Bayadere which  is essentially  a mid twentieth century reworking of the ballet which displays a modern version of Soviet choreography and aesthetics. Now it would be interesting to see  a genuine attempt to reconstruct the ballet in its earliest notated form.

Edited by FLOSS

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Perhaps one for Mr Ratmansky after his successful revision of the original Sleeping Beauty for ABT that a few of us were privileged to see this summer?

I must say I do love the POB Nureyev Bayadere though especially with its gorgeous sets and costumes.

The main draw for me will be The Kingdom of the Shades though and I am sure the BRB corps will give it their all.

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Two Pigeons what a cast you saw there Altynai Assylmuratova....Faroukh Ruzimatov and Sylvie Guillem......would certainly like to,have seen that!!

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I am with Sim on this. I was lucky enough to see the Bolshoi do it in the late 90s and they danced it as though their lives depended on it. They didn't view it as a secondary work. I think it is like those other two less performed gems, Le Corsaire and (my favourite) Raymonda, which are better than they are given credit for.

I agree. I've seen it 6 times - Bolshoi, Kirov, Paris Opera Ballet x 2 and St Petersburg Theatre Ballet x 2. The Bolshoi were superb and I'm looking forward to the BRB doing it. The Shades will probably look very different. When the Russian companies do it, they appear to take great care in having dancers all of the same height. That doesn't happen in the BRB.

 

 

MMMMMmmmm .... Brandon Lawrence and Delia Mathews in Bayadere .... BRB here I come :)

My thoughts as well. Celine Gittens as Gamzatti?

 

 

Celine and Delia in either role would be swell and I hope they both dance Nikiya and Gamzatti. My guess is they will.

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Whenever I've seen La Bayadere I've always come away vaguely disappointed, feeling I ought to have enjoyed it more.

 

I would love to see the BRB version.  Any idea where and when they will be performing it?

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I expect, if it is part of the Autumn 2017 tour it will be their usual itinerary of Birmingham, Plymouth, Sadler's Wells, Salford and Sunderland (unless, as has been for the last couple of years) The Lowry is before Birmingham.

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Well if that's a taste of things to come I really can't wait as it'll be very safe in BRB's hands (or rather feet)!

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I received a letter this morning from BRB with the disappointing news that, following a 62% cut in its grant from Birmingham City Council, it's made the "difficult but unavoidable decision" not to invest in a new production of "La Bayadere". Instead they will be presenting David Bintley's "Aladdin".

 

People who donated specifically to the Bayadere project can agree to have the donation allocated to "Arcadia" (part of a triple bill) - "an entirely new piece with choreography by BRB dancer Ruth Brill, set to music by acclaimed saxophonist John Harle with designs by Atena Amer".

 

 

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I'm gutted! I bet the dancers are too. I'm afraid Aladdin is no substitute and it won't give the male dancers the same chances.

 

This does not bode well for the future of the company I am afraid.

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I too am DEEPLY saddened by this news.  I wonder if such might encourage several of the very fine artists currently housed within the fine BRB Company - as now extant - to seek out pastures new.  Surely no one could blame them.  Time, after all, waits for no person - especially - heaven knows - within a balletic remit. 

 

Given this, I now sincerely hope that the RB will revive Makarova's Bayadere in their 2017/18 remit.  How wonderful in such an instance - given this unfortunate news - if KO'H were to offer (a) guest slot(s) to such as Lawrence/Mathews/Gittens/Bracewell.  In my book that would be more than well deserved by both the artists themselves and the audience.   

Edited by Bruce Wall
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Yes, why not revive the Makarova Bayadere?

 

Did anyone else hear the interview with the outgoing chair of Arts Council England, Peter Bazalgette, on Front Row last night? He mentioned the matched funding model adopted by ACE and I do wonder what effect Birmingham City Council's cut in funding to BRB will have on the company's ACE grant which is substantial.

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I wondered about an exodus too Bruce. This season is one where the company has had to tread water but the carrot of La Bayadere next year must have been a hopeful sign of better things to come. I am sure some of the company's blazing talents will be considering their options.

 

My view remains that if Birmingham City Council does pull the plug we have all enjoyed nearly 27 glorious years of a ballet company which would not have existed had they not moved to the city in 1990. I really hope this isn't the beginning of the end, at least of the company in its current form, but I am very doubtful of its long term future.

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