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Jan McNulty

The Royal Ballet: La Bayadère, London, November 2018

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Did Vadim do a different first solo in the betrothal act last night? I know it's not very likely but when I saw him at the theatre last Thursday I really got the wow factor from his solo then which I didn't get last night. I thought he did a succession of those spectacular turns in the air that yesterday he did in the Shades act but perhaps I remember wrong.

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Did Marianela remove the snake at all?  I spent anxious seconds wondering whether during the build up steps when Ms N was waving the bouquet about enthusiatically the snake would fly out prematuely but finally I didn't see the snake at all. When the fakir rushed over to whop it on the floor there didn't seem to be anything there.  Knowing how kind the lady is to children and animals i am sure she would have let it reside in its flowery repose. Must have been confusing to newcomers who may have put her demise down to hayfever.

 

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No, I didn’t see the snake either but  my imagination filled it in. You made me laugh out loud, graemew! 😂

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Just had an email from the ROH to say Coralles is injured and won't be dancing this Friday and he was the main reason I was travelling from Lancashire as I haven't seen him yet. Vadim is dancing in his place. I didn't think I'd ever be disappointed in having Vadim as a cast change but I have seen him twice already (3 times if I go to Southport this Sunday) and was looking forward to seeing Coralles. Hope he isn't badly injured and will be back soon. Must be as disappointing for him as for us.

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I've just posted this in the Autumn casting thread but am repeating it here to make sure readers see it:

 

Cast change for The Royal Ballet's La Bayadère

16 November 2018 at 7.30pm

Our records show that you are due to attend the performance of La Bayadère on 16 November. We are contacting you to let you know that due to injury, Cesar Corrales will be replaced by Vadim Muntagirov as Solor.

 

If you have any questions please contact our Box Office team on +44 (0)20 7304 4000 (Monday–Saturday: 10am–8pm) who will be happy to assist you.

Edited by Bluebird

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Also just received the notification from ROH about the cast change - definitely would be lovely to Corrales soar, but hearing about all the wonderful things on Muntagirov's opening night (plus the fact that I did not attend that or the cinema streaming), I guess I'm at no position to be disappointed :)  Look forward to Friday!!

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3 hours ago, graemew said:

I saw the McRae cast live and then last night's Cinema Live. Overall I enjoyed Vadim's cast better although the closer views offered by the Cinema (compared to mid Ampitheatre) add to the enjoyment by showing expression more clearly. McRae outdanced Vadim in the big solo although I thought Vadim had more emotion towards his ladies.  Marianela and Natalia were wonderfully sparky together  although I admit to being passionate about the stunning Ms Nunez.

 

 

 

I’m uneasy about the use of the word “outdanced” as it is almost suggestive of a competition - and in any case this is subject to different opinions.

 

I haven’t seen McRae in this although I have in other things, and from my own observations and some comments on here, he often chooses to up the stakes and add his own pyrotechnics to his solos, which can be very impressive. However, for me this sometimes seems to be at the sacrifice of artistry or the requirements of the role, and tends to become (again, for me), McRae dancing McRae rather than being Solor or whatever role it might happen to be. Sometimes less is more.

 

Speaking for myself, I far prefer to see a solo beautifully danced, with gorgeous lines and unflashy virtuosity, and artistry at the service of the role rather than the other way round. That, combined with Muntagirov’s beautifully expressive face (for me, he acts convincingly and sincerely) and inimitable elegance, constitutes classical ballet heaven - my own opinion, I realise not all will share it!

 

I will add that I far prefer McRae in more “acting” type roles - like Rudolf, or the Creature in Frankenstein, where he can focus on the acting rather than how much he can impress with his dancing.

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It's great to be able to see both. I really enjoyed McRae's pyrotechnics last Saturday and very much looking forward to seeing Muntagirov's elegance this Friday. I was very happy to be seeing Corrales as Solor but Osipova/Muntagirov/Nuñez has always been my absolute dream cast for Bayadere.

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3 hours ago, Richard LH said:

 

Albeit the following was made as a Birkenstock commercial, it is mainly a moving  and inspirational  account of Romany's ballet journey...

 

 

I've never seen this before. Thank you Richard for posting it. It's wonderful. I have long been a fan of Romany - I notice her every time she's on stage - as I do Isabella Gasparini. This production of La Bayadere has brought (belated) attention to her beautiful dancing, first on WBD and then the video last night, which is great. Hopefully her hard work will be rewarded and this year finally she will be promoted to soloist.

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2 hours ago, Fonty said:

Yes, it is fascinating to watch the dancers doing their last minute stretches, adjusting their costumes or whatever.  Adds to the sense of occasion. 

 

Also behind the curtain at the end - it was nice to see Osipova, off stage, applauding Nunez as the latter took a curtain call.

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13 minutes ago, Richard LH said:

 

Also behind the curtain at the end - it was nice to see Osipova, off stage, applauding Nunez as the latter took a curtain call.

 

And she did the same on-stage for Vadim & Marianela when they first appeared at the curtain calls on opening night.

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It's not so unusual I must say that Principals applaud each other at curtain call. I have seen other Principals applauding each other at the end of their performance. It's nice indeed.

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I thought Muntagirov did two insane backbends, partway through and at the end of his solo last week: this week I only noticed the one. 

 

The Buddha statue used to crack in two, which was very dramatic and impressive.   Now, it just starts cracking and spalling from the top, with bits dropping downwards.  Apart from anything else, if you're up in the upper half of the amphitheatre you really can't see it.

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57 minutes ago, Nogoat said:

 

And she did the same on-stage for Vadim & Marianela when they first appeared at the curtain calls on opening night.

 

Natalia is becoming much more tuned into RB ways nowadays without loosing that spark and impetuous way of dancing (love or hate it). She seems to be more of a team player as a result. She is still reluctant to speak English - is there a specific reason for that? She must have picked up a reasonable vocabulary by now. 

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28 minutes ago, Xandra Newman said:

It's not so unusual I must say that Principals applaud each other at curtain call. I have seen other Principals applauding each other at the end of their performance. It's nice indeed.

 

At first sight, yes. It seems nice for dancers to applaud each other at curtain calls. On reflection, though, I disagree quite strongly with this practice. At curtain calls, the cast, collectively and individually are there on stage to acknowledge the applause (or otherwise) from the audience to them. It should not be for them to indulge in mutual congratulations. It is almost as if they are pre-empting and anticipating  the audience's response. It would inevitably lead to someone in the audience noticing if dancer A did not applaud dancer B and begin some round of speculation.  While they are in front of the curtain and in view of the audience, dancers should refrain from this kind of display unless the circumstances are exceptional (and I don't just mean a good performance). What Richard LH was referring to in his post above is different. Osipova was applauding Nunez out of sight of the audience (save for those in the extremities peering through the opening of the curtain. That is a genuine expression of pleasure and congratulations.

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I really enjoyed last night's cinema performance, the only thing I would have liked were some higher up camera shots, but it was a memorable evening, Vadim Muntagirov's dancing was as "heavenly" as I expected it would be, now I'll get un unexpected chance to see him again, although I'm very sad I won't see Cesar Corrales! Also it will be strange to see Marianela Nunez and Natalia Osipova swap roles, especially with Vadim!

The corps were magnificent, think it was the first time I almost cried at the perfection of it all,  and great solo's from the 3 Shades, loved Yasmine Naghdi's musical phrasing. Thought Alexander Campbell did a superb Idol solo too, especially the final manege. It all had a very special feel, seeing Natalia Makarova getting a bouquet at the end added to the occasion! I still don't really like the short last act, not much dancing apart from the Idol and Gamzatti's solo, and the effects didn't work, at least not on the cinema screen.  

 

Edited by Beryl H
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3 hours ago, Nogoat said:

 

And she did the same on-stage for Vadim & Marianela when they first appeared at the curtain calls on opening night.

Yes she did indeed, and I thought that was a lovely gesture. In the next performance, when they swapped roles, Marianela not only didn’t applaud her back, but she had a face like thunder until the whole line took a bow together.  I wasn’t impressed.  

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7 minutes ago, Sim said:

Yes she did indeed, and I thought that was a lovely gesture. In the next performance, when they swapped roles, Marianela not only didn’t applaud her back, but she had a face like thunder until the whole line took a bow together.  I wasn’t impressed.  

See what I mean?

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Except that I am not speculating.  I am just reporting what happened. I really like it when dancers applaud each other. It shows that they are joining the audience in showing their appreciation of how hard their colleague has worked, and how beautifully they have transferred the hard work into art.  If you don’t want to applaud that’s fine, but to smile might be nice. 

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2 hours ago, graemew said:

 

Natalia is becoming much more tuned into RB ways nowadays without loosing that spark and impetuous way of dancing (love or hate it). She seems to be more of a team player as a result. She is still reluctant to speak English - is there a specific reason for that? She must have picked up a reasonable vocabulary by now. 

 

Is there reason to believe she didn't applaud her Bolshoi or Mikhailovsky colleagues similarly? She's always seemed rather humble in interview so I'd be surprised to learn that she was previously not considered a team player, the normal Bolshoi politics aside.

 

I think I read here once that she speaks good English but is nervous about speaking it in interviews.

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2 hours ago, Douglas Allen said:

 

At first sight, yes. It seems nice for dancers to applaud each other at curtain calls. On reflection, though, I disagree quite strongly with this practice. At curtain calls, the cast, collectively and individually are there on stage to acknowledge the applause (or otherwise) from the audience to them. It should not be for them to indulge in mutual congratulations.

 

Yes; when Osipova applauded them at the end of the first night, I thought it was very touching, and possibly acceptable given that it was a big first night with Makarova there and etc. But in general I don't think it should happen - as Douglas Allen says, this is the time for audience appreciation, and is in a sense still part of the performance. It looks very amateurish for performers to clap each other (and I speak as an amateur choral singer - we do applaud our professional soloists, because we are acknowledging that they are on a different level from us). If the dancers start applauding each other on stage, the crucial divide between the cast and audience (which continues to matter until the final curtain call is over) is broken and it just becomes a mutual congratulation fest. And it would be endless - should the corps applaud the principals? And vice versa? Etc.

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2 minutes ago, Lizbie1 said:

 

Is there reason to believe she didn't applaud her Bolshoi or Mikhailovsky colleagues similarly? She's always seemed rather humble in interview so I'd be surprised to learn that she was previously not considered a team player, the normal Bolshoi politics aside.

 

I think I read here once that she speaks good English but is nervous about speaking it in interviews.

 

That was based only on my own observation of her not having a connection on stage with other dancers - that magic we often look for. I'm not suggesting she may not have mixed or "gone down the pub" with any of her colleagues.  It's somethings which I have observed with Russian companies. Now I just love the way she reacts and throws herself into the mix.

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I don't really like it when cast members applaud each other, because I think curtain calls are part of the performance.  I want them to continue looking out at the audience, not turning to applaud each other.  Nunez and Osipova are seasoned performers, they don't need to congratulate each other on a job well done.  And supposing one of the principals felt their own performance wasn't as good as they wanted it to be?  Another cast member applauding them might make them feel rather annoyed!

 

I think the only time I wouldn't mind seeing it is if they are applauding someone inexperienced, who has had to perform a role for the first time at extremely short notice.

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Yes, Lizbie1, I saw somewhere that Osipova is nervous about speaking English. 

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My highlights from yesterday’s cinema broadcast are

1. the Shades

2. the Shades

3. the Shades

4. the three Solo Shades

and when Nunez does a supported jump, it never looks like Muntagirov lifts her up but rather tries to catch her before she flies away. What a glorious partnership this is. I’d buy the DVD in an instant, even though I don’t like Bayadère very much as a whole but I could watch those two in anything they do and the complete second act for hours.

 

And the Orchestra was fantastic, they really brought the best out of this not-so-brilliant score… the solo violin was exceptional! I was so grateful that they took great care to not overdo it, as it’s so often the case with Minkus’ music.

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I was at the ‘Bayadere’ livestream yesterday and it’s been a while since I’ve seen this ballet (has never been a favourite of mine) - however, I really enjoyed this production and was quite entranced by the Shades entrance last night.  It was like looking at a reflection in a hall of mirrors when you see your reflection going on into what appears to be infinity - the dancers worked in complete dreamlike unison and lead by the wonderful Romany Padjek (perfectly placed every time) - I didn’t notice any wobbles from any dancer throughout either.  The dancers that stood out for me in the Shades corps, besides Padjek, were Isabella Gasparini (giving her all beautifully and sincerely) and Sae Maeda (quietly gracefully confident in the front row).  The applause at the end of the Shades entrance was loud and prolonged - well deserved and I think it’s one of the best I’ve seen.

 

The three Shades - Choe seemed to lack her usual joy and I thought her (first) variation lacked attack and she looked a little nervous.  I thought that out of the second and third variations, danced by Nahgdi and Takada, Takada had the slight  ‘edge’ with soaring elevation and solidly held aresbesques - just stunning.

 

Nunez was outstanding and I thought she was a class above Osipova last night (just my opinion) - gracious, sincere and with beautifully executed classical technique.  I thought Osipova over-acted at times and it just didn’t ring true  and she didn’t seem to have convincing passion for Solor.

 

Muntagirov just gets better and better - I think the role of Solor really suits him - he can dance so very beautifully and act so very convincingly. 

Beautiful lines and port de bras.

 

Other dancers that stood out last night for me were, Elizabeth McCrae ( ‘pink ladies’ pas de quatre Act 1) beautiful quality/footwork and always ‘on’ the music and a glowing Nadia Mullova-Barley and Leticia Dias in the corps dances.

 

A couple of negatives were the poor lighting at times - particularly after Núñez performed a variation and when she came back on to take a reverence she just disappeared into darkness - there were a few comments about this from people in the cinema audience.  

 

The last at act was disappointing in that it seemed to of been cut short - where was the earthquake and special effects that Darcey B had mentioned in the previous interval? All we could see were lots of lamps flashing around the stage then blackness for a good few minutes.....and suddenly we jumped to the final tableau....end of story.......I remember from previous productions the lightening and the giant Buddha collapsing etc etc.  It felt as they had run out of time and the story hadn’t really been properly concluded.

 

it was lovely to see Markarova on stage at the end though.  

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Springbourne3:  As has been noted elsewhere, the graphics seems to break from time to time and last night was very much the case. I wonder whether the cameras couldn't handle it or whether it just "went wrong". Either way, when I saw it live it was very clear and convincing. Last night it looked like a dust cloud.

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1 hour ago, graemew said:

Springbourne3:  As has been noted elsewhere, the graphics seems to break from time to time and last night was very much the case. I wonder whether the cameras couldn't handle it or whether it just "went wrong". Either way, when I saw it live it was very clear and convincing. Last night it looked like a dust cloud.

 

Graemew - what an apt description re - dust cloud - it looked just like one! 

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2 hours ago, capybara said:

Stop press! Mayara Magri fantastic as Gamzatti.

Indeed...a very impressive debut!

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