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Bolshoi Ballet: La Bayadère, Cinema screening, January 2013


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Just been to see the live streaming of the Bolshoi Bayadere and had to say how much I enjoyed it. I had heard they were gtting new sets and costumes for Bayadere but wasn't sure if they had already got them. Well they have and very splendid they are too. Last time I saw their Bayadere it was at the Coliseum and I think it was the year Carlos danced Spartacus and Osipova and Vasiliev debuted Don Q and I thought their production of Bayadere looked old and tired by comparison to these ballets. The new sets are very splendid though I always think you could do with a bit more light in the first act (at least for filming). The palace in red and cream was very sumpuous and the set for the betrothal scene was slightly reminiscent of the Royal version; palace in the background and the foreground as if on the edge of a tropical forest; just a slight disappointment they didn't have an 'elephant' for Solor to make his entrance on! The dancing too was excellent; Zakharova and Alexandrove gave their usual very assured performances and Vladislav Lantratov who played Solor was also excellent; Vasiliev could hardly have danced it better and he had a good warrior bearing; looked as if he would have made a good prince. I'm  mentioning this here rather than under the cinema heading because it's definately made me want to see their production when they bring it here. Before, seeing it and thinking of my disappointment last time I wasn't sure whether or not to bother but now it's definately a must!!    Joan

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I saw the live relay of Bayadere in my local Odeon this after and I thought it magnificent.  It was a long performance but everyone seemed to be enthralled and what a well behaved crowd!  No coughing, no popcorn, no talking, not even any fidgeting.  It made for such an enjoyable afternoon.  I happen to love Svetlana Zakharova and I thought she gave a stunning performance, which was much appreciated by the Moscow audience who are much more vocal than most audiences in this country.  Someone quite near me who had not seen Bayadere before was very puzzled by the dance of the Golden Idol as he did not appear again as a 'statue' as he does in the RB production.  The Bolshoi version ends with the 'Shades' which, lovely though it is, does not round off the story

 

The performance in the Taunton Odeon went almost without hitch.  Just one momentary screech in the sound track. We thought the camera work and production excellent.  They switched from close up to full stage, to overhead views at just the right moment and the presenter did stirling work in Russian, French and English

 

I am now looking forward to Don Quixote on 10 February.  Though not 'live' I am sure it will be another feast of wonderful dancing

 

I hope others enjoyed it as much as well all did and that other cinemas had a glitch free relay.  I should love to have comments from the more knowledgeable forum members

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Just been to see the live streaming of the Bolshoi Bayadere and had to say how much I enjoyed it. I had heard they were gtting new sets and costumes for Bayadere but wasn't sure if they had already got them. Well they have and very splendid they are too. Last time I saw their Bayadere it was at the Coliseum and I think it was the year Carlos danced Spartacus and Osipova and Vasiliev debuted Don Q and I thought their production of Bayadere looked old and tired by comparison to these ballets. The new sets are very splendid though I always think you could do with a bit more light in the first act (at least for filming). The palace in red and cream was very sumpuous and the set for the betrothal scene was slightly reminiscent of the Royal version; palace in the background and the foreground as if on the edge of a tropical forest; just a slight disappointment they didn't have an 'elephant' for Solor to make his entrance on! The dancing too was excellent; Zakharova and Alexandrove gave their usual very assured performances and Vladislav Lantratov who played Solor was also excellent; Vasiliev could hardly have danced it better and he had a good warrior bearing; looked as if he would have made a good prince. I'm  mentioning this here rather than under the cinema heading because it's definately made me want to see their production when they bring it here. Before, seeing it and thinking of my disappointment last time I wasn't sure whether or not to bother but now it's definately a must!!    Joan

I have just commented on  the cinema thread Joan but was delighted to see that you had enjoyed it so much too.  Yes, the new costumes were very lovely.  Like you I was not going to put this on my list for the summer but I might just do this now. 

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I saw it too.  Much as I admired the wonderful dancing (from the entire cast, principals, soloists and corps) I was a little underwhelmed by the production as a whole, which seemed to me to be underlit throughout.  It was hard to see the sets clearly - a shame because from what I could make out they looked really impressive.  The dancing, however, was difficult if not impossible to  criticise . Zakharova and Alexandrova are two very different dancers yet, as Nikiya and Gamzatti respectively, they melded perfectly in their good-girl/bad-girl roles, and  Vladislav Lantratov  - a tall and elegant young performer – danced  Solor with ease and power.  I don’t know if he’s coming to London with the Bolshoi on their summer visit, but he’s one to watch.  Since the cast list we were given named only the three principals I can’t identify any of the excellent soloists, but outstanding was the dancer who performed the head Fakir - really powerful and impressive, so worth watching out for too. The girl who performed the Manou dance (the jug-on-head role) was impressive too - delightfully cheerful and easy in her difficult role.  The corps were flawless in the shades scene  – I love the way the Russians do this  – but here I found  the underlighting  a real spoiler – no clear view was possible of each dancer as they appeared from the darkness, which is almost the whole point of the shades scene.  


I really can’t speak highly enough, though, of the Bolshoi orchestra.  I’ve never heard the Minkus score played so well  it was almost as if I were hearing it  for the very first time - it was the first time anyway that I noticed that it has some very pretty tunes  – I left almost humming them!


 

 


 

 


 

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I saw this too and would agree with the comments above, except I didn't notice it being underlit, so perhaps it was a local problem with the projection.  The principals were wonderful although Lantratov is so slender I had a little difficulty accepting him as a warrior!  His dancing was excellent though.  One minor caveat with the camera work was that I would have preferred a few more "distance" shots.  In nearly all the big diagonals and maneges they had the dancer framed and moved around the stage with them, which tended to "flatten" the movement.  I would have liked more shots showing the whole stage and how the dancers move through space.

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I saw it too and I just loved it. The new Bolshoi stage is magnificent and adds to the grandeur of the ballet. All three principal dancers were a joy - the contrast between Zakharova's melting Nikiya and Alexandrova's strong Gamzatti was perfection. I did like Lantratov: tall, wonderful dancer and partner with excellent stage presence, surely on his way to being a principal. All the soloist dancing was of the highest standard and as you would expect the corps in shades were sublime. I must admit I found the lighting in the shades scene very effective - in my cinema it seemed to have a whitish/blue tinge which added to the ghostliness of it all. I like the way the ballet ends with that scene rather than the RB Temple destruction which feels unnecessary. Can't think of a better way to spend a wintery Sunday afternoon.

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I saw it too.  Much as I admired the wonderful dancing (from the entire cast, principals, soloists and corps) I was a little underwhelmed by the production as a whole, which seemed to me to be underlit throughout.  It was hard to see the sets clearly - a shame because from what I could make out they looked really impressive.  The dancing, however, was difficult if not impossible to  criticise . Zakharova and Alexandrova are two very different dancers yet, as Nikiya and Gamzatti respectively, they melded perfectly in their good-girl/bad-girl roles, and  Vladislav Lantratov  - a tall and elegant young performer – danced  Solor with ease and power.  I don’t know if he’s coming to London with the Bolshoi on their summer visit, but he’s one to watch.  Since the cast list we were given named only the three principals I can’t identify any of the excellent soloists, but outstanding was the dancer who performed the head Fakir - really powerful and impressive, so worth watching out for too. The girl who performed the Manou dance (the jug-on-head role) was impressive too - delightfully cheerful and easy in her difficult role.  The corps were flawless in the shades scene  – I love the way the Russians do this  – but here I found  the underlighting  a real spoiler – no clear view was possible of each dancer as they appeared from the darkness, which is almost the whole point of the shades scene.  

 

I really can’t speak highly enough, though, of the Bolshoi orchestra.  I’ve never heard the Minkus score played so well  it was almost as if I were hearing it  for the very first time - it was the first time anyway that I noticed that it has some very pretty tunes  – I left almost humming them!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Head fakir: Anton Savichev

Manu: Maria Prorvich

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Just to reply to Ann Williams that Fakir Magedaveya was danced by Anton Savichev.

http://www.bolshoi.ru/persons/ballet/189/

His flying jumps, which stay in the air and look almost sculptured, and all his expressive movements make some Solors pale in his presence. Anton has been with the company for 10 years, still in corps de ballet and, IMHO, is underused as a dancer.

Manou was danced by the lovely Anna Rebetskaya (she replaced the dancer named in the programme - Maria Prorvich, who spends most of her time now with her husband Sergei Filin at the hospital).

Lantratov must come to London. He dances leads in La Bayadere, The Flames of Paris and The Classical Symphony.

Edited for better layout.

Edited by Amelia
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Is it a new production?  It's so long since I've seen the Bolshoi's Bayadère that I couldn't remember the details, except that the last time I saw it it finished with a very perfunctory destruction of the temple tacked onto the end of the Kingdom of the Shades.  I'm not sure that I'm any more convinced by this ending: it all seemed to get rather Giselle-ish to me.  I'd agree that it looked a bit under-lit - the sets seemed to be gorgeous, and I'd have liked to have seen them in more detail.  I also would say that Lantratov, marvellous dancer though he is, looked a bit young to be a multiply-decorated warrior.  Anyway, the whole thing made a very pleasant way of passing a Sunday afternoon.

 

Oh, and we were given a complete cast list where I was, in case anyone has any more casting queries.

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Am I alone in admiring the cavorting, wide-eyed piccaninnies, the galoppy-horsey scimitar waving (like when I was about 7), the gurning Rajah and Brahmin and, most of all, the Pythonesque Dance of the Norwegian Blues?  Who needs Shades when there are delights such as these to hand?

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No Ian you are not alone.  I was thankful my companion was my elderly mother and not my husband or dd, so I merely had a smirk at the Norwegian Blues.  If they had been with me we might have disgraced ourselves.  And it would help with the illusion if the dancers kept the poor things upright, the parrots were swung around so much they were most definitely ex!

 

A similar problem sometimes arises with the fans in Swan Lake.  Rather than being held in a dignified manner as befits Princesses, they are swung all over the place and often end up sweeping the floor as if the dancers were servant girls!

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Since there's been so much feedback, in two separate threads, on the Bolshoi's Bayadère production, I thought I'd combine them all in one thread.  We can then use it for when they bring the production to London later in the year, too.

 

The "Ballet in the Cinema" thread from which many came is here: http://www.balletcoforum.com/index.php?/topic/835-ballet-in-the-cinema-2012-13-season/page-4, and the Bolshoi London tour thread is here: http://www.balletcoforum.com/index.php?/topic/1487-bolshoi-ballet-coming-next-summer/

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