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 Post subject: RB's La Bayadere
PostPosted: Wed Oct 22, 2003 2:15 am 
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Review from the FT.

Quote:
The new ballet season began on Friday night at Covent Garden. And what better opening than Natalya Makarova's staging of La Bayade`re. Here are the demands of rigorous academic dancing and dramatic veracity that should lie at the heart of the Royal Ballet's identity. Convincing dance-acting has ever been one of the virtues of the troupe - small roles lovingly shown; major characterisations commanding in scale (think of Mayerling or Manon) but the company's academic style has been diminished in recent years by a lack of clarity, of bravura, and by corrupting tosh that pretends modernity and offers vulgarity, cheap-jack emotion.
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And from The Telegraph.

Quote:
The Royal Ballet has opened its immensely important 2003-04 season with the exotic Russian 19th-century classic, La Bayadère. After the turbulence of the brief Ross Stretton directorship, Monica Mason, his successor, is expected to steer this great company not just away from whirlpools but from a more insidious threat, the windless doldrums
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And from The Times.

Quote:
BRITISH ballet, like English football, is now so truly international that you wonder how it would cope without its foreign signings. Just look at the opening of the Royal Ballet’s season at the weekend. Two performances of La Bayadère involved six star dancers, and not one of them was British.
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And The Guardian.

Quote:
Generically, La Bayadère ranks alongside the great moonlit tragedies of the repertory. Like Swan Lake and Giselle, the ballet's poetry is consummated at night, its heroine is exquisitely marked for death and its hero torn haplessly between two loves. Yet, on this occasion, the ballet's casting gave Bayadère an unusually robust spin.
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<small>[ 22 October 2003, 04:43 AM: Message edited by: Joanne ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: RB's La Bayadere
PostPosted: Thu Oct 23, 2003 5:07 am 
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Review from The Independent.

Quote:
There's a Monday-morning feeling to the Royal Ballet's La Bayadère - the company has returned from its summer break out of shape and out of sorts.

This isn't a work that survives such treatment. Petipa made the ballet as a mixture of classical dance and exotic spectacle. The Shades act is one of the great vision scenes of nineteenth-century ballet. The rest is a melodrama about the temple dancer Nikiya's love for the warrior Solor, who is betrothed to the Rajah's daughter Gamzatti. The "rumtitum" music is by Leon Minkus, ballet's most-mocked composer. On an off-night, La Bayadère becomes a long evening of orientalist kitsch.
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 Post subject: Re: RB's La Bayadere
PostPosted: Fri Oct 24, 2003 12:36 am 
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Interview with Yanowsky from the Telegraph.

Quote:
Nobody plans a career in the chorus. From the moment she squeezes into her first pair of toe shoes every ballet student dreams of being a principal ballerina: bigger bouquets, bigger salary, and a whole evening in the spotlight dancing Giselle, Cinderella, Juliet, Manon. The Royal Ballet's Zenaida Yanowsky has been a fully-fledged principal since 2001 but, despite countless one-act triumphs, these meaty full-evening roles continue to elude her. As she chats to me between rehearsals at the Royal Opera House, folded elegantly into an armchair, she speaks of her dancing ambitions: "I do feel a certain sadness that I'm never going to touch some roles, roles that I would adore."
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 Post subject: Re: RB's La Bayadere
PostPosted: Sat Oct 25, 2003 1:39 am 
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Excising the exotic
Ismene Brown reviews La Bayadère performed by the Royal Ballet at Covent Garden


The Royal Ballet has opened its immensely important 2003-04 season with the exotic Russian 19th-century classic, La Bayadère. After the turbulence of the brief Ross Stretton directorship, Monica Mason, his successor, is expected to steer this great company not just away from whirlpools but from a more insidious threat, the windless doldrums.

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 Post subject: Re: RB's La Bayadere
PostPosted: Sun Oct 26, 2003 3:50 am 
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La Bayadère
By Jann Parry for The Observer

Welcome back to the Royal Ballet, starting the autumn season with La Bayadère and its opium dream of classical ballet bliss. As an alternative to Dance Umbrella, La Bayadère comes across as a Bollywood spectacular; then its magic works, along with fine and varied performances in the leading roles. Nineteenth-century ballet is alive and well, flourishing alongside millennial angst and postmodern irony.

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In the balance
The Royal Ballet’s lustrous Bayadère left Dance Umbrella’s offerings in the shade, says David Dougill for The Sunday Times


With the Royal Ballet’s new season opening and Dance Umbrella in full flood, London is dense with dance of wildly contrasted genres. But other than we critics doing our duty by most of them, I guess there is not much overlap between audiences for the classical splendours of La Bayadère, in its latest revival at the Opera House, and the more outré offerings under the Umbrella.

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 Post subject: Re: RB's La Bayadere
PostPosted: Fri Oct 31, 2003 6:04 am 
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La Bayadere
By John Percival for The Stage


The highlight of Petipa's original work is when the spirit of the murdered heroine Nikiya appears to her lover Solor, surrounded by the ghosts of other temple dancers, or bayaderes. One of the greatest classic sequences for corps de ballet and soloists, it transformed the genre as well as being triumphantly enjoyable on its own account.

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 Post subject: Re: RB's La Bayadere
PostPosted: Sat Nov 01, 2003 5:30 am 
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I read the interview with Yanowsky above - i don't believe it's just about height - she could have partners brought over if there was the commitment - just as Bolle comes for Darcey etc. I can't believe it's just about height.


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 Post subject: Re: RB's La Bayadere
PostPosted: Tue Nov 04, 2003 5:22 am 
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Daria Pavlenko/La Bayadère Covent Garden
By Clement Crisp for The Financial Times


With Darcey Bussell on maternity leave, the Royal Ballet has taken the excellent decision to invite Daria Pavlenko from the Kirov Ballet to replace her in La Bayade`re. What Pavlenko brings to the role of Nikiya is entire understanding. La Bayadère is in her bones, its manner as much part of her identity as MacMillan's choreography is the grain in Bussell's art.

Pavlenko knows, and showed perfectly at her debut in the Royal Ballet staging on Tuesday night, how the machinery of the role - its drama; its dance splendours - can take a ballerina, and the ballet, to glory.

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 Post subject: Re: RB's La Bayadere
PostPosted: Tue Nov 04, 2003 5:29 am 
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La Bayadère
By Jenny Gilbert for The Independent

As opening gambit for Monica Mason's first autonomous season as Royal Ballet director, La Bayadère had struck me as a rum choice, wilfully low on novelty value. Its odd jumble of 19th-century Bollywood exoticism, rum-te-tum music and ludicrous plot - as re-packaged by Natalia Makarova in her 1989 version for the Royal - has already had some 70 outings at the Opera House. What was Ms Mason thinking of? Doubt hardened to dull conviction through the first act. Ludwig Minkus's music - before it gets stuck into jolly waltzes - is truly dire in the early scenes, which is where this production creaks most.

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 Post subject: Re: RB's La Bayadere
PostPosted: Wed Nov 05, 2003 2:07 am 
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La Bayadere, Royal Ballet: 22/10/03 (Rojo, Acosta, Nunez) and 1/11/03 (Cojacaru, Kobborg, Morera)

I always find La Bayadere a terribly disjointed and sometimes frustrating ballet to watch, a problem with the narrative, I think, rather than with any particular production. But both these principal casts were excellent, and I enjoyed the performances more than I was expecting to.

Both Tamara Rojo and Alina Cojocaru were excellent Nikiyas, in contrasting ways. I love both these dancers, with their very different distinctive qualities. These differences make it almost impossible to compare them. Rojo is such a voluptuous dancer and her Nikiya was sensuous and womanly. Technically she was extremely strong, though maybe not quite as impressive as she can be. Rojo always imbues her roles with very human emotion, and she carried the audience along with her through the ballet.

Cojocaru has a quality, which I’m unable to analyse, that never fails to move me completely. Her technique is pure and transparent and she uses her body to express every emotion. Her solo at Gamzatti and Solor’s engagement celebration was almost painful to watch, and she used her extreme flexibility to great emotional effect. Her shades scene was just beautiful. She looks much stronger and more assured than last time I saw her in the role – if she’s this good now, how good is she going to get?

The Solors were also very different. Carlos Acosta danced with his usual technical brilliance and aplomb. But, at the risk of being controversial, I’ve never found him an exciting dancer. To my eyes he lacks charisma, and, with the exception of his Albrecht, he has never made me believe in a character. Admittedly this is hard to do as far as Solor's concerned, which is a fairly typical cardboard cut out of a classical male role. However, Johan Kobborg did manage to make something, well, quite a lot actually, out of his Solor. As usual, his creation of a character was wonderful, his dancing clean and impressive, and his partnership with Cojocaru is continuing to develop into something very special indeed.

The role of Gamzatti can be played as a grasping nasty piece of work, or as a young girl in love with her dreams to the extent she’ll do anything to keep them alive. Laura Morera, in the Cojocaru/Kobborg cast, was a real rich bitch. It was clear from the start that she was out to get her man at all costs, so she could add him to her inventory of already innumerable possessions. Marianela Nunez played it more warmly and sympathetically and her dancing was truly superb. She’s building up a strong reputation in the classical ballets, and I hope she gets a chance to extend her range soon.


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 Post subject: Re: RB's La Bayadere
PostPosted: Wed Nov 05, 2003 4:32 am 
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La Bayadère
By Judith Mackrell for The Guardian

Marianela Nuñez began this season's run of Bayadères dancing a transfixingly cold-hearted Gamzatti. On Monday she made her debut as doomed heroine Nikiya, negotiating a transforming U-turn into virtue. Nuñez is a strong, plush dancer and she rightly didn't risk playing Nikiya as a sanctified waif. Instead she used her powerfully arched back and plumb-centred technique to orchestrate her own passionate music inside the role.

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******************************

La Bayadere
Ismene Brown reviews La Bayadère at Covent Garden for The Daily Telegraph

But the appearance in another cast of the Kirov's Daria Pavlenko, substituting for Darcey Bussell in the role of Nikiya, clarified what's missing in Cojocaru. Partnered by Roberto Bolle, young Pavlenko has an infinitely gentle but definitely glamorous refinement - fragrantly aristocratic and sensual indeed, but, more to the point, her body seems as fragile as a lyre whose strings stir with a passing musical thought.

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 Post subject: Re: RB's La Bayadere
PostPosted: Wed Nov 05, 2003 4:33 am 
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La Bayadère
By Judith Mackrell for The Guardian

Marianela Nuñez began this season's run of Bayadères dancing a transfixingly cold-hearted Gamzatti. On Monday she made her debut as doomed heroine Nikiya, negotiating a transforming U-turn into virtue. Nuñez is a strong, plush dancer and she rightly didn't risk playing Nikiya as a sanctified waif. Instead she used her powerfully arched back and plumb-centred technique to orchestrate her own passionate music inside the role.

click for more

******************************

La Bayadere
Ismene Brown reviews La Bayadère at Covent Garden for The Daily Telegraph

But the appearance in another cast of the Kirov's Daria Pavlenko, substituting for Darcey Bussell in the role of Nikiya, clarified what's missing in Cojocaru. Partnered by Roberto Bolle, young Pavlenko has an infinitely gentle but definitely glamorous refinement - fragrantly aristocratic and sensual indeed, but, more to the point, her body seems as fragile as a lyre whose strings stir with a passing musical thought.

click for more


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 Post subject: Re: RB's La Bayadere
PostPosted: Sun Nov 09, 2003 1:39 am 
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Skipping the light fantastic
Tate Modern's vast space was the perfect place for Dance Umbrella's spectacular anniversary finale

Jann Parry
Sunday November 9, 2003
The Observer

Anniversary Events
Merce Cunningham Dance Company, Tate Modern, London SE1
La Bayadère
Royal Opera House, London WC2

Quote:
Dance Umbrella's twenty-fifth festival concluded on a spectacular scale with the Merce Cunningham Dance Company performing in Tate Modern's vast Turbine Hall. As well as the Umbrella's silver anniversary, Cunningham, now 84, is celebrating his company's golden jubilee. Over the years, his dancers have become accustomed to performing in unusual spaces. Cunningham sets them the task of combing selections from the repertoire, old and new, in collages he calls Events.
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