As far as Bayadere’s go they do not come as crude as this one. And the blame must fall almost entirely on Grigorovitch’s staging. This is a Cold War La Bayadere where the purpose of the Bolshoi theatre was to entertain Workers Delegation and foreign dignatories from Eastern bloc countries. That is to say everybody but true ballet fans.
The result is a non-stop dance-a-thon with far too many gratuitous and vulgar dances. There is no drama, little depth of emotion – it is just a tawdry circus act. The worse parts are undoubtedly the first two acts. Grigorovitch has piled on the dancing to an extreme degree. And it’s all bad. There is a absolutely stomach turning dances for African “sambos”. If any one wanted evidence of ballet being a decadent art form they need look no further then this production. And ultimately I am seeing a demonstration of the superiority of the Soviet Communist system which produces better and stronger people. Cheers, Comerades!
Act 3 and 4 are fairly similar to other productions in Europe and St Petersburg.
The Betrothal scenes is surprisingly unspectacular. This leads me to believe that we are seeing a cut down Bolshoi production. If we are paying over the odds for tickets then I expect to see the real deal.
The Kingdom of the Shade scene was done well but no better then the Royal Ballet and quite inferior to the Paris Opera Ballet. But the ghostly atmopshere was undermined by the incredibly fast tempi chosen by the conductor. More over the orchestral scoring is much heavier then Lanchberry version. As the result the elegant simplicity of the scene is lost. But despite these problems nothing can take away for the sheer beauty of the scene – but the Bolshoi tried hard! Again we saw just 24 girls no more then the understaffed Royal Ballet. The video I have of the Bolshoi in Moscow showed 32 girls.
The dancers were extremely well schooled. But they were dramatically inadequate. The main dancers were technically superb but in the main quite anonymous. The production and designs were fair.
It is absolutely shocking that Grigorovitch demands £100000 for this. He should being paying the Bolshoi!