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Subject: "La Bayadere - here we go..." Archived thread - Read only
 
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Conferences What's Happening Topic #2481
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PhilipBadmin

11-02-02, 11:34 PM (GMT)
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"La Bayadere - here we go..."
 
   Ok, since I caught an immediate tube, I may as well kick this off (I'll leave Wendy's rehearsal thread alone).

La Bayadere - the reason the Memories triple bill seemed so flat - they've all been focusing on this one? What we have here is a lush grand ballet, with no corners cut and an unashamed eye on the spectacular. It also should satisfy those who criticised recent RB opening nights as being unrehearsed and lacking in fluency - spotlight operators aside, it was a great show.

The basic color scheme is gold, with decent lighting when appropriate to make it all sparkle (Rojo's rear was particularly eye-catching in Act 1), generally twinned with deep greens and reds. An ill-advised detour into pink for Act 1 Scene 2 was garish and clashed, but I was never a fan of pink anyway.

Carlos Acosta was magnificent - he is a superb partner, able to present his partner to her best effect, yet possessing a searing stage presence of his own - appropriate for a noble warrior. His solo work is cultured and sylish and his partnering with Rojo is a joy (I admired them in Don Q last year). Nunez completes the main trio with great aplomb; her acting is getting better and better and Stretton will not be able to keep her (or Galeazzi) as a soloist for long, which should raise interesting issues...

The audience seemed particularly taken with Putrov's Bronze Idol and it was indeed well danced. His 'outfit' which seemed to consist mostly of gold, rather than bronze, paint made me smile as I remembered his silver robot cousin performing for money outside in the piazza earlier in the day.

To finish up a very rushed review, I saw Lulu in the Hall, and I believe Ms. Bull and I were alone in the crush room for a second during the curtain calls (told you I rushed!).

A great ballet to take youngsters too (despite an hour-long Act 1) - I can't stand Nutcracker, btw. Oh, for those who sometimes ask - it finished at 10.20.



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  Subject     Author     Message Date     ID  
  RE: La Bayadere - here we go... AnnWilliams 12-02-02 1
     Bayadere - Tuesday 12th February Wendy Glavis 13-02-02 2
         RE: Bayadere - Tuesday 12th February alison 13-02-02 3
         RE: Bayadere - Tuesday 12th February alison 13-02-02 4
         RE: Bayadere - Tuesday 12th February AEHandley 13-02-02 5
             RE: Bayadere - Wednesday 13th February alison 13-02-02 6
                 RE: Bayadere - Wednesday 13th February sylvia 14-02-02 7
                     RE: Bayadere - Wednesday 13th February Shirley 14-02-02 8
                         RE: Bayadere - Wednesday 13th February sylvia 14-02-02 9
                         RE: Bayadere - Wednesday 13th February alison 14-02-02 10
                             RE: Bayadere - Friday 15th Feb Lily 16-02-02 11
                             RE: Bayadere - Friday 15th Feb Wendy Glavis 16-02-02 12
  RE: La Bayadere - here we go... David M 16-02-02 13
     RE: La Bayadere - here we go... Viviane 16-02-02 14
         RE: La Bayadere - here we go... Rachel 16-02-02 15
     RE: La Bayadere - here we go... tortie14 16-02-02 16
         RE: La Bayadere - here we go... Viviane 16-02-02 17
             RE: La Bayadere - here we go... tortie14 16-02-02 18
                 RE: La Bayadere - here we go... Michael LL 17-02-02 19
                     Bayadère - 26.2.02 alison 27-02-02 35
                     Bayadère - 26.2.02 alison 27-02-02 36
                 RE: La Bayadere - here we go... Viviane 17-02-02 20
                     Flower throws Rachel 17-02-02 21
                         RE: Flower throws David M 17-02-02 22
                             RE: Flower throws Rachel 18-02-02 24
                             RE: Flower throws Viviane 18-02-02 25
                         RE: Flower throws tortie14 17-02-02 23
                             RE: Flower throws Helen 24-02-02 26
                             RE: Flower throws Richard Jones 24-02-02 27
                             Saturday's matinee Mike 24-02-02 28
                             RE: Saturday's matinee Wendy Glavis 24-02-02 29
                             RE: Saturday's matinee Helen 24-02-02 30
                             RE: Saturday's matinee Tomoko.A 24-02-02 31
                             RE: Saturday's matinee Shirley 24-02-02 32
                             RE: Saturday's matinee PhilipBadmin 25-02-02 33
                             RE: Saturday's matinee Helen 25-02-02 34
                             RE: Flower throws David M 27-02-02 37
  RE: La Bayadere - here we go... Bruce Madmin 27-02-02 38

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AnnWilliams

12-02-02, 10:28 AM (GMT)
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1. "RE: La Bayadere - here we go..."
In response to message #0
 
   Last night's 'Bayadere' was my first ever venture to a Royal Ballet first night; I
prefer to avoid first-night tensions and usually wait until a production has settled down before seeing it, but 'Bayadere. clicked along smoothly enough last night; nothing bad happened, and a couple of rather good things happened.

Natalia Makarova's production (based on her experience of the work with the Kirov) has been serving the RB now since the early 90s as far as I am aware, and is the only one I am familiar with. It is rich with archaic mime gesture - what on earth are they all on about, pointing upwards, downwards, clapping their hands together etc? Frankly, I have never been able to work out what all that carry-on in the Rajah's drawing-room is about - the picture of Solor on the easel, the
confrontation between the Rajah and the High Brahmin, the significance of the veil etc. But never mind, Makarova's production is crammed with gorgeous dancing, and the RB last night did well with it.

Tamara Rojo was Nikiya, Carlos Acosta was Solor and Marinela Nunez was Gamazatti, and it is difficult to imagine a better casting. Rojo's Nikiya lacked some necessary vulnerability and pathos in the role, but more than made up for this with her extraordinary technical control (did I dream than she turned slowly on point in unsuppported arabesque? Probably, but she held some of her balances so long that I can be forgiven this lapse). Acosta was a gracious partner to both Rojo and Nunez, with a pleasing warmth and wit to his performance. His dancing was clean and explosively powerful, as witnessed by the whistling and shouting reaction of the audience. (I do wonder, though, if any male dancer has merely to conclude a series of flying turns with a deep back-bend on his knees to elicit a similar reaction from the audience).

The big surprise was Marienela Nunez. Scarcely out of her teens, this Argentine-born dancer took utter command of the stage as Gamzatti, from her first appearance as the rich and spoilt daughter of the Rajah, to her final one as the betrayed bride. I don't want to get too excited here, but is it possible that RB have at last got a dramatic dancer worthy of the name? Nunez seemed easy and beautiful in her dancing and extraordinarily commanding in her acting, a rare combination, especially in one so young.

The Shades scene went pretty well. There was a slight ragedness in the corps at times, but they pulled together in the end. Only the Kirov can pull off a perfect 'Shades' scene I reckon (and the POB aren't bad either) but this was an excellent RB showing, especially for a first night

Justin Meissner as the Head Fakir put in a note-worthy high-jumping performance, and Ivan Putrov as the Bronze Idol fulfilled all the technical demands of the role without, somehow, stunning us, as the cheeky Kumakawa did some years ago - it's almost a contradiction in terms, but his Bronze Idol was unshowy.

Incidentally, I pulled out an RB programme 'Bayadere' dating back to December 1990, and what a cast that was! Asylmuratova as Nikiya, Guillem as Gamzatti and Mukhamedov as Solor! David Drew was the Rajah then as he was last night, and most surprisingly one of the d'jampe dancers then was Vanessa Palmer and she was one of the d'jampe dancers again last night (she probably won't thank me for pointing this out...)

I do love this lush production, most especially the effectively exotic backdrop for the wedding scene, where you feel as if you are on the huge the balcony of a very rich man's house. The costumes too are suitably extravagent, but oh, please can somebody do something about the corps boys get-up in that wedding scene? They are just plain daft, what with something that looks like a bra top with a short skirt and little pointy hats which seem deliberately designed to be unflattering.

As I got back to my seat for the final act, I discovered that the blonde woman sitting next to me was none other than Marianela Nunez's mum, who had flown from Argentina especially for the occasion. She didn't speak any English, but there was no disguising her pride and excitement. I learned that Marianela was one of four children, that she had been dancing since she was three years old and there was no history of dancing at all in the family. On last night's showing, the lady must have thought her long journey well worth the effort.


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Wendy Glavis

13-02-02, 02:15 PM (GMT)
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2. "Bayadere - Tuesday 12th February"
In response to message #1
 
   Last night we saw Darcey Bussell, Carlos Acosta and Marianela Nunez. (There was no explanation in the programme as to why Marianela took over from Zenaida. I assume this to be a matter of insufficient rehearsal time.)

Darcey was super throughout. The basket-of-flowers solo, in particular, was a revelation with its intense emotion and fluidity of movement. Writing about Darcey makes me reach for my Thesaurus and then throw it away in disgust; well, I can only say that she was flexible, more flexible, and then a lot more flexible than that. Darcey doesn't just stretch...she s-t-r-e-t-c-h-e-s! (Unfortunate, then, that the snake seemed to have disappeared from the flower basket.) And she was terrific, too, in the Kingdom of the Shades. A beautiful job. (She and Carlos did have a problem, however, with the conductor, who was going too fast. Why are there ballet conductors around who STILL haven't learned to LOOK at the dancers??!?)

Carlos did a wonderful job too. What a partner he is! (Yes, he and Darcey did have the odd problem - how could they not with so little time to rehearse? But you would never have guessed that he hadn't ever partnered her before.) And his solos....WOW. That last one was amazing - and included a jump I've never seen before - when are we going to get a slow motion replay to study in the intervals! (Just kidding.) This was an emotional partnership - lots of chemistry - and he and Darcey looked very well together.

I thought Marianela did a great job, too - her third act solo was particularly fine - and her characterization is well developed (I was impressed with the maturity of her mime scene).

The corps de ballet deserves special mention. Their work in act 1 was very good indeed - much better, I thought, than the standard produced 10 years ago. And the Shades scene was close to being excellent (not a word I use very often). Friends told me they'd glimpsed a few wobbles, but I didn't see any wobbles at all, myself.

Other soloists deserving praise were Jaimie Tapper and Ivan Putrov.

The applause at the end was ecstatic, with tons of bravos and some big bouquets of flowers.

At the stage door, we asked Ivan Putrov about his Bronze Idol make-up (bet he gets asked that a lot) and he said it takes them half an hour to spray it on (and then he can't warm up before he goes on stage) but it only takes about 10 minutes to remove. So now you know.


A beautiful and fascinating evening. What did everyone else think?


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alison

13-02-02, 05:28 PM (GMT)
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3. "RE: Bayadere - Tuesday 12th February"
In response to message #2
 
   >At the stage door, we asked
>Ivan Putrov about his Bronze
>Idol make-up (bet he gets
>asked that a lot) and
>he said it takes them
>half an hour to spray
>it on (and then he
>can't warm up before he
>goes on stage) but it
>only takes about 10 minutes
>to remove. So now you
>know.
>
I used to sit there with my opera glasses trying to work out precisely how much of it was paint and how much was costume! Hadn't thought about the no-warmup aspect, though - that must be a bit nasty.


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alison

13-02-02, 05:28 PM (GMT)
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4. "RE: Bayadere - Tuesday 12th February"
In response to message #2
 
   >At the stage door, we asked
>Ivan Putrov about his Bronze
>Idol make-up (bet he gets
>asked that a lot) and
>he said it takes them
>half an hour to spray
>it on (and then he
>can't warm up before he
>goes on stage) but it
>only takes about 10 minutes
>to remove. So now you
>know.
>
I used to sit there with my opera glasses trying to work out precisely how much of it was paint and how much was costume! Hadn't thought about the no-warmup aspect, though - that must be a bit nasty.


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AEHandley

13-02-02, 08:13 PM (GMT)
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5. "RE: Bayadere - Tuesday 12th February"
In response to message #2
 
   I'm delighted to see all these rave reviews, both from the real people and the critics. I'm beginning to think that Ross Stretton is putting most of the effort into the big 3-acters, trying to bring the company technique into line with the other big internationals in the works where it shows.

One question for you all - last time this warhorse came out there was unanimous condemnation of the d'jampe dance (whatever that is). How was it this time?


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alison

13-02-02, 10:45 PM (GMT)
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6. "RE: Bayadere - Wednesday 13th February"
In response to message #5
 
   Sorry I can't add to the rave reviews - I found tonight's performance rather disappointing all round (including the D'Jampe!). Possibly it was the cunningly placed seat designed specially so I could miss all the vital action in Act One, perhaps it was the dingy lighting (a constant complaint when I'm sitting in the amphitheatre) so that I couldn't see people's faces properly, or possibly I was just expecting miracles after all the reviews I'd read, but it didn't do much for me this evening at all. Anybody else feel the same? The three leads were good, although Kobborg didn't seem his usual self - someone said that he might have been carrying an injury - although his acting, from what I could see of it, was at its usual intensity. Orchestra seemed half asleep until they suddenly woke up towards the end of the Shades act, when it seemed to me that the dancing suddenly improved as well. Certainly didn't feel that the corps hit a high tonight - I've seen them do the Shades rather better. Wonder if I was affected by the fact that the last 2 times I'd seen the ballet there it had been the Kirov version? Putrov danced the Bronze Idol very well, but certainly lacked the fireworks that someone like Kumakawa used to bring to the role.


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sylvia

14-02-02, 09:36 AM (GMT)
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7. "RE: Bayadere - Wednesday 13th February"
In response to message #6
 
   LAST EDITED ON 14-02-02 AT 10:25 AM (GMT)

Alison, I've was told on Monday that it's Leanne who's slightly injured and that her performances were questionable but from your observations I'm, she was ok?

I wasn't especially impressed during my very first look at La Baydere on Monday. I found many parts of the choreography and music, particularly for the corps, really poor in Act I. I can't remember the last time I'd felt so indifferent to ballet. Things of course improved on a huge scale when Carlos, Tamara or Marianela were dancing, the music for their solos I adored. I'm so delighted that Tamara and Carlos were cast together. I think extra sparks fly when they're dancing and yep, their performances were as fiery and passionate as I've come to expect. (I'll be very curious to see how Ethan Stiefel matches up in March.) I loved Carlos' panache - not just any dancer can look so at home in a silly turban. I was especially delighted by Nunez. She looks gorgeous in gold, conveying the haughtiness of youth and authority of a princess. Her dancing exuded so much confidence. She was spectacular and I have to say actually outshone Tamara.

The Shades scene was breathtaking at times. The moment when the first shade appears seemingly out of nowhere was unexpected and completely magical. I had an excellent view from the front of the amphitheatre and I've never expected the RB to corps to have the uniformity of POB or the Kirov so I'll just leave it there. The three shades were lovely, special mention for Tapper. Tamara was in her element in this act, beautiful, ghostly with impeccable technique. She executed those horribly difficult turns in arabesque with no problem at all. Carlos' solos were of course fantastic and had the audience in uproar.

Act III - Ivan Putrov I enjoyed immensely. The corps I did not. That dire music again. The pas de trois between Nikiya, Solor and Gamzatti was very cleverly done and extraordinarily beautiful to watch. I'd been marvelling over the lightness of Alina in the rehearsal but Tamara was just as wonderful. I'd been wondering how they'd manage to make the whole temple collapse and I was very impressed at how effective and scary it all was. And of course the finale where Nikiya leads Solor through all the clouds into the afterlife or whatever it is brought a lump to my throat. Regardless of my misgivings about various aspects of the ballet I clapped until my hands hurt.

The production really is beautiful, especially the sets (agree that it's much too cramped in some places though) and the girls costumes. I adore every one of Nikiya and Gamzatti's outfits! The guys on the otherhand, I felt very sorry for. Could more unflattering costumes have been picked? And I agree about the lighting, especially in the first scene. I had a decent seat in the in the rehearsal and could barely make out their faces. I really thought my sight was going until the next scene when it was all bright and cheery again.

All in all, a nice evening. Worth seeing my favourites in but I'm not going to see all the casts just for the sake of comparing different interpretations.


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Shirley

14-02-02, 10:20 AM (GMT)
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8. "RE: Bayadere - Wednesday 13th February"
In response to message #7
 
   >I'm so delighted that Tamara
>and Carlos were cast together.
>I think extra sparks fly
>when they're dancing and yep,
>their performances were as fiery
>and passionate as I've come
>to expect.


Interesting you say that. Someone who saw both the Monday and Tuesday performances commented that they thought there was more spark between Carlos and Darcey than Carlos and Tamara which really surprised me!


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sylvia

14-02-02, 10:33 AM (GMT)
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9. "RE: Bayadere - Wednesday 13th February"
In response to message #8
 
   >Interesting you say that. Someone who
>saw both the Monday and
>Tuesday performances commented that they
>thought there was more spark
>between Carlos and Darcey than
>Carlos and Tamara which really
>surprised me!

And now you've surprised me! But I'm definitely looking forward to next week's matinee now.


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alison

14-02-02, 01:35 PM (GMT)
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10. "RE: Bayadere - Wednesday 13th February"
In response to message #8
 
   LAST EDITED ON 14-02-02 AT 01:36 PM (GMT)

I've never really noticed the "sparks flying" between Acosta and Rojo on the admittedly few occasions I've seen them dance together - possibly I was expecting more than was realistic. I think that's partly why I booked for Stiefel, to see how that would work. I have to say, I'm surprised that Carlos hasn't been cast with Darcey before - I'd have thought he was strong/tall enough for her.


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Lily

16-02-02, 12:14 PM (GMT)
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11. "RE: Bayadere - Friday 15th Feb"
In response to message #10
 
   Here we got Alina Cojocaru and Angel Corella. What a fantastic pair! As ever, Alina was just fantastic...she has to be made of elastic bands - totally incredible. As for Angel...he reminds me of Irek - the power & speed that he can produce during his pirouettes- and yes the audience absolutely adored it...including Natalia Makarova who was sitting not all that far away from us...(she looked ravishing, swathed in silk, and she certainly doesn't look her age - no offence! - & has the most incredible skin). The sets and costumes were just divine. Flowing chiffons and silks which really set the mood for opium filled dreams. Natasha Oughtred, who i think led the shades out, produced the most immaculate arabesques penchees - and she didn't look at all nervous. Jaimie Tapper was replaced as the third shade (she must have injured herself in act 1) by Muriel Valtat. Mara Galeazzi was an inspired Gamzatti - jealous & spoilt. At the end, the audience went completely wild with joy - there was even a flower shower thingy - but it has to be said that I think the daffodils were aimed at Ivan Putrov (whose golden idol was darn good)rather than Alina, Angel or Mara!

My father, who came along, saw this with Nureyev and Fonteyn, said that this performance was quite the best thing that he had ever seen - that really is saying something!

Hope everyone else who was lucky enough to see this enjoyed it as much as me. The only downside was seeing all those bare stomached girls - it made me horribly envious!


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Wendy Glavis

16-02-02, 12:41 PM (GMT)
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12. "RE: Bayadere - Friday 15th Feb"
In response to message #11
 
   Glad you've posted about this, Lily, as I don't have time to say much today, but I, too, thought Alina and Angel did a super job. I did feel, though, that some dancers experienced difficulties because of the tempo (tempi??).

Dare I ask where you were sitting - or rather where Makarova was sitting? I managed to get her autograph at the stage door (but was too awe-struck to think of a thing to say) and agree that she looked absolutely wonderful.


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David M

16-02-02, 01:09 PM (GMT)
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13. "RE: La Bayadere - here we go..."
In response to message #0
 
   Hello to you all,


I have only ever used this message board a few times before to post a few topics , but i read all the messages posted on each subject avidly with great interest.


I am always impressed by the standard and quality of the writing ( along with the depth of knowledge ) by most of the contributers to this message board and to be honest this has slightly put myself off in leaving a review , as i may not be up to your usual high standard, but i have now decided to throw caution to the wind and start to contribute to the reviews of the recent performances of La Bayadere i have attended.

Remember this is my first attempt,so please be kind :>

Having being lucky enough to see three performances so far of La Bayadere with, Acosta/ Rojo , Acosta / Bussell and last night's pairing of Cojocaru / Corella I would just like to say how much i have enjoyed all the performances, not just the performances of the central characters but the performance of the company as a whole.

Unlike some of you who contribute regulary I am no technical expert when it comes to the dancing , but i know what pleases my eye , and i think all round praise needs to be given to the company for their efforts.


On Tuesday and at last nights performance the corp in the Shades scene were as one, all in magnificent unison.

M Nunenz was a revealation on Monday and Tuesday as Gamzatti, her acting was superb , menacing , aloof , but dazzlingly beautiful, how could Solor turn down a ravishing beauty such as her.

At last night performance Mara Galeazzi was even more menacing with her acting , those eyes of hers speak volumes as to what she is thinking and scheming in her mind, but just on a personnal level i did not think she and Corella were well suited together when dancing.

Being in the Balcony for last nights performance i viewed a lot of the action through my binoculars and at one point I noticed Angel grimmace his face in pain when lifting Mara , and throughout the rest of the performance he was not his usual smilling self( i know it not a role that requirs him to be his smiling usual self as in Don Quixote ),and from that point he looked to be in some discomfort when partnering either of the two female leads. I hope he has not hurt himself. Even when it came to his solos (which were of his usual breath taking high quality ) he seemed to be putting a lot more effort into them than usual.Hope fully i may be wrong about him hurting himself.

I have been extremely lucky to see Cojocara an many occasions at the ROH , and she never fails to amaze me with her dancing and acting . She totally encapsulates herself in every role that she undertakes and i have not seen her give even one luke warm performance , all are of the highest quality. Everything that she is given to dance she shines in , like a star.

As in Don Quixote, her and Corella were perfectably matched and judging by the bravos and applause the audience seemed to love them


I honestly believe that at only 21 , Alina is a true star and will be one of the greats ballerinas of our time.I know that she has yet to dance her first Sleeping Beauty or Swan Lake at Covent Garden but judging by her performances so far she has so much still to offer . We are so lucky to be seeing her perform with the Royal Ballet, and long may we do so.

I will even go as far to stick my neck out here and put her on a par with the divinely ravishing Altynai Asylmuratova when she was 21 .Now I know that will ruffle a few peoples feathers but what do other contributers think of Alina , is she destined to be one of the true greats or am i wishfull thinking.

If you take into account her age , the quality of her dancing, her actiing capabilities , to me it all adds up.

What do you all think , perhaps we should open a new thread about Alina, as i suppose this is about La Bayadere.

Just as a side note, at last nights performance floweres were thrown onto the stage from the top tier at the side.

I know there is a girl who sometimes organises this and various people contribute funds to help buy the flowers, does any one know the e mail of the person who buys the floweres ????? , and secondly what is the criteria for this type of occasion .I would like to contribute some money for when this type of occasion happens agian.

Thank You

David


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Viviane

16-02-02, 02:04 PM (GMT)
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14. "RE: La Bayadere - here we go..."
In response to message #13
 
   Thank you Lily and David, I was so curious to hear something about Alina's new Bayadère role !
She is a real precious gem to me, I'm pretty sure she has started to write the first pages of an elaborate, golden book
David, from now on we'll be looking forward to hear you in postings !
Flower-throws are always exciting and moving to me. While it's obvious that these flowers were to honour Alina's debut in Bayadère, I'm not totally aware of the etiquette around it.
So....comments anyone ? and..if I'm not mistaken it's Rachel who is very skilful in it ?


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Rachel

16-02-02, 06:11 PM (GMT)
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15. "RE: La Bayadere - here we go..."
In response to message #14
 
  
>Flower-throws are always exciting and moving
>to me. While it's obvious
>that these flowers were to
>honour Alina's debut in Bayadère,
>I'm not totally aware of
>the etiquette around it.
>So....comments anyone ? and..if I'm not
>mistaken it's Rachel who is
>very skilful in it ?
>
Thanks! Although I wasn't throwing last night, it was nice to see one being done. I really enjoyed the performance last night as well.



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tortie14

16-02-02, 06:13 PM (GMT)
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16. "RE: La Bayadere - here we go..."
In response to message #13
 
   Welcome David - quite new here myself and I agree the level of technical expertise can be intimidating but I also like balletomane chats - its as if we are standing outside the stage door (which I used to do) and "debriefing" after the performance - it doubles the fun and enjoyment to reflect, discuss, even argue over performances. And you get some really interesting views on this site.

I was there last night - right at the very back of the Amphi so also dependent on binocs. Alina is incredible - words fail me, some of her movements are so beautiful I am breathless. I thought Angel started off looking very happy and the smile was there in the first pdd with Alina but he did get serious - perhaps the plot called for it. Act II left me less impressed than I remember from the early days with this production - I'm sure with Tucker and Brind et al in those three variations were much higher voltage - or was last night's music just slower? Or does my memory deceive me? I thought Tapper, Yanowski (beautiful as always) Morrea were very good but not breathtaking. I did think Mara was stunning and very scarey. Only thing I think could be added would be more sense of Solor falling in love - Angel seemed to be rather wooden but perhaps if he was injured he was distracted and perhaps with more performances he and Alina will get more feeling - their dancing I would not fault. I agree David that the company looked great - no wobbles in Act 2 - lots of good character acting from Page, Rosato and Drew and the corps too. Gosh, I dislike the Fakirs and would cut some of the padding if I could - its a long night.

The Amphi was full of students - I think from RBS - hence the screams - the ROH sounded more like a concert with teen idols with rapturous screams for everyone on stage. Nice and unstuffy I thought.

I have organised flower throws in the past, usually for someones debut or last performance. For a while, Wayne Eagling and Wendy Ellis were given an "annual Fille" and they got a flower throw for that one year - it was fun! And there used to be "Flower Ray" who did beautiful bouquets for the dancers, and he was adept at throwing the at their feet - he had is favourites and he could pick them out to get flowers. I miss it! Sometimes the ballet association will organise a flower throw and ask for donations - sometimes when we did it people heard by the grapevine and contributed. I thought Alina and Ivan too were very gracious in acknowledging the flower throw - I don't like it when dancers ignore the flowers cause they are not cheap and it takes a lot of effort to do one. But both Alina and Ivan picked up flowers and acknowledged them. The person doing the throw did include everyone not just Alina - though I am sure it was for her debut. I predict many more flower throws - perhaps it would be good to have a bigger kitty and if someone would like to own up I'd love to know for the future.

All in all, a wonderful way to spend Friday evening. I'm looking forward to seeing Carlos and Rojo now and look forward to hearing other opinions.



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Viviane

16-02-02, 06:53 PM (GMT)
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17. "RE: La Bayadere - here we go..."
In response to message #16
 
   > and "debriefing" after the performance -
>it doubles the fun and enjoyment to reflect, discuss, even
>argue over performances. And you get some really interesting
>views on this site.

Oh,Tortie ! You put it so striking ! I'm still a bit a novice on technical things, but I love the atmosphere on this board and you really don't need to feel intimidated. It's the ideal way to 'let off some steam' if there is no-one you can talk to about a performance !

...please, Rachel and Tortie, let's hear if you are planning another flowerthrow...(in the naive supposition that the dancers aren't reading this !)...it sounds exciting


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tortie14

16-02-02, 11:24 PM (GMT)
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18. "RE: La Bayadere - here we go..."
In response to message #17
 
   Rachel and Tortie, let's hear if you are planning another flowerthrow

Viviane - thanks for the encouragement - but it was a LONG time ago that I arranged a flower throw. It takes more energy and spare time than I have. Spring is a great time for flower throws cause you can get daffodils cheaply - though the sap can be difficult. I would have thought ANY Alina debut and many of her performances worthy of a flower throw. Carlos would be another candidate - he definitely makes me want to throw daffodils!

"but I love the atmosphere on this board"

Me too. It is lovely to read other people's ideas, thoughts and to share the joy we get from watching the ballet. It is not something you can share in much detail with non-ballet going friends - they just don't get it.

I look forward to hearing views on other casts - did Rojo/Acosta partnership work again?


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Michael LL

17-02-02, 03:18 AM (GMT)
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19. "RE: La Bayadere - here we go..."
In response to message #18
 
   David - I would completely agree that Alina Cojocaru is one of the greats. She has true star quality, and is utterly individual. Her white act was superb, and considering its technical difficulties, I am sure here Swan Lake and Beauty will be great. I long to see her as Aurora. She doesn't yet however have the exoticism that Rojo can convey - Rojos beautiful heart shaped face and eyes are such an asset.

I thought Nunez was the best Gamzatti this production has seen, she is so confident. She also positions her head most carefully to great effect. Galeazzi danced very well, but was a bit too one dimensionally nasty.

Corellas spins are quite incredible, and his acting dramatic,but I thought he lacked the finesse and elegance of Acosta, who is at his considerable peak as perhaps the greatest male dancer of today?

The solos shades have all been excellent, especially Tapper and Valtat in the third, but I agree Tortie that they aren't quite as sharp as the unbeatable trio (for me) of Tucker, Eyden, and Chadwick. Remember Nureyev swapped the order of the first and second, and included his Betrothal Scene solo between the second and third variations. Maybe that caused an extra frisson. Pity the cast change (Valtat for injured Tapper)last night wasn't announced - the solos are great roles, and food for many balletomanes. A word also for Natasha Oughtred who led out the corps with great confidence


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alison

27-02-02, 01:26 PM (GMT)
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35. "Bayadère - 26.2.02"
In response to message #19
 
   Cojocaru last night danced beautifully (I use that phrase so often I might as well write a macro for it!), my particular highlight being her solo at the betrothal celebrations - beautifully fluid, and very moving, with so much happening on her face. I've no idea what Corella's acting was like, because I was so busy focussing on her, but when I stole the odd glance at him I didn't see much reaction. At other times, though, I couldn't really read her face - she seems to tend to use the steps to express emotion, rather than acting per se. The performance left me wondering what might have happened if she hadn't accepted the principal post in Kiev, but instead stayed at the Royal Ballet School and danced in La Bayadère in the School's graduation performance in a similar fashion to last night. A huge amount of press attention and the associated stresses, I suspect - I think it was a very shrewd career move to go to the relative obscurity of Kiev and get some serious experience in principal roles under her belt. Certainly it's shown in the main roles she's danced since her return to London.

There was a suspicion further up this thread that Corella might have had a bit of an injury - certainly I noticed a few grimaces, and thought he was over-forcing things during some of his solos, or is that just the way he normally dances? I can't say I noticed it in Don Quixote. It also seemed to me that he and Galeazzi as Gamzatti didn't look entirely comfortable together. The corps appeared to do very well, and very uniformly, in the Shades scene, although I find that watching from downstairs can obscure any slight problems. I thought Tapper the best of the Shades soloists. Oh, and a quick mention for Vanessa Palmer for coping so well in the D'Jampe dance when her chiffon scarf became detached from its mooring on her trouser leg - it's times like this when experience in a role is a great help!


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alison

27-02-02, 01:27 PM (GMT)
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36. "Bayadère - 26.2.02"
In response to message #19
 
   Cojocaru last night danced beautifully (I use that phrase so often I might as well write a macro for it!), my particular highlight being her solo at the betrothal celebrations - beautifully fluid, and very moving, with so much happening on her face. I've no idea what Corella's acting was like, because I was so busy focussing on her, but when I stole the odd glance at him I didn't see much reaction. At other times, though, I couldn't really read her face - she seems to tend to use the steps to express emotion, rather than acting per se. The performance left me wondering what might have happened if she hadn't accepted the principal post in Kiev, but instead stayed at the Royal Ballet School and danced in La Bayadère in the School's graduation performance in a similar fashion to last night. A huge amount of press attention and the associated stresses, I suspect - I think it was a very shrewd career move to go to the relative obscurity of Kiev and get some serious experience in principal roles under her belt. Certainly it's shown in the main roles she's danced since her return to London.

There was a suspicion further up this thread that Corella might have had a bit of an injury - certainly I noticed a few grimaces, and thought he was over-forcing things during some of his solos, or is that just the way he normally dances? I can't say I noticed it in Don Quixote. It also seemed to me that he and Galeazzi as Gamzatti didn't look entirely comfortable together. The corps appeared to do very well, and very uniformly, in the Shades scene, although I find that watching from downstairs can obscure any slight problems. I thought Tapper the best of the Shades soloists. Oh, and a quick mention for Vanessa Palmer for coping so well in the D'Jampe dance when her chiffon scarf became detached from its mooring on her trouser leg - it's times like this when experience in a role is a great help!


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Viviane

17-02-02, 11:20 AM (GMT)
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20. "RE: La Bayadere - here we go..."
In response to message #18
 
   >- but it was a LONG time ago that I
>arranged a flower throw.
>It takes more energy and spare time than I have.

I'm sure we can find a solution for that
We all need to show -sometimes- more of our enthusiasm to the dancers ! Hmm..maybe we can start with Carlos ?


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Rachel

17-02-02, 02:37 PM (GMT)
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21. "Flower throws"
In response to message #20
 
   >>- but it was a LONG time ago that I
>>arranged a flower throw.
>>It takes more energy and spare time than I have.
>
>I'm sure we can find a
>solution for that
>We all need to show -sometimes-
>more of our enthusiasm to
>the dancers ! Hmm..maybe we
>can start with Carlos ?
>
I'd be more than happy to arrange flower throws from time to time. Sitting in the lower slips as I usually do also seems to be a great place to throw from, although when I arranged the throw for Anthony Dowell's last night, we were able to throw from the balcony boxes. I've occasionaly thrown from the Stalls Circle as well.


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David M

17-02-02, 04:35 PM (GMT)
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22. "RE: Flower throws"
In response to message #21
 
   Rachel,

How can i get in touch with yourself to send you some money to help contribute to buying some floweres for any flower throws you have planned for the near future , or any that you will do later in the season.

I have tried the link for your e mail but i cannot access your address.

Perhaps when you are planning to perform flower throws you could notify people by placing a message on this board and if any one would like to contribute they could could contact you.

I think the flower throws are an excellant idea in that it helps show the dancers that they are truly appreciated by the public and it always adds to the spectacle of the evening .

Rachel, can you just clarify the criteria for the flower throws, is it when someone is making their debut in a role and when someone leaves the company???????

On another point in a simaler vein, some years ago i used to attend meetings of the Ballet Association in Bloomsbury, and when dancers left the company there would be a collection to buy the departing company member a gift.

Perhaps if the Ballet Association were to put a message on this board advising people of their intention to buy a departing member of the company a gift , people who cannot for whatever reason attend the meetings could contribute if they so desired.

I would just like to say thenk you to you all for kind words of encouragement and support in replying to my observations about the recent performances of Le Bayadere.

Take Care

David


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Rachel

18-02-02, 05:25 PM (GMT)
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24. "RE: Flower throws"
In response to message #22
 
   David - throws seem to have been more for debuts or for dancers leaving more recently, but I agree that throws are a great way for the dancers to know they are appreciated. When I'm planning a throw, I'll certainly post something to notify people. The best email adress to contact me on is rach_holl@hotmail.com


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Viviane

18-02-02, 05:34 PM (GMT)
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25. "RE: Flower throws"
In response to message #24
 
   Thanks Rachel, Tortie and David ! Think we need to bring some more enthusiasm and exuberance in our appreciations to the dancers


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tortie14

17-02-02, 08:35 PM (GMT)
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23. "RE: Flower throws"
In response to message #21
 
   Rachel - I would be delighted to take you up on your offer to arrange a flower throw for Carlos (Viviane's suggestion that I support)and/or Alina (perhaps we can get them together)sometime this season. Have you any idea what one would cost?

I would like to consult a friend who is a Carlos fan - and given the cost, it would be great to get as many contributions as possible. How do we do this? Perhaps we could meet at the ROH some evening - I am there on Thursday for Carlos and for several Giselle. I am particularly keen that Carlos gets to feel appreciated here as we British(English) can be reserved and appear cold and we want him to feel at home and welcome. Can we get in touch by email? You could email me at vanessa@citizen.org.uk.


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Helen

24-02-02, 12:14 PM (GMT)
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26. "RE: Flower throws"
In response to message #23
 
   I can't resist adding my opinions on Saturday's matinee, which started so early (12.30) that I had to travel to London on Friday or risk missing the first act. I'm glad I made sure of being there, as the first act went quite well, and is also the longest by far. I wouldn't have liked to miss Darcey's dancing in this act - she had a silken lushness that was absolutely right, and wonderful flexibility. Acosta is a natural for Solor, and his performance was strong throughout, as one would expect. Yanowsky was Gamzatti, looking beautiful and dancing very well, but not projecting much personality, I felt - in fact I found characterisation was a weakness in most cases (I usually do find this, I'm afraid). What I couldn't quite work out was whether this is a fault of the dancers or of the production. The Nureyev version seems more dramatic to me. It is also more (even more) unashamedly kitsch. If you are going to be kitsch - and this ballet is - do it properly. Have elephants and the Dead Parrot Dance. I missed them. I also think it is better to end with the Kingdom of the Shades - even the collapse of the Temple, fun though it is, is going to be anti-climax after this.

The Shades were much more secure than I have seen in the past, though I'd have preferred more of them. The scene was ravishing as ever, however, and brought the usual tears to my eyes, especially when the arabesque-ing girls resolve themselves into lines - extraordinarily satisfying. Was it still Natasha Oughtred leading them? Whoever it was, she was excellent. The three solos were Galeazzi, Ortueta, and Jaimie Tapper, and they all danced quite well (though not perhaps very musically) but again without projecting much personality - I suppose you can argue that Shades shouldn't have too much. I think I enjoyed Jaimie Tapper most.

Justin Meissner's Bronze Idol was hampered by leaden orchestal tempo, and didn't have the impact this solo can have. I'm also not too sure about its placing at the beginning of the last act.

As I rushed out afterwards for my train, I wondered yet again how anyone could find the ROH forbidding or unfriendly. All the way down the stairs (I was in the balcony) lively conversations were going on between total strangers. Wasn't the corps in good form? Doesn't Darcey look thin? Do you remember Merle Park? Are matinee prices good value? Unfriendly? It's a ballet club!


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Richard Jones

24-02-02, 01:32 PM (GMT)
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27. "RE: Flower throws"
In response to message #26
 
   >If you are going to
>be kitsch - and this
>ballet is - do it
>properly.

Yes! though there are ways of doing things these days which make a distinction between enjoyable kitsch (in which you can have a good wallow) and not-so-good kitsch (wouldn't they have caught more than one tiger? - anyway, it looked a bit sad! - and somehow 'that ramp' needs to let us know that the Shades are descending from the Himalayas, not making their way down something from MFI).

This was my first complete Bayadere (inevitably having seen the Shades out of context on previous occasions).

>As I rushed out afterwards for
>my train, I wondered yet
>again how anyone could find
>the ROH forbidding or unfriendly.
>All the way down the
>stairs (I was in the
>balcony) lively conversations were going
>on between total strangers.

Agreed! I was in the amphitheatre on 13/2, and had a good conversation with a retired teacher attending performances of opera and ballet galore at cheap prices - and annoyed that the publicity given to the ROH always focusses on top prices as if it's an exclusive club. I never felt that about the place anyway, and my first visit was standing behind the stalls circle when I was a student in London in 1965 (R&J).

I had to rush for my train as well, partly because the performance started late, though they did make up a bit of time because the conductor had new batteries that night - seriously, these daily variations in tempo (read the press about it) are something that the music staff have to think about - and this comes from a musician.


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Mike

24-02-02, 05:06 PM (GMT)
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28. "Saturday's matinee"
In response to message #26
 
   Yesterday's matinee was the first time that I had seen the RB's production of La Bayadere, and I enjoyed it immensely. I agree with Helen's comment about the early start - I ended up having to watch the opening act from the lower slips, due to arriving a couple of minutes late because of train / tube delays.

I felt that both Bussell and Acosta were excellent in their roles, and seemed to dance well together - I too am surprised to learn that this is their first pairing - but found Yanowsky's performance lacked a certain something. Her acting came across as somewhat 'wooden', although her dancing, especially in the solos at the end of the first act, was excellent.

I too miss the parrots, tiger and elephant of the Kirov's production, but otherwise thought that the sets and costumes were gorgeous, and found the final act destruction of the temple to be quite innovative. The corps were good in the 'shades' scene, but there seemed to me to be less of them than in the Kirov's production (or am I imagining things - it was a couple of years ago that I saw it?) Personally, I felt that the final act brought things to a more satisfactory conclusion than ending at the 'shades' scene.

Just one comment on Helen's review - a cast change slip announced that Jaimie Tapper was injured, and replaced by Leire Ortueta.

Off to see the Cojocaru / Corella pairing on Tuesday, which, after yesterday, I'm greatly looking forward to


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Wendy Glavis

24-02-02, 05:14 PM (GMT)
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29. "RE: Saturday's matinee"
In response to message #28
 
   Yes, Darcey and Carlos gave us a stunningly good performance on Saturday afternoon. The first scene was lush and sensuous, a real treat. But it's the third scene that really gets to me. Darcey's dance with the basket is just amazing. Love the way she stretches every atom of her body and then suddenly crouches down into a fraction of that original length - and those split jetes that seemed to come out of nowhere and were landed so beautifully - and the many shades of anguish and hope that we see on Nikiya's face. (The snake appeared this time, by the way.) Her Shades scene was about as close to immaculate as you can get - and the last act (which I quite like) was wonderful.

Carlos was his usual amazing self, firing off huge jumps as though he wasn't ever going to stop. His partnering, too, looked as secure as ever and there was lots of emotion between him and Darcey. (It's hard to imagine how they could have been any better, even if they HAD had more rehearsal time together.)

Thought Zenaida did a really good job as Gamzatti. It's not an easy part (and I'm sure her interpretation will develop with time), but she put a lot into the mime scene, danced well with Carlos (wonder how much rehearsal time they've had together) and navigated her solo with ease - and a triple pirouette or two, I thought. In Act One, scene ii, I was interested to notice - she and Carlos weren't just looking at the chess board, they appeared to be actually playing a game.

I preferred this conductor (Charles Barker) to the Russian one - you may not have agreed with his tempo, but he was at least watching the dancers and making an effort to help them.

I, too, had to run for my train - a wasted effort as the train was late...then cancelled. Then the next train was late. Ah the delights of Kings Cross.


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Helen

24-02-02, 06:43 PM (GMT)
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30. "RE: Saturday's matinee"
In response to message #29
 
   I wonder who did dance the three solos in the end, because according to my programme they were Galeazzi, Ortueta and Tapper - so if Ortueta replaced Tapper, who replaced Ortueta? I didn't have a cast change slip. Anyway, it was the last girl I liked. I don't, alas, see the RB often enough to recognise everybody.

I have always seen 32 Shades, but there were (I'm told) only 24 in this version. I didn't count. Apparently Petipa once had 48! I wonder if they wobbled?


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Tomoko.A

24-02-02, 10:42 PM (GMT)
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31. "RE: Saturday's matinee"
In response to message #30
 
   Helen, the last solo was danced by Tapper. The three leading shades were definitely Galeazzi, Ortueta and Tapper. I didn't get a cast change slip, but noticed Tapper was replaced by Ortueta in Pas d'action in act 1 scene 3. So I don't know why Jaimie danced with an injurey in act 2 if the cast change slip was correct.


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Shirley

24-02-02, 11:32 PM (GMT)
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32. "RE: Saturday's matinee"
In response to message #31
 
   The cast change slip didn't mention an injury - just mentioned that the change was necessary for the performance.

It was, as Tomoko pointed out , that Ortueta replaced Tapper in the Pas d'action in Act 1 Scene 3.

By the way Jamie danced her shade solo it didn't look like she was dancing with an injury!



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PhilipBadmin

25-02-02, 07:21 AM (GMT)
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33. "RE: Saturday's matinee"
In response to message #29
 
   LOL. Were we *all* there yesterday? It was an attractive proposition from the beginning - Bussell, Urlezagi (originally) and Yanowski - a lot of dance for only matinee prices. And the place seemed to be buzzing, to my ears - I also caught lots of animated conversation snippets, including one saying how they wished they couldn't count Darcey's ribs...

I thought, considering the disruption to the senior cast, that this performance really rocked. Bussell was magnificent, her acting and dancing top notch, and the whole Shades Act was exemplary from all involved - like others, I just wish there were 32 at least.

And, very exciting, I picked up a nice pair of moleskin trousers on the way home. Result!


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Helen

25-02-02, 09:29 AM (GMT)
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34. "RE: Saturday's matinee"
In response to message #33
 
   Many thanks for this information. I'm relieved the leading shades were who I thought they were. I was fairly sure I could recognise Tapper - it was Ortueta I was not sure of - but began to doubt my recognition skills when told Tapper was not dancing.


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David M

27-02-02, 10:32 PM (GMT)
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37. "RE: Flower throws"
In response to message #26
 
   Re Zanaida Yanowsky performance as Gamzatti.

I have commented on the two dancers who I have previously seen perform Gamzatti(being Nunenz and Galeazzi) but upon seeing Yanowsky's portrayal last Thursday evening , it left me thinking in my humble opinion , that she without doubt has given the best portrayal to date of that character.( in this run)

Her reading and interpretation of the role was
entirely differant.

Both Nunenz and Gamzatti, were aloof, haughty, with scheeming minds , but none of that was for Yanowsky.

To begin with I was slightly dissapointed in what i was witnessing,there was no aloofness, the evil glances of the eyes. I think i was expecting her to portray Gamzatti in a simaler vein to that of both Nunenz and Galeazzi ( which i know is wrong).

Yanowsky very cleverly played heavily on her beauty, her natural beauty , playing on the confidance that a beautiful Rajah's daughter must have , playing on the knowledge that she is the daughter of a Rajah and can have anything that she wants. This was acheived by never taking her eyes off Solor ,looking at him constantly, ensuing extreeme confidace in everything that she did , and seducing Solor with her charm and basically sex appeal .

There was never a doubt that she would not snare her man, but if the possibility arose of Solor becoming bored or being attracted by another women , than she made it all to aware to the person concerned who she actually was and way behold if you crossed her path , she was a force not too be triffled with.

Like another reveiwer, I noticed in the scene where she was playing chess with Solor, it was if they were playing / toying with each other . She and Solor never once took their eyes off one another for one single second, they were both entrapped in each others looks , smiling constantly , teasing one another , looking at each other sexually .

To me it was an interesting interpretation and made sense once I had thought the whole thing through .

However , some of the chess moves that were made during this alleged game, are i think to say the least taking a liberty as to what is and what isn't allowed in a game of chess.( joke , but true)

Still as i say , i really enjoyed Yanowsky's portrayal and look forward to seeing her again so i can absorb more of her reading.


As to the performance of J Tapper on Monday as Gamzatti, the jury is still out on that one , but I am pleased to say she received an excellant reception , even more applause that Benjamin.

As to last night performance with Cojacuru as Nikiya, beautiful in every way , stunnig. If you have not saw her perform the role of Nikiya in this run , do anything legal to get a ticket.

Take Care

David


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Bruce Madmin

27-02-02, 10:52 PM (GMT)
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38. "RE: La Bayadere - here we go..."
In response to message #0
 
   I've started a second thread on La Bayadere - this one has become rather large and unwieldy. Thread II is at:
http://www.danze.co.uk/dcforum/happening/2525.html


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