La Bayadere

September 11, 2012 at 9:01 am | Posted in Ballet Review, DVD Review | Leave a comment
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I just watched the Opus Arte DVD of The Royal Ballet’s 2009 production of La Bayadere: The Temple Dancer. Really good ! The Shades in the Act 2 (Scene 2) is a hidden gem.

The official billing is choreography by Natalia Makarova after Marius Petipa; though I notice that revival staging is accredited to Olga Evreinoff, and principal coaching is accredited to the latter and Alexander Agadzhanov. Anyway the choreography was great. I did have a little problem with the costumes in combination with the lush scenery – a switch to more dessert and sand might have worked better.

The story is pretty and easily followed: two women love the same man and one women poisons the other. There is some rich emotion to be mined and it is an opportunity for some excellent choreography and dancing. Carlos Acosta dances the part of Solor the ‘love object’ – he is a brave warrior (and hunter of tigers). Tamara Rojo dances the part of Nikiya – a temple dancer: the Bayadere. Marianela Nunez dances the part of Gamzatti – the Rajah’s daughter and the other women.

The Shades in scene 2 is very reminiscent of the mass swan scenes in Swan Lake, but with a much more dramatic entrance. The interview with Leanne Cope and Francesca Filpi on the ‘Extras’ really add some wonderful context to this scene. Incidentally, the ‘Extras’ segment on this DVD are really good; as is the accompanying booklet.

A DVD worth watching.

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