|Price:||CDN$ 35.99 & FREE Shipping. Details|
What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?
Marius Petipa's exotic ballet, set in legendary India, is a story of love, death and vengeful judgement. Natalia Makarova's sumptuous recreation of Petipa's choreography, with atmospheric sets by Pier Luigi Samaritini and beautiful costumes by Yolanda Sonnabend, stars Tamara Rojo as the Bayadère (temple dancer) Nikiya, Carlos Acosta as Solor, and Marianela Nuñez as Gamzatti whose
alluring presence challenges Solor's love for Nikiya. Filmed in High Definition and recorded in true surround sound.
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
The Royal Ballet comes from long line of amazing, gorgeous dancers: Fonteyn, Shearer, Nureyev and Sibley are names that evoke some of the best in ballet. However, it seems that England's own has gotten a little lost.
The staging of this Bayadere--set by Natalia Makarova--is lovely, taken after the former Kirov (now Mariinsky). It is in all senses of the word, a classical ballet. While not Petipa's strongest work, the choreography is nothing less than what you would expect from him. Minkus's score is pleasant and suited to the ballet, and one can see why it is a standard, long lasting composition. I have no issue with any aspects of the staging or spectacle of this ballet. On top of it, the Blu Ray recording is absolutely stunning in quality, and well filmed. There are no missing dancers, chopped off feet, or misplaced shots. Additionally, the costumes are so stunning that Blu Ray makes them dazzle. One can see every detail, down to the Swarovski stones glittering on Nikiya's bodice in the Kingdom of the Shades.
Quite possibly the best part of this production is not Tamara Rojo's Nikiya, but the ever charismatic Marianela Nunez as the devilish Gamzatti. While Nunez does not have the same lines as Royal Ballet predecessor Darcy Bussell, her Gamzatti equals--if not surpasses--Bussell. Nunez presents the powerful princess in many dimensions; she is a seductress; a woman who knows what she wants and goes for it; a guilt wracked temptress; a scared little girl. While the tendency is to play Gamzatti as the girl you hated in high school, Nunez uses her ice cold control and smooth technique to give a performance that juices the choreography for depth in the character. By the final act, I found myself almost rooting for Gamzatti in spite of her actions--something I have never done in seeing La Bayadere. Suffice to say, Nunez is the Royal Ballet's gem.
Disappointing were the performances of Rojo and Carlos Acosta as tragic lovers Nikiya and Solar. Having never seen Rojo in a full length production outside of her incredible Isadora, I was looking forward to seeing her dance Nikiya. While Rojo's technique had that lovely measure of control and strength that is trademark of Royal Ballet ballerinas, her emotional performance was lacking. She seemed set on one expression, tragic angst, throughout the entire ballet. By the end it seemed she was wallowing in self pity, and one wondered why it is the gods seemed to favor her so much. Solar, on a similar plane, seemed chronically depressed and unsure, if not flat. While Acosta has some brilliant technique, it did not seem to shine through in this performance. Instead, he seemed a bit behind on his game.
Overall, the DVD is worth a purchase for just Nunez's performance as Gamzatti. Additionally, the corps work in the Kingdom of the Shades is stunning and well performed. Do not hope for a stunning or moving performance by Rojo and Acosta, however, as you will find yourself disappointed.
The corps de ballet deliver a performance of style and poise which will give considerable pleasure to the majority of viewers
The costuming and staging of the production are both traditional in style and sumptuous in effect.
This actual recording was made over two nights in January 2009 and is a first class example of the benefits of modern HD definition. The quality of the imaging is of consistently high quality with a good blend of close and full stage shots enabling the viewer to enjoy panoramic ensemble dancing as well as detail of the soloists in particular. The resolution of the colour is also excellent and completely capable of displaying the lavish costumes even in reduced lighting. There is no trace of movement blur. The equally excellent sound is presented in both 5.1 DTS and stereo.
The fairly extensive 'bonus' features offer real insights relating to several features of both the ballet generally as well as to this particular production. These bonus items should offer interest to both new comers and to those with greater knowledge and experience.
The first bonus is in the form of a 9 minute interview with Tamara Rojo as regards the particular challenges involved in dancing this role. This is followed by Leanne Cope and Francesca Filpi, members of the corps de ballet, who give their views on the challenges in dancing the famous shadows sequence in act 2. In particular they concentrate on the entry sequence involving up to 39 steps for members of the team as they descend to the stage.
This 8 minute feature is followed by a 20 minute series of rehearsal extracts featuring Carlos Acosta and Tamara Rojo individually and as a pair. The final feature is a short 4 minute film where Natalia Makarova explains her approach to directing this production, her choreography and the way it fits in with that by Petipa.
I would suggest that this is a particularly strong traditional production with excellent performances from the dancers and recorded with admirable sound and vision. As such it makes a very attractive option for potential purchasers.
The ballet itself is quite successful in fulfilling it's promise. The music of Minkus though pedestrian gives enough ambiance for some spectacular dancing by both the principals and the corps. There are some longueur moments and some unesessary padding for other characters but for the most part it holds up well.
The most famous section and the section often given alone is the Act II scene two - "The Kingdom of the Shades". The opening involving the corps only is extremely beautiful and almost unique in classic ballet. We have a "defile" of the corps (all in white "ballet blanc") entering down a ramp until all 32 of them are arranged in even rows. They all enter doing a series of "arabesque penchee" with a back bend. It is awesome! As great as the Royal Ballet is in this (Makarova choreographer), I still think the Paris Opera Ballet with Nureyev's choreography was a bit more stunning. I think the Royal has better principals than the POB especially the Solor. You owe it to yourself to have both versions.
John Lanchbery knows how to lead a ballet orchestra for the benefit of both the dancers and the audience. He is one of the very best. The staging and scenery were fine and lent themselves well in presenting an otherworldly world. In all, a very fine production which I have enjoyed many times of viewing and now reviewing.
I am on the fence about whether the Nureyev version is the one to have after watching this. Nureyev's version is probably more true to the original Bayaderes from Russia, and the dancers are amazing in that too. However, despite the Paris sets being expensive supposedly, I much prefer the sets of the Makarova version.
One quibble....when Mukhamedov smokes the opium he looks like a beginner. Laurent Hilaire (in the POB version) looks like a pro! LOL LOL
Overall, I think anyone who loves this ballet should have both the Nureyev and the Makarova versions.