11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
- Published on Amazon.com
I am familiar with the story of Siddharta, so I thought that even if this ballet only touched on his life while being more avant garde in the interpretation of the story, I would still love this. However, throughout the ballet I kept thinking that if I saw this on stage without the title of each scene so I know what is going on I would have no clue what this story is all about.
I think abstract ballet is fine in abstract ballet, but this attempts to be a story ballet, but it is impossible to understand what is happening without the list of titles of each scene.
With this said I did enjoy much of the dancing, and I think the dancers gave their all in this production. I just think a person should be able to come off the street with no prior info and watch a story ballet and know what is going on. All the famous story ballets (La Bayadere, Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake, etc) are easy to follow even with very little miming and mostly just dancing.
Preljocaj's choreography is interesting (it does not ignore ballet's roots but adds a lot of modern dance moves), and I think someone who enjoys modern ballet would find it worth watching and enjoy the dancers. Nicholas LeRiche and Aurelie Dupont are fabulous! But this is barely a story ballet. It is much more like an abstract ballet with very little story and if you purchase it, and somehow the booklet is missing you will not know what is going on at all.
I gave it 3 stars b/c of the dancers, the choreography, and the good attempt at creating a "new" ballet. However, I am not sure newcomers to ballet would like this. I could be wrong. I think newcomers are always going to love Sleeping Beauty or Swan Lake, because they understand what is happening.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
- Published on Amazon.com
Je commence avec mille fois merci a Mlle. Brigitte Lefevre (I'm sorry my computer does not allow me to insert French punctuation). Elle avait la courage de faire cet Ballet comme un travail fait sur commande. Her courage was justified! I'm writing this Review immediately after my first viewing of this marvelous Ballet. As I've noted in other of my reviews, I'm no fan of ballet, or of dance, performed on naked, or near naked stages, with subdued lighting, and where most, if not all of the dancing is barefooted. Well, all of these personal "negatives" are in Siddharta. But so what! Nicolas Le Riche as the coming Buddah, and Aurelia Dupont as The Awakening, sensitively perform their difficult roles: Armed only with their dancing skills, and the art of mime, each makes apparent to the attentive viewer the spiritual truths being expounded. No easy task. But they are assisted by a large supporting cast of gifted performers. The Ballet is told in a series of 16 Tableaux. One should carefully read the DVD's (or Blu-Ray's) accompanying Booklet in order to understand fully what is going on. Even were one to skip reading the Booklet, the story line will come through to the attentive viewer.
The musical score by Bruno Mantovani does not fall under any rubric I can think of - but it beautifully assists in telling the story of the evolution of a Prince in a beautiful kingddom, into the ascetic Buddah he will become, as related by the masterful choreography of Angelen Preljocaj, The choreography is eye catching in its intricacies, even breathtaking physical demands. The several pas de deux's between the various principals do not have the classicism of a pas de deux, say, as in Swan Lake, but I found them even more physically taxing on the performers - yet beautifully executed. The eroticism of the choreography is well executed. Quite physical, erotic,:|"steamy", without being smutty.
In the DVD/Blu-Ray of La Danse, a Documentary by Frederick Wiseman, of the Paris Opera Ballet (which I highly recommend), there is a sequence of a conversation between Aurelie Dupont and Brigitte Lefevre in which Aurelie says she is getting too old (she is in her late thirties, I believe) to do all the difficult work of a Danseuse Etoile. Aurelie's performance as The Awakening in this Ballet, belies her concerns. She's admirable! Nicolas Le Riche, as Siddharta, should be a feminine hearthrob, and an example to men in general: he's muscle and sinew galore.
Should you venture to buy this Ballet, do not expect to see another Nutcracker. Instead, expect to see something different. If at first you don't like it, view it again. The second time may be your eye opener. I believe this "difficult" ballet will, with time, become a basic part of Ballet's repertoire. Siddharta clearly has earned its 5 Stars. King Arthur, Arthur Stanley Katz, May 25, 2011
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Siddharta is a beautiful combination of modern dance and some traditional ballet. I know the Siddharta story, and this is not even close. But that said, the dancing is Strong and excellent. The music is minimalist in nature, stimulating the dancing. The costumes are just right for the dance, showing off the lean, well muscled bodies of the male leads very well without being skimpy. The female costumes are more suggestive, but giving just the right tenor of sexuality without over exposing the dancers. The full body tight black outfits with motorcycle style helmets of the "demons" lend the right touch of evil. The entire performance is very enjoyable. So even, through the story is not Siddharta, this is a strong well done piece of dance.