Kulturkompasset | critics of culture events

LA BAYADERE AT GARNIER – high quality.


La Bayadere, 2 act. Photo: Jacques Moatti

La Bayadere, 2 act. Photo: Jacques Moatti

La Bayadere, the ballet, in the Rudolf Nureyev version, based on Marius Petipa´s choreography, with music by Ludwig Minkus arranged by John Lanchberry, that entered the repertoire at  Opera National de Paris, wa repremiered  May 17th 2010. It was performance no 187 of this famouse production with Ballet de l´Opera de Paris.

The framework of La Bayadere with fantastic scenography by Ezio Frigerio, specially for the first and second act, but not in third act. Inspired costumes by Franca Squarcipano, onlyEmilie Cozette´s colour of her Tutu in the wedding pas de deux seemed strange to me, how has this Lilla with red under came in to the beautiful well coorporated picture? It didn´t match to anything else. Light by Vinicio Cheli is very good, except in tird act where a lot of the time it was too much light.  The audience feels that they are watching something ehistoricalle extrairdinary, and so the do.

As critic I see the performance with the eyes of a ballet critic. And I feel privilleged for that. As the Paris Bayadere is not the only Bayadere I enjoy during a year, I am happy to notice the differences in quality between the best ballet companies in Europe.

Bayadere, opening 3rd Act. Photo: Jacques Moatti

Bayadere, opening 3rd Act. Photo: Jacques Moatti

The Paris Opera Ballet is very high quality, soloists and corps des ballet.

La Bayadere is casted with some of the companys outstanding soloists in the leading roles. Agnés Letestu brilliant in the titelrole (Nikiya). José Martinez masculin as Solor and Emilie Cozette very beautiful as Gamzatti, the daughter of the Rajah, which is supposed to be married to Solor. The Rajah, Stéphane Phavorin and the Grand Brahmane, Yann Saïz, which we know both are good dancers, but I feel they are too young for these too roles. As the Rajah and Brahmane I would prefere to older, retired dancers, who could have been giving the roles more autority.

Allister Madin is as splendid dancer as the Fakir. Audric Bezard masculin and beautiful as the Slave with Nikiya in the pas de deux in first act. Mathias Heymann a hit as the Golden Idol, receiving the evenings biggest applause. The very talented Mathilde Froustey beautifully dancing with the water can on the head. She is one of the talents, that I am only are waiting for shall be an Etoile.  The Indian Dance with Allister Madin, Sabrina Mallem and Audric Bezard was a hit. (reminding me of the famouse Can Can).

Agnes Létestu as Nikiya in La Bayadere, foto: Frédérique Toulet

Agnes Létestu as Nikiya in La Bayadere, foto: Frédérique Toulet

The first picture of the third act is amazing, but I am missing the opium dream, The good dance with the 10 Indian Dancers, dont tell about any opium dream coming, but the scenography is amazing. For the second picture the fantastic scenography could have been continuing making a fantastic landscape, but here the beautiful scenography stops, only a back carpet with a forest motive, and too much light. Some thing need to be done with that scene. That is not good enough.

The 32 female dancers entre, is as allways amazing, but the balances, – arabesques was not good, the balances need to be rehersed much more. Usually this opening part of the Third act, second scene can be a hit. With little inspuration in the scenography, too much light and bad balances it didn´t work out. In the big solo for Solor, José Martinez was successfull with the first double assemble, and partly the secnd, after that it didn´t work out. Agnés Letestu was nearly all the evening hanging after the music in the fast movements, and this became very visible in her last piruettes, who is fast and brilliant in the music, but she was too slow, and hanging after. She shall be on, she is the leading figure. It shall look like the music is following her, not that she is listening to the music, and following it. These piruettes were missing drive, and because of that she didn´t get the big appluase, that she could have got. And that she deserved as a whole for the role.

The Orchestra Colonne played wonderful during the leader Kevin Rhodes, great tempi, and some very beautiful solo instruments. The long violin solo played by Pierre Hamel (?)  in third act was amazing. Good Bratch and Harp too.  The orchestra has a good sound! An outstanding orchestre.

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