LA BAYADÈRE in Vilnius – Jubilee for Vytautas Kudžma
LA BAYADÈRE in Vilnius
Ludwig Alois Minkus: LA BAYADÈRE Ballet in 4 acts
Jubilee for Vytautas Kudzma
Choreographer Marius Petipa
Stage choreographers Altynai Asylmuratova, Liudmila Kovaliova (Russia)
Designer Vyacheslav Okunev (Russia)
Conductor Martynas Staškus
Review by Henning Høholt
VILNIUS/LITHUANIA: The Lithuanian National Ballet is presenting one of the leading ballets from the great choreographer Marius Petipa. To Ludwig Minkus brilliant music. In the leading roles Anastasia Cumakova, Tomas Ceizaris, Olga Konosenko and as the Maharaja the jubilant Vytautas Kudzma.
Anastasia Cumakova and Tomas Ceizaris
We have had the possibility to enjoy La Bayadere several times around in Europe. This “Vilnius” version is one of the best we have seen, and is coming close up to the famouse Parsis version, that we know well. In the last act Anastasia Cumakova and Tomas Ceizaris was a star couple at international niveau.
In the second act it was a great pleasure to enjoy the famouse Grand pas de deux between the primaballerina Olga Konosenko and Tomas Ceizaris, and to enjoy how well it functioned with the 6 other dancers in that part. The Golden boy was a hit, and it was a pleasure to notice how well it worked for the eight children from the ballet school in their parts. The whole divertissement functioned well. The second, and the third acts are hits, in each their different ways.
In La Bayaderes dead scene, I would have preferred even more physically drama in Cumakovas mowing, this she can do even more better, an instructor can help her.
Musically we enjoyed very much a brilliant first violin, who lifted it all to be extraordinary, furthermore many beautiful details around in the orchestra, the great Tuba sound, gave it the safe basic, and the harpe was making it flowing well. It is clear to notice that the conductor, Martynas Staškus, feel well in this music, and that he knows the dancers wishes for perfect tempi, that he manage to follow perfect, seen from the audience side.
The choreography of “La Bayadère” is considered to be the first expression of grand scale symphonism in dance, predating by seventeen years Ivanov’s masterly designs for the definitive Swan Lake. Right now La Bayadere at the Vilnius stage with a brilliant cast of dancers.
“Ballets passed down the generations like legends, acquire patina of ritualism, but “La Bayadère” is a ritual, a poem about dancing and memory and time. Each dance seems to add something new to the previous one, like a language being learned. The ballet grows heavy with this knowledge, which at the beginning had been only a primordial utterance, and in the coda it fairly bursts with articulate splendor.” – Arlene Croce wrote in The New Yorker
Petipa constructed his ballet “La Bayadère” on a strong Romantic base using his own type of classical aesthetic. There are several typical Romantic features in this ballet – India is an exotic country, a very suitable space of action for all romantics, taking part in the performance are the ethereal beings, the whole theme of the ballet is typically romantic – selfless, overwhelming bayadère Nikiya’s love, love as the highest meaning and expression of life. The essence of “La Bayadère’s” plot is classical Indian literature, namely Kalidasa’s drama “Sakuntala” and Goethe’s poem “The God and the Bayadere”.
These poetic works served as basics for more than one creation – before M. Petipa, such dramaturges as Augustin Eugène Scribe, Theofil Gautier, choreographers Charles Didelot, Filippo Taglioni and others, based their works on this special story.
Libretto for “La Bayadère” was written by Petipa himself and Sergej Chudekov, in this ballet there are certain typically melodramatic twists of the plot merged with the dramatic qualities of a romantic ballet. The music, written by Ludwig Aloisius Minkus, thanks to its rhythmical versatility and emotionality created a perfect background for a vivid, fiery work of theatrical art. However, the original artistic quality of La Bayadère (which was in no way lowered by later Petipa’s ballets, based on P. Tchaikovsky’s or A. Glazunov’s music) was based in the high-class choreography and poetic generalizations which it displayed. La Bayadère can be described as a certain encyclopaedia of symphonized forms of the classical dance.
In Lithuania “La Bayadère” has not been staged before 2007.
at the 48th performance at LNOBT
Conductor Martynas Staškus
Cast: Anastasija Čumakova, Romas Ceizaris, Olga Konošenko, Marius Miliauskas, Tomas Ceizaris, Jelena Malikėnienė, Laimis Roslekas, Vytautas Kudžma, Mantas Daraškevičius, Agnė Steponkevičiūtė, Stanislav Semianiura, Aleksandra Ivanova, Kipras Chlebinskas
The Vilnius Premiere was 31 December, 2007.