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January 21, 2019

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Thank you for this qualified review! After a long time, I finally had the chance to watch ballet "live" again too and I agree with all you've said. What did you think of the dances in the second act? I really liked those parrots. ;) And I enjoyed Belyakov's dancing just as much as you did.

Speaking of the two Olgas, I went into the intermission break after the first act feeling more for Gamzatti than Nikiya, thanks to the frozen face Smirnova displayed - and the expressive face that Marchenkova had throughout the last scenes. This Nikiya simply didn't "get to me" while in Gamzatti you could see she was happily planning her future and then was devestated after finding out about the secret lovers. Heartbroken for some moments before collecting herself as if thinking "Alright, I am a Princess, and I have a plan". When she pleaded with Nikiya and during the fight, her eyes were glinting. For whatever reason, Solor was important to her, while I couldn't see the same in Nikiya, only in the plot development, but not in the expression.

Hi, Kallima.

I totally agree with you on Gamzatti. For such a tall, strong dancer, she certainly moved like the wind, and gloriously so.

I loved the parrots. I loved the Head Fakir. Raja and High Brahmin were superb.

I didn't love the Idol but I realize that Grigorovich had a different concept in mind than Makarova did. Hands down Angel Corella (in Makarova's staging) was the best Idol in La Bayadere that Planet Earth ever witnessed:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pLMGgnBttGc
His specialty was attaining high velocity without wasting time on acceleration. The dynamic of high speed and instant stops shown in this clip was thrilling to see on stage. Angel simply went to another place in the cosmos to pull out this Idol. I doubt that I'll ever see anything close to it again in my lifetime.

Hi Haglund, I was thrilled to see the performance in my local cinema. I loved Solor almost as much as my wife.

A very trivial detail indeed, but I do remember a tiger carcass paraded through as to establish Solor's heroism. His dancing was surely enough.

True, Shawn, no tiger carcass yesterday. Surprised Mr. Grigorovich didn't have Solor enter the stage while still fighting the tiger with his bare hands. He arrived without so much as a scratch or speck of dirt on his hunting garb.

A quick side note that the Royal Ballet's La Bayadere has finally been confirmed for a screening at Landmark Cinemas in Manhattan on February 19. Tickets will go on sale either this week or next week -- from the horse's mouth today.

And yikes! It seems the Bolshoi yanked down the La Bayadere video. Maybe it will re-appear in a different location. I'm glad that a number of people were able to enjoy it.

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