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Minkus: La Bayadere / Lanchbery, Royal Ballet [DVD]

Album Summary

>Minkus, Léon : La Bayadere
Performers Conductor Ensemble Composer

Notes & Reviews:

La Bayadère was originally choreographed in 1877 by the great master of Russian classical ballet, Marius Petipa and later adapted by the Kirov Ballet. The Kirov version has been re-created by Natalia Makarova and legendary choreography is now available on DVD.

MusicWeb International
La Bayadere's Kingdom of the Shades scene is a Petipa classic, but Minkus's score rises to the occasion too. A romantic triangle a la Aida offers an usually strong - if melodramatic - storyline for those whose experience of ballet is limited to Tchaikovsky. Asylmuratova, Mukhamedov and Bussell act movingly and dance authoritatively.

MusicWeb International
Anthony Dowell makes a truly flesh-creeping High Brahmin. David Drew looks very much like one imagines a rajah ought to look, even though there is little for him to do apart from appearing generically regal (so much so, that when, in the final reconstructed act, he actually gets to catch and partner Gamzatti for a few steps, it comes as quite a surprise.) The very brief but crowd-pleasing role of the Bronze Idol usually brings the house down and here, with Tetsuya Kumakawa in the role, we have no exception.Conductor John Lanchbery knows Minkus's score inside out, of course, and gives it, whether movingly sentimental melody or music-hall rum-ti-tumming, a fine outing. Derek Bailey's direction is utterly sympathetic to the attractively exotic production, with well chosen camera angles and cuts...

Notes & Reviews:

Run Time: 123 min.
Region: All
Picture Format: NTSC, 4:3, Color
Sound Format(s): LPCM Stereo, Dolby Digital 5.1, DTS 5.1


A Feat for the Royal Ballet
La Bayadere, with music by Ludwig Minkus, shines in a new light in the Royal Ballet's production by Natalia Makarova.
Altynai Asylmuratova and Darcey Bussell provide a spectacular performance, in both their technique and artistry. Asylmuratova transforms into a delicate creature, with near-perfect port de bras, and beautiful hyperextended arms. Bussell dances a virtuous Gamzatti, extremely dramatic in acting scenes, while very joyful in some dances. Irek Mukhamedov does a solid job of Solor, proving to be a brilliant partner for both Asylmuratova and Bussell, while showing true mastery of all of the technicalities and variations that are demanded in the ballet. Testuya Kumakawa dances a brilliant Bronze Idol; at times transfixing the viewer in awe of a human statue. In this production, the High Brahmin was selected immaculately, showing Dowell's dramatic and frightening acting ability. However, the corps de ballet does not represent the cleanness and perfection of the Russian version of La Bayadere, particularly in the first act (where it is clear that some fall out of their lines). Although at times lacking in the technique and together-ness of the corps de ballet, the ballet is carried on by it's stars. I definitely recommend this version of La Bayadere, both to who is new to classical ballet, and to avid ballet DVD collectors.
Submitted on 09/22/11 by danrubin06 
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Works Details

>Léon Fyodorovich Minkus (1826 - 1917) : La Bayadere
  • Performers: Altynai Asylmuratova (Dancer); Darcey Bussell (Dancer); Anthony Dowell (Dancer); Irek Mukhamedov (Dancer)
  • Conductor: John Lanchbery
  • Ensemble: Orchestra of the Royal Opera House
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Ballet
  • Written: 1877