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La Bayadère #2

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Act 3, the opium worn off, the wedding moved on. Our hero Solor, being forced to tie the knot to Gamzatti, his paramour’s killer, wasn’t happy. The ceremony in the temple was prefaced by an idol dancing energetically. His body of bronze made ladies’ hearts pound.

Then who should interrupt things but Nikiya, the dead lover, striving to keep her man for eternity. The costumes and colours were stunning, the dancers were stunned, before they were stoned by falling masonry as the temple collapsed. All dead, but at least the lovers were in Paradise together, forever.

Nuñez, Muntagirov, Osipova... Fabulous!

11 comments add one below

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    Drew Martyn 6 months ago

    I know very little of ballet, or of Minkus - but I do love the music of the (I guess) more popular ballets, so I must find out more about this guy.
    "Stunned before they were stoned" - what a phrase!

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    Neville Hunt 6 months ago

    Thanks Drew. This particular ballet, La Bayadère, has in it what is regarded as the most difficult ‘routine’ for the corps de ballet in any ballet. It is really beautiful and those of us given to lachrymosity, like me and Steve, find it very moving. On YouTube there is a Russian version which has a corps de ballet of 32 (as opposed to Royal Ballet’s 24). If you’re remotely interested, search “La Bayadère Le Royaume des Ombres 1ère partie” for 12 minutes of loveliness! And Act 3 is pretty stunning too.

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    Drew Martyn 6 months ago

    I checked out all three, Neville. I can't say the dancing did much for me (I'm something of a luddite in that respect) though the timing and the athleticism were stunning, but the music really got me, I really enjoyed it. Thanks for the pointer, mate, I now need to hear more Minkus :)

  • avatar

    Neville Hunt 6 months ago

    Mingus was a German composer I think. In a similar vein, Riccardo Drigo has done some fab stuff too for the Russian ballets. Sorry you didn't like the dancing... but there were all those lovely legs... 🤪

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    Drew Martyn 6 months ago

    Haha yes, there were indeed. And some very stunning bodies and pretty faces - and that's just the men! lol ;)

  • avatar

    Drew Martyn 6 months ago

    I'll check out Drigo, definitely. Thanks, nev.
    I've just realised I've more or less ignored ballet music, despite enjoying Tchaikovsky's ballet works. Strange.

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    Neville Hunt 6 months ago

    In fact Minkus was Austrian. Also worth checking out Adam, Delibes and Herold. Borodin did some cracking stuff too, much of which was adapted for mid 20th Century Broadway musicals. Borodin is particularly interesting as music was just a pastime. His day job was a scientist or surgeon or something like that. You’ll know most of his tunes!

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    Drew Martyn 6 months ago

    Thanks Neville :) Yes, thinking about it, I do know a fair bit of Borodin's music. Which reminds me, I love Yaroslavnia too, by Boris Tischenko, amazingly powerful. I'll have to You-tube the ballet, see if it's there. But I'll also check out Adam, Herold and Delibes, not names I'm familiar with at all.
    You never know, you may have sparked a new interest here!

  • avatar

    Neville Hunt 6 months ago

    I hope so 😊

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    Neville Hunt 6 months ago

    Not heard of Yaroslavnis myself so thanks for the tip off. Adolphe Adam, Ferdinand Hérold and Léo Delibes were all French. You’ll know their famous stuff, like ‘O holy night’ (Adam), ‘The clog dance’ (Hérold) and Coppélia (Delibes) ... and also from Delibes, Lakmé and that irritating BA advert (imho),The Flower Duet, from it. Their other stuff is excellent (again imho!... not that I’m known for my humility!)

  • avatar

    Drew Martyn 6 months ago

    Haha thanks Neville :)

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