Wednesday, 5 October 2016

Dutch National Ballet's La Bayadere - the Highlight of my World Ballet Day

Daniel Camargo and Sasha Mukhamedov in an Extract from La Bayadere
Photo Altin Kaftira
(c) 2016 Dutch National Ballet: all rights reserved
Reproduced with kind permission of the company

It will come as no surprise to my readers that the slot for Dutch National Ballet between 16:00 and 16:30 was the highlight of my World Ballet Day. If anyone missed it I have shared a recording on my Facebook page. It is well worth watching as were all the contributions to yesterday's feast of dance.

There three several reasons why I enjoyed the Dutch National Ballet's programme so much.

The first is that I love the company. I am one of its Friends in the formal sense. I have visited the Stopera (the company's home) several times over the last few years including the opening night galas this year and last (see Dutch National Ballet's Opening Night Gala - Improving on Excellence 8 Sept 2016 and The best evening I have ever spent at the ballet 13 Sept 2015). Over the years I have been lucky enough to meet the company's artistic director Ted Brandsen and many of its dancers, choreographers, technical staff and officials some of whom are Facebook friends or followers on twitter.  One of my birthday treats on 14 Feb 2016 was to tour the Stopera with a group of Friends of the company (see Double Dutch Delights 17 Feb 2016).

Daniel Camargo as Solor on 7 Sept 2016
Photo Altin Kaftira
(c) 2016 Dutch National Ballet: A=all rights reserved 
Reproduced by kind permission of the company
The second is that the slot showed the rehearsals for La Bayadère and an interview with Natalia Makarova, the great dancer, choreographer and director who has staged the ballet for the Dutch National Ballet and the Royal Ballet. Although I have seen the complete ballet only once (see Blown Away - St Petersburg Ballet Theatre's La Bayadere 24 Aug 2016) it is one of my favourites. I learned some of the choreography in a special three day intensive at KNT in Manchester in August (see La Bayadère Intensive Day 1: There's Life in the Old Girl Yet 16 Aug 2016, La Bayadere Intensive Day 2: Idols and Disembodied Shades 17 Aug 2016 and La Bayadere Intensive Day 3: No Snakes 17 Aug 2016).  Yesterday featured Daniel Camargo and Anna Tsygankova, one of my all time favourite dancers  (see Anna Tsygankova 8 Sept 2016). I saw Camargo dance a scene from La Bayadere with Sasha Mukhamedov at the gala. I shall return to Amsterdam on 13 Nov when I hope to see Mukhamedov again with Jozef Varga and Vera Tsygankova in the last performance of La Bayadere.

The third reason why the Dutch National Ballet's slot was the highlight of my day is that Ted Brandsen was interviewed by Michaela DePrince, That remarkable young woman, who joined the Junior Company in 2013 and is already a grand sujet attracted me to the Junior Company and later to the main company. I met her briefly at last year's gala after which "I left the Stopera thinking how that exceptionally talented young dancer was as gracious off stage as she is magnificent upon it." I have written quite a lot about DePrince over the years for various reasons one of which is that I also have connections with Sierra Leone, the country of her birth. You will find links to some of those articles at Michaela DePrince at TEDx Amsterdam 28 Nov 2016.

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