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Barbara Newman
Dance Magazine, May 2012

As Nikiya, Altynai Asylmuratova could, all alone, easily justify the ballet’s revival…her performance emerges from her body, face, and eyes in a rapturous, unbroken flow that absorbs us thoroughly. Equally absorbing if not ideal technically, Irek Mukhamedov takes the stage with authority as Solor, endowing dance, mime, and partnering with nuanced ardor.

Incidental to this engrossing pair, Darcey Bussell looks merely regal as Gamzatti, showing off her long, flexible limbs…

Derek Bailey’s careful direction plays no tricks with the camera and presents the choreography intact…because ballerinas like Asylmuratova scarcely exist now, we should treasure this fresh chance to enjoy her inimitable artistry. © 2012 Dance Magazine Read complete review

Rob Maynard
MusicWeb International, December 2011

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

Rob Maynard
MusicWeb International, October 2011

One important point to note is that this DVD features Natalia Makarova’s performing version of La Bayadère…will be in for the very pleasant bonus of an extra 21 or so extra minutes… This reconstructed final Act, set to music specially put together by John Lanchbery who also conducts the performance, rounds off the story in a far more emotionally satisfying way and has since been widely adopted by many ballet companies.

The dancing of the principal soloists is quite simply superb. Altynai Asylmuratova conveys in every technically assured movement the emotion that Nikiya is feeling, ranging from ecstatic, impulsive young love to the darkest despair that leads her to reject an antidote to the fatal snake venom. The role of her lover, the warrior Solor, is danced by Irek Mukhamedov who combines obvious physical strength and crowd-pleasing showmanship with great artistry.

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…

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