La Bayadère

ballet in three acts

music by Ludwig Minkus

2 hours 20 minutes
1 act
35 min
interval 30 min
2 act
25 min
interval 20 min
3 act
30 min
for viewers over 12 years old

The exquisite simplicity of the classics blends with the exotic opulence of the Maharajas in this ballet, which boasts a history of over a hundred and fifty years. Nacho Duato has created a production that harks back to Marius Petipas original, preserving the customary order of the scenes and the librettos climaxes, and leaving intact valuable pieces of the canonical choreography. At the same time, the ballet has freed itself of anachronisms and static pantomime episodes, replacing them with lavish, sculptural decor. In this story, Ancient India becomes a brilliant backdrop for the love of a temple dancer and a fine warrior who are fated to remain apart in both the real world and the astral one.

Act I

Scene 1

Noble youths return from hunting. Solor, the renowned warrior, orders his fellows to leave him on his own at the holy fire. Solor asks fakir Magedaveya to find an opportunity to talk to the beautiful Nikiya, the bayadère, who lives in the temple, and tell her that he will be waiting for her at night.
The ceremonial arrival of the High Brahman, priests and bayadères, the temple dancers, heralds the beginning of the feast of worshipping the fire. The climax of the feast is Nikiyas dance. The passion to Nikiya makes the High Brahman forget his vocation and celibacy associated with it. He promises her all the treasures of India in return for her love. However, Nikiya cannot hide her disgust for the High Brahman.
The secret meeting of Nikiya and Solor is safeguarded by Magedaveya. Solor swears his eternal love and fidelity to Nikiya by the holy fire. The High Brahman, who is eager to revenge, sees them.

Scene 2

The Rajah Dugmantas palace. The Rajah orders to call the bayadères to entertain him and his guests. Dugmanta announces to his daughter Gamzatti that she will marry the best and bravest warrior of the rajaship, Solor, who she has been engaged to since her childhood. Gamzatti is happy, while Solor is lost: he does not dare reject the high honour, but he loves Nikiya and has sworn fidelity to her.
The High Brahman arrives. Hoping to destroy the rival, he tells the Rajah about Nikiya and Solors love. Dugmanta is enraged, but he will not change his decision. Solor will marry his daughter and the bayadère is to die. The Brahman has not expected such a catastrophe; he threatens the Rajah with the revenge of the gods for the bayadères death, but Dugmanta is adamant.
Gamzatti has overheard the conversation and orders her slave to bring Nikiya to her. Gamzatti tells Nikiya about her upcoming wedding and invites the bayadère to dance on that day. Nikiya is flattered by the honour, but suddenly Gamzatti, as if by chance, shows her the portrait of her husband-to-be. The bayadère is desperate, she is protesting. Solor loves nobody but her and will belong only to her. Gamzatti begs Nikiya to give Solor up, but the bayadère would rather die than part with her beloved. Gamzatti offers Nikiya jewelry in exchange for Solor. Nikiya enraged is going to stab her  but by chance, the slave comes in time and manages to stop the bayadère. The Rajahs daughter swears: Nikiya will die.

Act II

Scene 3

Gamzatti and Solors engagement. Nikiya, who is obliged to dance at the feast according to the ritual, cannot conceal her grief. However, suddenly she is presented with a flower basket. She is full of hope, love and happiness  she is triumphant: it is surely Solors gift.
Suddenly a snake crawls out of the flowers and stings the bayadère. This is Gamzattis revenge.
The High Brahman promises her an antidote if Nikiya forgets Solor, but she is faithful to her beloved.


Scene 4

Solor is inconsolable and full of remorse. He drops into sleep and sees the Kingdom of the Shades. They descend from mountain ledges in a long line. He sees Nikiya. She is calling him...

Premiere of the production: 4 October 2019

Libretto by Marius Petipa and Sergey Khudekov

  • ChoreographyNacho Duato after Marius Petipa
  • Stage Designer, Costume DesignerAngelina Atlagić
  • Lighting DesignerBrad Fields
  • Musical director of the productionPavel Sorokin
  • Choreographers assistantGentian Doda
  • Stage Designers assistant (sets)Magdalena Vlajić
  • Stage Designers assistant (costumes)Srdjan Perić

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