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Most recent performance

There are currently no scheduled performances of La Bayadère. It was last on stage 5 April—22 May 2013 as part of the Spring 2012/13 season.

The Story

Nikiya, a temple dancer, has secretly sworn her eternal love to the warrior Solor. When she rejects the High Brahmin, he determines to take revenge on Solor. But his actions have terrible consequences.

The High Brahmin reveals the secret affair to Princess Gamzatti, Solor's fiancée. To his horror, she arranges Nikiya's murder. Solor is haunted by Nikiya's shade at his wedding to Gamzatti. The angry gods tear down the temple, killing all. Solor and Nikiya are united in death.


Marius Petipa’s exotic La Bayadère was given its premiere at the Bolshoi Theatre in St Petersburg in 1877. It was regularly performed within the former Soviet Union throughout the 20th century but was almost unknown in the West until 1961, when the touring Kirov Ballet performed the famous Kingdom of the Shades scene. Natalia Makarova saw the ballet as a child in Leningrad and created this version for American Ballet Theatre in 1980.

Legendary India provides the setting for a tale of love, murder and vengeful judgement by the gods, set to a lyrical score by Ludwig Minkus. The choreography provides powerful moments for the two opposing ballerinas – the beautiful temple dancer, Nikiya, and her jealous rival, Gamzatti – while a bronze idol comes vividly to life in a stunning solo. La Bayadère’s most frequently performed sequence is the dream-like Kingdom of the Shades, when a mesmerizing procession of ballerinas dance in unison across a moonlit stage. Opulent designs by Yolanda Sonnabend perfectly fit the ballet’s fevered exoticism.

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On Wikipedia

La Bayadère (en. The Temple Dancer) (ru. «Баядерка», Bayaderka) is a ballet, originally staged in four acts and seven tableaux by French choreographer Marius Petipa to the music of Ludwig Minkus. The ballet was staged especially for the benefit performance of the Prima ballerina Ekaterina Vazem, who created the principal role of Nikiya. La Bayadère was first presented by the Imperial Ballet at the Imperial Bolshoi Kamenny Theatre in St. Petersburg, Russia, on 4 February [O.S. 23 January] 1877. A scene from the ballet, known as The Kingdom of the Shades, is one of the most celebrated excerpts in all of classical ballet. Nearly all modern versions of La Bayadère are derived from the Mariinsky Ballet's production, which was originally staged in 1941 by Vakhtang Chabukiani and Vladimir Ponomarev. Natalia Makarova's 1980 production for American Ballet Theatre has also been staged by several theatres throughout the world and is itself derived from Chabukiani and Ponomarev's version.

Abstract taken from the Wikipedia article La Bayadère, available under a Creative Commons license.