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La Bayadère

Natalia Makarova's production of this 19th-century classic ballet brings an exotic world of temple dancers and noble warriors to life.

Most recent performance

There are currently no scheduled performances of La Bayadère. It was last on stage 1–17 November 2018 as part of the Autumn 2018/19 season.

The Story

Nikiya, a temple dancer, is in love with the warrior Solor. The High Brahmin also desires Nikiya, and when she rejects him, he plans to take revenge on Solor.

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Background

An iconic 19th-century Russian ballet, La Bayadère was originally performed at the Bolshoi Theatre in St Petersburg in 1877, and was regularly performed within the former Soviet Union throughout the 20th century. It remained unknown in the West until the Kirov Ballet toured with the Kingdom of the Shades scene in 1961. Natalia Makarova saw La Bayadère as a child in Leningrad and created this production in 1980. It was first performed by The Royal Ballet in 1989.

The Kingdom of the Shades scene in Act II is one of the ballet's highlights, in which a series of arabesques across the moonlit stage demonstrates the strength of the corps de ballet and the beauty of Marius Petipa's choreography. The ballet also contains roles of very different styles for two ballerinas in Nikiya and Gamzatti, a spectacular virtuoso solo for the Bronze Idol, and stunning pas de deux for Solor with both Nikiya and Gamzatti.

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