The classical ballet La Bayadère, choreographed by Marius Petipa, had its premiere in the famous Mariinsky Theatre/ Imperial Bolshoi Kamenny Theatre in St. Petersburg in 1877. Thanks to its oriental fairy tale narrative and brilliant display of dance technique, the ballet is still often performed on the world’s most renowned stages. Set in ancient India, La Bayadère tells the story of eternal love, fate, vengeance and justice. The ballet recounts the story of the impossible love between a temple dancer (bayadère) Nikiya and the noble warrior, Solor. Their love creates many powerful enemies – the High Brahmin who is also in love with Nikiya, the Rajah and his daughter Gamzatti, Solor’s fiancée. The Rajah and Gamzatti both vow to kill Nikiya and so during the betrothal celebrations of Solor and Gamzatti, she is presented with a basket of flowers concealing a poisonous snake. Nikiya is bitten and the High Brahmin offers her an antidote to the poison, but she chooses death rather than life without her beloved Solor. Only in his dreams is Solor reunited with the shadow of his beloved Nikiya... And so is it a passionate, exotic tale of unrequited love with a tragic ending, where heavenly beings collide with the real world.
Renewed premiere 25th October 2013, Janáček Theatre
Photo by Jana Hallová, Luděk Svítil