La Bayadère

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Anna Pavlova as Nikija (1902)
The Mariinsky Ballet in La Bayadère (around 1900)

La Bayadère - The Temple Dancer is a romantic ballet to the music of Léon Minkus , in which Indian exoticism and romantic poetry are combined. It is also known as the " Giselle des Orient".


La Bayadère (Russian Bajaderka) was premiered on February 4, 1877 in the Bolshoi Theater in St. Petersburg as a ballet in four acts and seven pictures under the artistic direction of Marius Petipa .

The western premiere, staged by Eugenia Feodorova, took place on April 12, 1961 in the Theatro Municipal in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil). Bertha Rosanova danced the Nikiya and Aldo Lotufo the Solor. Later, on July 4, 1961, Kirow Ballet made a guest appearance in Paris with Rudolf Nureyev in the lead role and, as the first production by the Royal Ballet in 1963, also with Nureyev and Margot Fonteyn .

The German premiere took place on March 24, 1998 at the Bavarian State Opera in Munich with the Bavarian State Ballet as a rehearsal by Patrice Bart . Further new productions followed in 2002 in Hamburg and Berlin and in 2008 at the Saxon State Opera in Dresden with the Semperoper Ballet . In March 2020, in connection with the 450th anniversary of the Staatskapelle Berlin, the ballet La Bayadère will be performed in the Staatsoper Unter den Linden in Berlin based on the choreography by Marius Petipa .

Action and structure of the ballet

The focus of the ballet is the love between the priestess “Bayadère” Nikija and the warrior Solor.

  • 1st act
    • 1st picture - in front of an Indian temple
    • 2nd picture - In the palace of the Rajas
    • 3. Image “Misri” - The engagement ceremony in the palace garden
  • 2nd act
    • 1st image - Solors apartments
    • 2nd picture - The Kingdom of Shadows ( ballet blanc )
    • 3rd picture - Solors apartments
    • 4th picture "Shaadi" - the wedding ritual in front of the temple - apotheosis

Web links

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