Libretto by Marius Petipa and Sergey Khudekov
Choreography by Marius Petipa (1877) revised by Vladimir Ponomaryov and Vakhtang Chabukiani (1941), with dances choreographed by Konstantin Sergeyev and Nikolay Zubkovsky
Musical Director and Conductor: Alexander Novikov
Staging by Igor Zelensky
Stage Director: David Monavardisashvili
Costume Designer: Alexander Vasiliev
Lighting Designer: Vladimir Lukasevich
Repetiteurs: Larisa Matyukhina‑Vasilevskaya, Nina Furalyova
Best Conductor (Andrei Danilov)
Best Choreographer (Igor Zelensky)
Best Male Ballet Role (Igor Zelensky for the role of Solor)
Best Stage Designer in Music Theatre (David Monavardisashvili)
Best Lighting Designer in Music Theatre (Vladimir Lukasevich)
2 hours 50 minutes
Première of the production: 15 December 2007
Performed on tour to Paris, France (2010), Bangkok, Thailand (2010, 2015).
Scene The Kingdom of the Shades from the ballet was performed on tour to Delhi, India (2014).
“La Bayadere” ballet production tops the list of the most flamboyant Russian ballets along with “Swan Lake”, “Sleeping Beauty” and “Raymonda”. The tragic and fatal love of bayadere Nikia who is unable to find happiness on earth is at the heart of the story which takes place in alluring India. The Novosibirsk opera and ballet theatre’s production full of beautiful classical dancing and flaming colours is awarded with “Golden Mask”-2009 National theatre festival Diploma as “the best ballet production of the season”.
Solor, a warrior, and his friends are hunting a tiger in the sacred grove. The hunters go further into the forest. Before following them, Solor orders the fakir Magdaveya to let Nikiya, the bayadère, know that he’ll be waiting for her by the temple at night. The High Brahmin and the priests come out of the temple in a solemn procession. The ritual of fire worship begins. Fakirs and bayadères perform their ritual dances. The pinnacle event of the worship is the dance of the beautiful bayadère Nikiya. The High Brahmin is enslaved by her beauty and grace, he can’t hide his feelings. He has forgotten his rank and vows of celibacy, he confesses his love to her and promises all the wealth of India to the bayadère. Nikiya, however, rejects his ardent love.
Together with other bayadères Nikiya brings water from the sacred spring to the fakirs. Magdaveya seizes the moment to tell Nikiya that Solor will come to see her. The bayadère is happy, she is looking forward to seeing her beloved.
Night falls. The fakir is guarding the secret meeting of Nikiya and Solor. But the High Brahmin manages to listen to their conversation. He decides to take cruel revenge upon the bayadère, who has rejected him, and his rival.
Solor asks Nikiya to flee with him. They will be happy together far from the place, somewhere, where nobody knows them. She agrees but first demands Solor’s vow of eternal fidelity over the sacred fire. Solor swears eternal fidelity to her.
Rajah’s palace. It’s morning. Dugmanta tells his daughter Gamzatti that she will marry a celebrated warrior, Solor. Solor enters. Rajah introduces his beautiful daughter to him and declares them a bride and a groom. The warrior is enraptured by Gamzatti’s beauty. But he is thrown into confusion as he remembers Nikiya and the vows he has just made to her.
Nikiya is invited to the palace for the rite of Gamzatti’s bridal initiation. Soon the High Brahmin arrives, who brings important news. Rajah orders everybody to leave the room. Gamzatti feels that the High Brahmin’s arrival has something to do with her wedding, Gamzatti stays to overhear what the Brahmin has to say to her father.
The High Brahmin tells the Rajah about Solor and Nikiya’s secret love. Dugmanta is furious, but his decision remain unchanged: Solor will marry his daughter, and the bayadère will die. The Brahmin, who hoped to do away with his rival, didn’t expect such an outcome. He reminds Dugmanta that the bayadère’s death will invoke the wrath of the god Vishnu and insists on Solor’s death. Rajah is adamant.
Gamzatti asks her slave girl to bring Nikiya. Rajah’s daughter tells the bayadère about her approaching wedding and asks Nikiya to dance at the wedding. When Nikiya agrees, Gamzatti shows her rival a portrait of the man she is going to marry and the bayadère recognises her beloved. Nikiya protests: it is her that Solor loves, he swore eternal fidelity to her. Gamzatti asks, begs, orders Nikiya to relinquish Solor, but the bayadère says that she would rather die than leave her beloved. Nikiya frantically pulls out a dagger and attempts to stab Gamzatti, but the slave girl intervenes. Nikiya hurries away. Gamzatti swears that her rival will die.
A square in front of Rajah’s palace. Celebration for the wedding of Solor and Gamzatti begins. Nikiya has to entertain the guests with her dances. She can’t hide her sorrow and grief. She looks at her beloved. On Gamzatti’s request during Nikiya’s ritual dance she is presented with a basket of flowers. Nikiya takes the basket and goes on dancing. Suddenly a poisonous snake slips out from the flowers and stings the bayadère. This is Gamzatti’s revenge.
The High Brahmin, who has got an antidote, offers it to Nikiya in exchange for her love. The bayadère, however, prefers to die. Solor kneels down by the body of his faithful beloved.
Solor is distraught and tormented by remorse. Fakir Magdaveya and warrior Toloragva attempt to divert him from his grief, but in vain. Grief-stricken Solor smokes opium and under its influence dreams of the Kingdom of the Shades and Nikiya, who is the Queen of the Kingdom.
As he is awaken, he rushes to the temple. He begs pardon from the gods. But it’s too late. The furious gods punish Solor for the love he betrayed. The walls of the temple collapse under thunder and lightning. The vision of the beautiful Nikiya takes Solor away to heaven.