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Ballet in two acts and six scenes

Choreography Marius Petipa / Patrice Bart · Composer Ludwig Minkus

Friday, 02. March 2007
07:30 pm – 10:05 pm
Nationaltheater

Duration est. 2 hours 35 minutes · 1. Akt (est. 07:30 pm - 08:40 pm ) · Interval (est. 08:40 pm - 09:10 pm ) · 2. Akt (est. 09:10 pm - 10:05 pm )

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Cast

Musikalische Leitung
Dieter Rossberg
Choreographie
Patrice Bart
Choreographie
Marius Petipa
Bühne und Kostüme
Tomio Mohri
Licht
Maurizio Montobbio
Musikalische Einrichtung
Maria Babanina
Dramaturgie
Wolfgang Oberender

  • Soloists and corps de ballet of the Bavarian State Ballet
  • Bayerisches Staatsorchester
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La Bayadère was the first work in a series of successful reconstructions of 19th century repertory which has been completed with Paquita in December 2014. 

Created in 1877, La Bayadère is a mixture of an exotic tale, a thriller and a celebration of virtuosity. At its center are the two lovers: the priestess, the Bayadère, Nikija and the soldier Solor. The latter however is promised in marriage to Gamzatti, the daughter of the Radja, whilst the Great Brahman has fallen in love with his priestess Nikija. Nikija falls victim to murder by her rival and Solor dreams himself into the 'Kingdom of Shades' in order to be reunited with his love. What follows is one of the most famous, magnificent white acts in ballet history.




 

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Act I

Scene One: In front of the temple
The Great Brahmin, his priests and the temple dancers, called Bayadères, assemble for the festivities of the Holy Fire. The last to appear is Nikiya, the noblest and holiest of the Bayadères. The Great Brahmin vows Love to her, but she refuses him. Solor, a rich and noble warrior of royal caste, is on his way to a hunt. While he sends on his friends he secretly awaits Nikiya. Solor and Nikiya confess their love. The Bayadère demands of him his vow of fidelity. The Great Brahmin who has witnessed the meeting of the lovers desperately swears revenge.

Scene Two: In the palace of the Rajah
The Rajah announces to his daughter Gamzatti that her wedding with Solor, to whom she has been betrothed since childhood, will soon take place. She is enchanted by Solor, but does not understand why he behave in such a restrained way towards her. After a few dancers presented some entertainment the Great Brahmin appears to confess a secret to the Rajah. He tells him of the forbidden love between Nikiya and Solor, hoping that the Rajah might dispose of Solor. Instead, to the dismay of the Great Brahmin, the Rajah in blind fury orders Nikiya`s death. Gamzatti has overheard the conversation and sends her servant Aiya to call the Bayadère. She asks Nikiya to abandon Solor, offers her jewels as a reward. Nikiya refuses and in her despair attacks Gamzatti with a dagger. Aiya stops her, she can escape, Gamzatti swears her death.

Scene Three: In the garden of the palace
The engagement festivities of Solor and Ganzatti. A grand procession opens the festivities during which Solor presents a tiger as bag. The Great Brahmin brings Nikiya as a temple dancer in honour of the ceremony. Nikiya is given a basket with flowers by Aiya, which she takes to be a secret sign of love by Solor. However, it is by the rajah and his daughter who had a snake hidden in it. When Nikiya continues to dance, embracing the small basket, the viper attacks her with a deadly bite. The Great Brahmin offers Nikiya an antidote if only she would accept his love. She refuses it and dies, urging Solor never to forget his vow of love.

Act II

Scene Four: The Kingdom of Shades

Solar, haunted by reminiscences of Nikiya, seeks oblivion in opium. He finds himself in the Kingdom of Shades, united with Nikiya who introduces him to the world of shades and reminds him of his vow of eternal fidelity. On awakening he sees his friends and the Rajah who wants to accompany him to his wedding.

Scene Five: In the temple
A ritual procession unites Gamzatti and Solor for their wedding ceremony. The dance of the lotus flowers with Solor`s friends and the dance of the Golden Idol are symbols of the good wishes for beauty and riches to the couple. In the ensuing dance of Solor with Gamzatti Nikiya shade takes part, visible only for Solor. Solor decides in favour of life, of Gamzatti. In the moment of the wedding oath to which the couple is summoned by the Great Brahmin there happens a earthquake. The temple falls in ruins and everybody is buried under them.

Scene Six: Apotheosis
In the world hereafter we see Solor, Nikiya and Gamzatti united in the picture of eternal light.

The Bavarian State Ballet has worked on this version, together with the French choreographer Patrice Bart and the Japanese stage- and costume designer Tomio Mohri. The heart of the piece, the 'Kingdom of Shades' act, the betrothal celebration scene with it ceremonious line filing dance and some elaborate pantomime scenes can be seen in its original version.

The final act, lost in Russia since the beginning of the century, is part a new creation, part reconstruction.

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Biographies

Patrice Bart is a French choreographer and was ballet-master and member of the Board of Ballet at the Opéra National de Paris until 2011. He has been connected with this theatre for over fifty years now. This is where his career began and this is where he won international acclaim.
Patrice Bart was born in Paris. He was twelve years old when he took his first steps and joined the École de Danse of the Opéra National de Paris, and just two years later he joined the theatre’s corps de ballet. He was then not yet fifteen, and so he had to obtain special permission to work. In 1963 Patrice Bart was made a coryphée and won the René Blum Prize for talented young French dancers for his achievements. As a first soloist of the Opéra de Paris, in 1969 he was a prize-winner at the I International Ballet Competition in Moscow, where he performed with Francesca Zumbo.
In 1972 Patrice Bart was awarded the honorary French title of 'danseur étoile', while in 1974 he won the Prix Nijinski, which is presented by Paris’ Université de la Danse.

Patrice Bart's repertoire at the Opéra de Paris included lead roles in the ballets The Sleeping Beauty, Don Quixote, Pétrouchka, Prodigal Son, Serge Lifar's Constellations (1969), Roland Petit's Mouvances (1976), Kenneth MacMillan's Métaboles (1978) and Rudolf Nureyev's production of Swan Lake (as Rothbart, 1984). Bart won acclaim as a brilliant virtuoso dancer (the pas de six in Auguste Bournonville's Napoli and the soloist in Arthur Saint-Léon's La Vivandière) and as a wonderful partner (Balanchine's Symphony in C and Le Corsaire), as well as an artist with an unexpected gift for comedy (Pierre Lacotte's version of Coppélia after Saint-Léon and Heinz Spoerli's La Fille mal gardée).
Patrice Bart's career as a dancer came to an end in 1986, but for a few more years he appeared on stage in character roles. At this time he also started coaching with the company's younger performers, and in 1987 became its ballet-master.

Patrice Bart has won acclaim for his active support of high standards and the preservation of the great traditions of the ballet company of the Opéra National de Paris. In 1991 together with Yevgeny Polyakov he prepared a classical version of the ballet Giselle to mark one hundred and fifty years since the work's premiere.
In 1992 Patrice Bart was Rudolf Nureyev's assistant on his production of the ballet La Bayadère at the Opéra National de Paris.
In 1993 Patrice Bart made his debut as a choreographer at the Berliner Staatsoper with a new production of the ballet Don Quixote, and in 1995 he staged this work with the Finnish National Ballet. In 1996 Patrice Bart staged productions of Giselle at the Teatro alla Scala in Milan and Coppélia at the Opéra National de Paris. In 1997 the choreographer created a new version of Swan Lake at the Berliner Staatsoper and in 1998 a new and completed version of Petipa's La Bayadère for the Bayerische Staatsballett in Munich.
In 1999 Patrice Bart staged a production of Verdiana, his own first original ballet to music from operas by Giuseppe Verdi, and he also staged The Nutcracker with the Staatsballett Berlin. In 2001 Patrice Bart set the ballet Verdiana for the Teatro Comunale in Florence. In 2002 at the Staatsballett Berlin the choreographer staged a production of his own version of Prokofiev's Romeo and Juliet, while in 2003 he presented yet another new ballet at the Opéra de Paris – La Petite danseuse de Degas to new music by Denis Levaillant. His next ballet was to be Tchaikovsky, staged in 2005 for the Finnish National Ballet in Helsinki, while in 2008 the Swedish Royal Ballet invited Bart to stage the grandiose historic production Gustav III to music by Carl Maria von Weber and Joseph Martin Kraus.

Before accepting Waldemar Dombrowski's invitation to stage his new ballet Chopin, the Romantic Artist in Warsaw for the Polish National Ballet, Patrice Bart returned to Berlin, where in 2009 he staged the ballet Das Flammende Herz to music by Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy about the English romantic poet Percy Shelley.
Patrice Bart holds several honorary French titles, among them Officier de l'Ordre des Arts et Lettres, Officier de l'Ordre National du Mérite and Chevalier de la Légion d'Honneur.

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