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Ballet in two acts and six scenes

Choreography Marius Petipa / Patrice Bart · Composer Ludwig Minkus

Friday, 28. September 2012
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
Michael Schmidtsdorff
Choreographie
Patrice Bart
Choreographie
Marius Petipa
Bühne und Kostüme
Tomio Mohri
Licht
Maurizio Montobbio
Musikalische Einrichtung
Maria Babanina
Dramaturgie
Wolfgang Oberender

Nikija
Yun Wang
Gamzatti
Zuzana Zahradníková
Solor
Lukáš Slavický
Brahmane
Peter Jolesch
Radscha
Norbert Graf
Aija
Elaine Underwood
Das Goldene Idol
Karen Azatyan
1. Variation
Séverine Ferrolier
2. Variation
Stephanie Hancox
3. Variation
Luisa Díaz González
  • 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

Michael Schmidtsdorff was born in Hamburg. He studied conducting in his hometown and in Vienna. After being an assistance conductor at the Hamburgische Staatsoper and the Deutsches Nationaltheater Weimar he became leading conductor and assistant musical director at the Theater Lüneburg.

In 1998, he conducted at the Hamburg Ballett John Neumeier for the first time and traveled around the world with the company over the years. Since 2002, he worked with the Berliner Staatsballett, the Ballet de l'Opéra Paris, the Ballett der Sächsischen Staatsoper Dresden, the Royal Danish Ballet in Copenhagen and the ballet of the Teatro Massimo in Palermo (together with the Martha Graham Dance Company New York in 2015). Further guest performances led him to St. Petersburg, Japan, San Francisco, Muscat (Oman) and to Cagliari.

Since 2005, Michael Schmidtsdorff regularly conducts performances with the Bayerisches Staatsballett. In February 2017 he accompanied the guest performance of the Bayerisches Staatsballett to Hong Kong.

Repertoire with the Bayerischen Staatsballett

The Lady of the Camellias (F. Chopin/J. Neumeier)
Swan Lake (P. Tschaikowsky /P. Bart/M. Petipa)
Brahms-Schönberg Quartett (G. Balanchine)
Große Fuge (L. van Beethoven / H. van Manen)
Le Corsaire (L. Minkus / M. Petipa / I. Liška)
Raymonda (A. Glasunow / M. Petipa / R. Barra)
Onegin (P. Tschaikowsky / J. Cranko)
Illusions – like Swan Lake (P. Tschaikowsky/J. Neumeier)
Giselle (A. Adam/M. Ek)
A Midsummer Night's Dream (F. Mendelssohn Bartholdy/J. Neumeier)
Sinfonie in C / in the Night / Adam is (G. Bizet/F. Chopin/G. Balanchine/ J. Robbins/ A. Barton)
La Bayadère (L. Minkus/M. Petipa/P. Bart)
Paquita (A. Ratmansky/ M. Petipa)
Terpsichore Gala IX & X (The World of the Ballets Russes, 20th anniversary season of the Staatsballetts)

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