Be swept away by La Bayadère at the Istana Budaya this month
A tale of rivalry, deception and death revolving around two ill-fated lovers unfolds this month at the Istana Budaya in a fulllength classical ballet created by French choreographer Marius Petipa, who created classics including The Nutcracker, Sleeping Beauty and the revival of Swan Lake.
La Bayadère, which means a Hindu dancing girl, centres on Nikiya, a beautiful temple dancer, and Solor, a noble tiger-killing warrior. While the two secretly meet in the forest swearing eternal love, they are seen by the scorned High Brahmin who has his heart set on Nikiya. The Brahmin informs the Rajah of the affair, the latter having decreed that Solor marry his daughter Gamzatti as a reward for his bravery.
Tension builds steadily as Gamzatti and Nikiya fight for the love of Solor, causing Nikiya to flee in despair before being commanded to dance at the betrothal hall where she is killed with a poisonous snake bite. Following the famous ‘Kingdom of the Shades’ scene – one of the most demanding in classical ballet featuring a full corps de ballet in perfect hypnotic unison – the story culminates at the temple wedding where Solor and Gamzatti speak their vows, unleashing the wrath of the gods who destroy the temple and all the celebrants in it. In the end, Nikiya and Solor are reunited in the afterlife and stay together for eternity.
Four award-winning dancers – Adiarys Almeida, Joseph Michael Gatti, Ashley Ellis and Aleix Martinez – will reprise the roles of the main characters while Malaysia’s very own Dean of Dance Faculty at the National Arts Culture and Heritage Academy (ASWARA) Joseph Gonzales stars as the High Brahmin. Founding dancer of the Australian Ballet Colin Peasley also joins the cast, bringing to life the role of the Rajah.
Stunning set designs, costumes, lighting and a further 55 dancers and eight soloists ensure that the performance will go down as one Malaysia’s most lavish productions.
WHERE Istana Budaya
WHEN 25-26 Jul
TIME 8.30pm (25 Jul), 3pm (26 Jul)
TEL 03 4147 8600