For the first time in its history, medici.tv is collaborating with one of the world's most prestigious companies, the Ballet of the State Academic Bolshoi Theatre of Russia, to broadcast a new scenic version of Marius Petipa's La Bayadère, revised by Yuri Grigorovich.
One of the greatest ballets of the repertoire, La Bayadère demands not only an impressive corps de ballet, but also at least five highly virtuoso soloists. Premiered in 1877 at the State Academic Bolshoi Theatre of Russia, the ballet was choreographed by Marius Petipa on a score by Leon Minkus. It was revised a few times, first by Petipa himself, and then by other choreographers. A veritable milestone of the Russian repertoire, the ballet remained nevertheless relatively unknown in the West until 1992, when Rudolf Nureyev created a new choreography for the Paris Opera House. This version features a new setting from Yuri Grigorovich.
The story of La Bayadère is fantastically tragic. In India, the innocent love between Solor (Vladislav Lantratov) and Nikiya (Svetlana Zakharova), a temple maiden, is under siege. Their feelings are threatened those of the High Brahmin (Andrey Sitnikov), in love with Nikiya, and the daughter of the rajah (Alexey Loparevich) Gamzatti (Maria Alexandrova), consumed with love for Solor. As this complicated web of relationships is woven, La Bayadère becomes the setting for such various feelings as love, scorn, jealousy, treason, and hatred. With a rare violence, the choreographer lets his persecuted bayadère die on stage, a victim of her powerful enemies, too noble to take advantage of the circumstances. Solor and Nikiya only meet at The Kingdom of the Shades, in an opiated vision of Solor. According to tales and legends, this is where lovers reconcile among the supreme opulence and order of the shades of other bayadères. The third act is set in this majestic white place, with love triumphing over vile feelings in an immaculate dream, a stark contrast to the colors and tempestuous moods of the earlier acts.
Photo: Damir Yusupov