Die Bajadere
Ballet in four acts
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In a scenery of Indian temples and palaces the story of a true, but forbidden love is told: Nikia, the ‘bayadere’ or Indian temple dancer, who dedicated her life to the gods, loves the noble warrior Solor, who himself is already promised since his childhood as bridegroom to the beautiful daughter of the Rajah, Hamsatti. Undergone by intriques and submitted to the strict laws of tradition, the love between Nikia and Solor cannot come to a happy ending.
Their unlucky relationship finds a celestial expression in one of the most beautiful white acts, which have been created in the history of ballet: »The Kingdom of Shades«. In this ravishing scene the corps de ballet appear one by one to perform a hypnotic chain of arabesques penchées. The »Kingdom of Shades«, taking nearly thirty minutes of performance, is self-sufficient as a ballet in its own right and the ideal show case for a talented corps de ballet. This act is celebrating the clear precision of classical dancing and an overwhelming lyrical calm.
The silent and seemingly never ending »Kingdom of Shades« is surrounded by the breathtaking and story-telling acts which are set in a colourful Fantasy-India. La Bayadère provides a unique appeal out of this strong contrast.
Vladimir Malakhov, ballet director at the Staatsoper Unter den Linden since summer 2002, created La Bayadère in 1999 for the ballet of the Wiener Staatsoper. Because it fits superbly into the classical repertoire of the Ballet company at the Staatsoper Unter den Linden, Vladimir Malakhov decided to present his first choreography to the audience in Berlin.
This ballet was originally created in 1877 by Marius Petipa in St. Petersburg. Over the years Bayadère was performed in parts as well as full-length in the Soviet Union, until in 1961 the Kirov Ballet showed the »Kingdom of Shades« during the tour to the western world. Rudolf Nureyev staged this scene for the Royal Ballet in 1963, where he and Margot Fonteyn danced the principal parts. In 1974 Natalia Makarova mounted this act for the American Ballet Theatre, where in 1980 she created the whole ballet in four acts. Since that time several choreographers developed their own full-length Bayadere, nowadays it is part of the repertoire in some of the most excellent ballet companies around the world. Vladimir Malakhov refers to the Russian tradition and recreated his own version of the fourth act.

Sets and costumes have been designed by Jordi Roig, a Catalan designer, who already worked together several times with Vladimir Malakhov.
The composition, which was developed especially for the choreography by Ludwig Minkus is going to be played by the Staatskapelle Berlin under the musical direction of Michel Quéval.


45 minutes before each performance (except premieres), there is an introduction in the opera house (in German).
It is prepared and moderated by students of the institute of dance studies (Institut für Tanzwissenschaft) of Freie Universität Berlin.
Storyline
ACT ONE
The Festival of Fire
In a Sacred Forest. – Warriors are setting out for a tiger hunt and ask Solor, the noblest and most courageous of them, to join them. Solor refuses, he wants to be present at the Festival of Fire, where he hopes to meet the bayadere Nikia, his secret love. He asks the fakir Mahdawaja to arrange a rendezvous with her. The High Brahmin, accompanied by priests, orders Mahdawaja to gather the other fakirs and to light the sacred fire. Bayaderes appear and begin their ritual dances. The High Brahmin calls for Nikia, and unveiling her, is overwhelmed by her beauty and expresses his love for her, but she rejects his attention, because he is of high rank and a man of God. When the bayaderes bring water to the fakirs, Mahdawaja seizes the opportunity to inform Nikia of Solor’s message. The ceremony ends and the celebrants return to the temple. Mahdawaja calls Solor, and soon also Nikia appears and they swear eternal love to each other. Solor gives Nikia a white scarf as a sign of his love. The High Brahmin who has been watching them, vows vengeance, raging with jealousy.



ACT TWO
Scene 1: The Two Rivals
The Garden of the Rajah’s Palace. – The warriors gathered in the garden are welcoming Rajah Dugmanta and his beautiful daughter Hamsatti, who is being informed by her father of her upcoming betrothal to Solor. A servant announces Solor’s arrival and the Rajah sends Hamsatti off to prepare for the ceremony. Dugmanta reminds Solor of the marriage contract that has been agreed upon long time ago, and ignores his objections. Hamsatti, who has returned, notices her fiancé’s confusions and withdraws, but secretly listens, when the High Brahmin, who has come for the betrothal ceremony, informs her father of Solor’s and Nikia’s love. Furious, Dugmanta decides that Nikia must die. She is summoned and gladly accepts the honourable invitation to dance at the betrothal of Hamsatti, before she realizes that her beloved is to be the bridegroom. Hamsatti implores Nikia to renounce Solor, at first offering her jewels and gifts, and when Nikia refuses, she threatens her. In desperation, Nikia tries to stab Hamsatti, but is disarmed by a servant. Hamsatti now also is determined that Nikia shall die.

Scene 2: The Death of the Bayadere
A Hall in the Rajah’s Palace. – Festivities are celebrated in honour of the betrothal of Hamsatti and Solor. Nikia has to dance for the guests. Hamsatti’s servants gives her a basket of flowers, which she accepts with pleasure, believing it to be from Solor. But when she clasps it to her heart, a poisonous snake, hidden amongst the flowers, strikes her. The desperate High Brahmin offers her an antidote to the poison, but seeing Solor leave with Hamsatti, Nikia refuses help and dies.


ACT THREE
The Appearance of the Shade
Solor’s Room in the Rajah’s Palace. – Solor is tortured by remorse. Mahdawaja and the other fakirs try to console him. Suddenly Nikia’s shade appears. Solor smokes opium, given to him by Mahdawaja, to deaden his grief. He falls asleep.

The Kingdom of the Shades
An enchanted place. – Solor finds Nikia, who is surrounded by other shades.

Solor’s Awakening
Solor’s Room in the Rajah’s Palace. – Solor awakens from his dreams. Hamsatti enters and urges her betrothed to prepare for the wedding.



ACT FOUR
The Wrath of the Golden God
The Temple of the Golden God. – Solor enters the temple and invokes the help of the Golden God to prevent his wedding to Hamsatti. When the spirit of the Golden God appears, Solor believes that he has been granted his request. The guests arrive and the Rajah urges the High Brahmin to perform the wedding ceremony. Hamsatti tries to win Solor’s love, but Nikia’s shade appears, reminding him of his oath. Completely confused, Solor gives the white wedding scarf to Hamsatti, but the moment she touches it, the scarf turns blood red. Now he realizes that Hamsatti is guilty of Nikia’s death. The desperate Hamsatti urges the High Brahmin and the Rajah to continue the ceremony. Again Solor beseeches the Golden God to help him. The God’s wrath makes the walls of the temple collapse and everybody is buried beneath the ruins.
Nikia and Solor are reunited in eternal love.
for the last time this season
Monday, 05.11.2012
19.30 h
20 - 72 €

Further Events:
26 | 29 | 30 October 2012
01 | 05 November 2012


Choreography and Staging after Marius Petipa: Vladimir Malakhov
Scening and Costumes: Jordi Roig
Conductor: Michael Schmidtsdorff
Orchestra: Orchester der Deutschen Oper Berlin

Dancing: Solisten und Corps de ballet des Staatsballetts Berlin
Dancing: Schülerinnen der Staatlichen Ballettschule Berlin
Solor: Mikhail Kaniskin
Hamsatti: Elisa Carrillo Cabrera

2:50 h | 1 intermission