Die Bajadere


Ballet in four acts

Ballet in four acts | Choreography by Vladimir Malakhov after Marius Petipa | Music by Ludwig Minkus.

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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
Schülerinnen der Staatlichen Ballettschule Berlin
Iana Salenko
Marian Walter
Sarah Mestrovic
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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.