Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Mariinsky Ballet performing La Bayadere

St. Petersburg's Mariinsky's Ballet were celebrating 50 years since they first performed in London. On Saturday I attended the afternoon performance of La Bayadere at the Royal Opera House.

La Bayadere is a Ballet in three acts with music by Ludwig Minkus. Act One Scene One is By the Walls of the Temple of the Sacred Flame and Scene Two is The Court of the Rajah Dugmanta. Act Two is The Garden before the Rajah's Palace and Act Three is The Kingdom of Shades. It was first performed at the Bolshoi Theatre, St. Petersburg on 23rd January 1877.

La Bayadere takes place in India where Nikiya a beautiful temple dancer is in love with a warrior named Solor who is engaged to the Rajah's daughter Gamzatti. During the Wedding celebrations Nikiya is forced to dance, after which she receives a basket of flowers from Gamzetti. The basket contains a deadly snake and Nikiya dies. Solar dreams of reuniting with Nikiya in the Kingdom of Shades.

The most famous scene for the Ballet is The Kingdom of Shades where 32 ballerinas are on stage all moving at the same time in perfect harmony. This was done perfectly by the Mariinsky Ballet and will be my lasting memory of their performance. This was a wonderful afternoon spent at the Royal Opera House as the Mariinsky showed why they are one of the world's best ballet companies.

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