Get ready for passion, opium, deadly snakes, ghosts and gods! An iconic 19th century Russian ballet set in ancient India’s jungles, La Bayadère recounts the ill-fated love of a temple dancer (bayadère) Nikiya and her noble warrior Solor, who is betrothed to another woman. Set to music by Ludwig Minkus, this enduring tale of palace intrigue, vengeance and redemption is considered one of the bestloved classical ballets of all time.
With lavish staging by the celebrated Vladimir Malakhov after Marius Petipa and Jordi Roig’s opulent sets and costumes, La Bayadère’s thrilling highlights include the Golden Idol’s spectacular virtuoso solo and the renowned Kingdom of the Shades scene— the first perfect ballet blanc with the pristine corps de ballet moving in perfect synchronicity under a moonlit sky. Join Hong Kong Ballet in this thrilling conclusion to our dynamic 2022/23 Season!
Choreography: Vladimir Malakhov (after Marius Petipa)
Music: Ludwig Minkus
Assistant to the Choreographer: Emi Hariyama
Set & Costume Design: Jordi Roig
Set Assistant to the Designer: Enrique Conde Martinez
Live Accompaniment: Hong Kong Sinfonietta
Conductor: Robert Reimer
Born in Kryvyi Rih, Ukraine, Vladimir Malakhov was Artistic Director of Berlin State Ballet from its founding in 2004 until 2014. A former American Ballet Theatre principal dancer, his repertory encompasses a wide range of styles from classical ballets to contemporary works. In 1999, Malakhov staged La Bayadère for Vienna State Ballet, followed by Cinderella in 2004 and Sleeping Beauty in 2005 for Berlin State Ballet. He choreographed La Péri and La Bayadère for Berlin State Ballet in 2010 and 2002 respectively. Named Japan Dance Magazine’s Best Male Dancer In The World for 10 consecutive years, Malakhov's accolades also include prestigious awards at competitions in Varna, Moscow and Paris.
PRINCIPAL GUEST ARTISTS
Born in Buenos Aires, Marianela Núñez received training at the Teatro Colón Ballet School and toured internationally with Maximiliano Guerra and the Teatro Colón. She joined The Royal Ballet in 1998 and promoted to Principal in 2002, aged 20. She has performed leading roles in repertories of Ashton, Balanchine, Cranko, Forsythe, Kylián, MacMillan, McGregor, Page, Robbins, Tudor and Wheeldon. She has created numerous roles in Infra, Carbon Life, DGV: Danse à grande vitesse, Aeternum, Asphodel Meadows, Tetractys, among other works. Marianela’s awards include Best Female Dancer at the Critics’ Circle National Dance Awards (2005, 2012, 2018 and 2022) and an Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in Dance (2013).
Born in Kiev, Ukraine, Iana Salenko was the youngest dancer at 16 playing principal roles at Donetsk Ballet in 1999. She became Principal Dancer at Kiev Ballet in 2001 and at Berlin State Ballet in 2007. Salenko has danced in signature repertoires including Vladimir Malakhov’s Cinderella and The Sleeping Beauty, and Patrice Bart’s The Nutcracker. In 2004, she won the gold medal at ÖTR Contest Vienna, the gold medal and the Natalia Makarova Award at ARABESQUE Ballet Competition. She won accolades in the Dance Open International Dance Festival (2012, 2014 and 2016). Salenko regularly performs as a guest artist around the world, with engagements in Florence, Munich, Moscow, St Petersburg and many more.
Photo: Enrico Nawrath
Born in Chelyabinsk in Russia, Vadim Muntagirov joined English National Ballet in 2009 and was promoted to first soloist in 2010, principal in 2011 and lead principal in 2012. In 2014, he joined The Royal Ballet, where his roles include Apollo, Albrecht (Giselle), Prince Siegfried (Swan Lake) and many more. His awards include the 2015 and 2018 Best Male Dancer at the Critics’ Circle National Dance Awards and the 2021 Dance Europe Outstanding Dancer Award. As a guest artist, he has danced with Paris Opera Ballet, Mariinsky and American Ballet Theatre, among others.
Photo: Daria Klimentova
Scene One: Outside the Temple
Elaborate preparations are underway for the festivities of the Holy Fire with the Great Brahmin, his priests and the temple dancers (bayadères). The last to appear is Nikiya, the noblest of the bayadères. The Great Brahmin proclaims his love for her, but she refuses him. Meanwhile, Solor, a rich and noble warrior, is on his way to a hunt. He sends his friends ahead of him and secretly waits for Nikiya. They confess their love for each other, and Solor swears a vow of fidelity. Unfortunately, the Great Brahmin witnesses the lovers’ exchange and promises revenge on them.
Scene Two: The Rajah’s Palace
The Rajah informs his daughter Gamzatti that her wedding to Solor, to whom she has been betrothed since childhood, will happen soon. Gamzatti is infatuated by Solor but does not know why he behaves so formally towards her. After a lively performance, the Great Brahmin tells the Rajah of Nikiya and Solor’s forbidden love, hoping that the Rajah might dispose of Solor. Instead, to the Great Brahmin’s dismay, the Rajah angrily orders Nikiya to be put to death. However, Gamzatti has overheard the conversation and sends her servant Aiya to warn the bayadère. Gamzatti then tells Nikiya that if she gives up Solor, she will be given precious jewels as a reward. Shocked, Nikiya angrily refuses and then attacks Gamzatti with a dagger. Aiya intervenes, and Nikiya escapes. Gamzatti promises to take revenge on Nikiya.
Scene Three: The Palace Garden
Solor and Gamzatti’s engagement celebration begins with a grand procession where Solor presents a tiger as a trophy to his future bride. Then, the Great Brahmin brings Nikiya forward to perform as the holiest temple dancer. Aiya gives Nikiya a small basket filled with beautiful flowers, which she thinks is a secret sign of love from Solor. However, the Rajah and his daughter, have actually hidden a poisonous snake inside the basket. When Nikiya dances while embracing the basket, the deadly viper suddenly bites her. The Great Brahmin desperately offers her an antidote…but only if she will accept his love. Nikiya refuses and dies, urging Solor never to forget his vow of love and fidelity to her.
Scene Four: The Kingdom of the Shades
Solor is devastated by the loss of his love Nikiya, and the candle boys try to console him. Solor then turns to opium for solace. He has a hallucination in which he meets the Golden Idol, a statue that comes to life and takes him to the Kingdom of the Shades, a mystical realm where the spirits of the dead dance. There, he sees a vision of Nikiya, who reminds him of his vow of eternal fidelity. Love never dies.
Enjoy special discount on Dining at BluHouse or Holt’s Café at Rosewood Hong Kong
Ticketholders can enjoy 15% off dining at BluHouse (except The Dining Room by BluHouse) or Holt’s Café at Rosewood Hong Kong upon presentation of their Hong Kong Ballet tickets.
Enquiries: 3891 8732 | [email protected]
Enjoy a Complimentary Glass of Perrier-Jouët Champagne
$1,000 (VIP) ticket holders of La Bayadère can enjoy a complimentary glass of Perrier-Jouët Champagne at a bespoke location by Pernod Ricard gifted by Hong Kong Ballet's Champagne Partner Perrier-Jouët Champagne.
Registration: [email protected]
(Please include name, phone number and a copy of La Bayadère ticket stub)
Enquiries: 2398 3636 (Ms Hui)