Upcoming shows

Ballet in 3 acts
Valerii Kovtun edition
Beginning: 29.02.2024 - 17:00
Completion: 19:40
La Bayadere
Ludwig Minkus
La Bayadere
Libretto and choreography by Marius Petipa.
The ballet "La Bayadere" occupies a special place in the history of Ukrainian choreographic art.
It was this work that began its ballet on October 2, 1926 in Kyiv.
  • Costume Designer:
  • Iryna PRESS
Act 1
In the sacred forest, young warriors hunt a tiger. Solor orders the fakir Magdavaya to tell Nikiya that he will wait for her near the temple at night.
With the solemn appearance of the High Brahmin, priests, and bayaderes - servants of the temple, the feast of fire worship begins. The culmination of the celebration is the dance of the beautiful bayadere Nikiya.
His passionate love for Nikiya makes the High Brahmin forget even about the holy priesthood and the vow of celibacy associated with it. He promises her all the riches of India, whatever she wants. But Nikiya is not able to hide her disgust for the Brahmin.
Night. A secret meeting between Nikiya and Solor is guarded by Magdavaya. The High Brahmin notices them and swears revenge on the lovers.
Solor proposes to Nikiya that they run. Far from these places, where they are not known, they will be happy. The bayadere agrees, and Solor must take an oath of eternal loyalty to her.
Morning. The Rajah Dugmanta announces to his daughter Gamzatti that she will become the wife of the best and bravest warrior of the principality - Solor. Gamzatti is happy, but Solor is at a loss: he does not dare to refuse such a high honor, but he loves Nikiya, to whom he swore an oath of loyalty.
Nikiya is invited to the palace to perform for Gamzatti’s bridal ceremony. The High Brahmin also comes. In an effort to rid himself of his rival, he tells the Rajah about the love of Nikiya and Solor. Dugmanta is furious, but his decision does not change: Solor will be the husband of his daughter, and the bayadere must die. The Brahmin did not expect such an outcome, and threatens even the punishment of God for the death of the bayadere, but Dugmanta is inexorable.
Gamzatti overheard this conversation. She orders slaves to bring Nikiya and seems to be showing her the portrait of her fiance by chance. Nikiya is desperate, she protests; Solor loves only her and belongs only to her! Gamzatti asks Nikiya to give up Solor, but the bayadere is ready to die rather than part with her beloved. The enraged Nikiya puts a dagger over her rival. A slave who appeared in time barely restrains her.
The Rajah's daughter swears: Nikiya will die.
Act 2
The garden in front of the Rajah’s palace. The wedding of Gamzatti and Solor.
Nikiya is obliged according to the rite to dance at the festival, but is unable to hide her grief. She is presented with a basket of flowers. Suddenly, a snake crawls out from the flowers and fatally bites the bayadere. This is Gamzatti's revenge.
The High Brahmin promises an antidote if Nikiya will forget Solor, however she remains faithful to her love. While dying, Nikiya reminds her beloved of his oath.
Act 3
Solor is inconsolable. He is tormented by remorse. Magdavaya wants to distract the young man from heavy thoughts, calling for the snake charmer. To the sound of the flute, Solor falls into a dream.
Before him out of the darkness comes the kingdom of shadows. In a long chain they descend from the mountain. He sees Nikiya, who calls him to her.

"La Bayadere" occupies a special place in the history of Ukrainian choreographic art. It was with this work that the Kyiv ballet founded its history on October 2, 1926. The staging was then carried out by choreographer L. Zhukov, conductor M. Bakaleinikov, and artist M. Levin (according to other sources - S. Evenbakh). The lead roles were performed by M. Reizen (Nikya), L. Zhukov (Solor), A. Gavrilova (Gamzatti), A. Stalinsky (High Brahmin), and A. Berdovsky (Dugmanta).

The ballet “La Bayadere”, first shown in 1877 on the stage of the St. Petersburg Bolshoi Theater, became not only an event of the season, not only one of the best works of Marius Petipa, but also a milestone performance of ballet at that time. "La Bayadere" was called an encyclopedia of dance of the 19th century and combined the creative achievements of not only the St. Petersburg choreographer, but also such outstanding artists as F. Taglioni, Ch. Didelot, J. Perrot, and A. Saint-Leon.

The idea and plot of “La Bayadere” echoed the ballet “Sakuntala” by Ernest Rainer, staged in 1858 on the Parisian stage by Marius's brother, Lucien Petipa. Marius Petipa significantly enriched the plot development, complicated the relationship of the heroes, and gave the image of Nikiya a tragic sound. Critics enthusiastically welcomed the "new, refined, exotic, grand spectacle." And yet, not only the embodiment of the image of Nikiya, but also the scene of "Shadows" remained underestimated. It was believed that the choreographer, "as never before, managed to embody a mass corps de ballet dance, to find its proper place in the performance." But it was from the scene of "Shadows", according to Yuri Slonimsky, that the origins of Lev Ivanov's innovation began, it was in "La Bayadere" that the great dance maestro made an artistic and aesthetic sketch of the future "swan scenes" - the pinnacle of achievement in world ballet art. Together with "Shadows", the poetics of imagery came to the stage, which becomes the dominant dramatic element of the choreographic performance. This already made the premiere of “La Bayadere” by L. Minkus a phenomenon of artistic life, although not fully realized at that time.

The melodramatic plot provided a wide space for an affecting and entertaining performance. But the staging of Marius Petipa required not only great dancing skill, but also the ability to create an image and to show it in its development. It is no coincidence that on January 23, 1877, the performance was danced by the most prominent performers of the time: K. Vazem (Nikiya), L. Ivanov (Solor), M. Goltz (The High Brahmin), H. Johansson (Dugmanta), and M. Gorshkova (Gamzatti).

Subsequent interpretations significantly changed the choreographic score of Marius Petipa, and adjustments were made through time. The accumulation of secondary exotic dances disappeared; the structure of the performance became more accurate and harmonious. But all the best from the first production survived and found its stage embodiment in the production of V. Chabukiani and V. Ponomarev, which later formed the basis of the Kyiv production of Valerii Kovtun, which premiered on June 27, 1985 and with a short break (the choreographer Natalia Makarova had a production on the Kyiv stage, the premiere was on February 14, 2013, and the conductor was Mykola Diadiura) has not left the stage since then. Conductor Allin Vlasenko, artists Vyacheslav Okunev and Irina Press worked together with V. Kovtun at the time.

The lead roles in Kyiv productions were performed by prominent Ukrainian dancers - R. Khilko, T. Tayakina, L. Smorgachova, G. Kushnerova, T. Borovik, O. Filipieva, T. Beletska, G. Dorosh (Nikiya); T. Tayakina, L. Smorgachova, T. Litvinova, T. Borovik, L. Danchenko, N. Khomenko, I. Dvorovenko, T. Golyakova, O. Filipieva, (Gamzatti); V. Kovtun, M. Pryadchenko, S. Lukin, V. Yaremenko, V. Vidineev, K. Kostyukov, S. Kravets, M. Motkov, G. Zhalo, D. Matvienko, A. Datsishin, S. Sidorsky (Solor); V. Litvinov, V. Rybiy, D. Klyavin, S. Serkov, O. Tokar (High Brahmin).