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La Bayadère

La Bayadère

La Bayadère is an amazing (and one of the most important and fundamental) masterpieces in the repertoire of ballet companies. La Bayadère was composed by Sergei Kuschelok, choreographed by Marius Petipa and had its music written by Ludwig Minkus, a famous Austrian music ballet composer, violinist and teacher. The history is based in two dramas of one of the most important Indian poets known as Kalidasa.

La Bayadère was first performed by the Imperial Ballet in the Imperial Bolshoi Kamenny Theatre in St. Petersburg in 1877. Over time the work has undergone some changes, for example in 1919 the third act was deleted, from then on the number of acts varies according to the Ballet Company and the choreographic version that presents it, which is why some companies perform it in two acts and others in three. The word "Bayadère" refers to women dedicated to dance, and is derived from the Portuguese word "Bailadera" that means dancer.

The main characters are Solor (a Young warrior), Nikiya (a temple dancer), Gamzatti (the Rajah's) and Brahmin (the high priest of the temple).The Bayadère takes place in India of many years ago; the story talk about how Nikiya is in love with Solor, who is engaged to the Rajah's daughter. One day Nikiya is forced to dance for the Rajah and his daughter; at the end of her dance, the daughter gives her a basket full of flowers that contains a snake that bites Nikita and she dies.

Solor, the young warrior, dreams with Nikita in the kingdom of shades. At his wedding, Solor, mistakenly, swears eternal love to Nikita instead of his fiancé, that causes the anger of the gods who destroy the palace and kill everyone, then, finally Nikita and Solor reunite in spirit in the Kingdom of Shades.