St Petersburg Ballet Theatre



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La Bayadere
La Bayadere
Ballet in three acts
Music: Ludwig  Minkus
Libretto: Marius Petipa, Sergei Khudekov
Choreography: Marius Petipa (1877)
Costumes by Galina Solovieva
Set design by Semen Pastukh


Scene One

A sacred forest in the depths of which can be seen the summits of the Himalayas. Noble young warriors are returning from a lion hunt. Solor, the noblest of all, instructs the Head Fakir, Magdaveya to inform the temple dancer or Bayadere, Nikiya that he will be waiting for her that night at the temple. The Fire Festival opens with a triumphant procession through the Great Brahmin’s pagoda doors by the Priests and maid servants of the temple. The ceremony climaxes with the dance of Nikiya. The Great Brahmin, enchanted, cannot tear his eyes away from her and forgets the sacred ritual taking place and the promises of celibacy associated with it. He promises her all of India’s riches and everything she desires but Nikiya cannot hide her disgust for the Brahmin and rejects him as he is a man of God. That night Magedaveya is on guard over the secret tryst between Nikiya and Solor. Over the sacred fire Solor swears eternal love and fidelity to Nikiya. The Great Brahmin observes all this and intends to take revenge on the lovers.

Scene Two

A room in the Palace where the Rajah announces to his daughter Gamzatti that she will be the wife of Solor, the best and bravest warrior of the kingdom. Gamzatti is happy but Solor is in despair as he cannot refuse this great honour. But the loves Nikiya and has given her his oath of fidelity! Nikiya is invited to Gamzatti’s betrothal ceremony but the Great Brahmin also appears and with the intention of destroying his rival he informs the Rajah that Nikiya and Solor are in love. The Rajah is incensed but will not change his decision. Solor will merry his daughter and the Bayadere must die. The Brahmin did not expect such an outcome and threatens the Rajah with the wrath of the gods for the girl’s death. But the Rajah is implacable. Gamzatti has overheard this conversation. She orders her slave to fetch Nikiya then shows her a portrait of her betrothed. In despair Nikiya protests that Solor loves only her and will only belong to her. Gamzatti implores Nikiya to give up Solor but the Bayadere would sooner die than leave her lover and enraged, Nikiya attacks her rival with a knife. Gamzatti’s maid Aya rushes up and holds her back. Gamzatti swears that “Nikiya will die!”


In the square in front of the Rajah’s palace, festivities are arranged for Gamzatti’s and Solor’s betrothal ceremony. Nikiya is obliged by ritual to dance at this ceremony but she cannot hide her grief. Then she is presented with a basket of flowers and is filled with feelings of love and joy and rejoices because she thinks this is gift from Solor! But suddenly a snake crawls out of the flowers which were actually sent by the Rajah and Gamzatti and fatally poisons the Bayadere. The Great Brahmin offers Nikiya the antidote to the poison if she will forget Solor but seeing Solor with Gamzatti being led away by the Rajah, she stays true to her love and dies reminding her lover of his promise.

Scene one

Solor is irreconcilable and tortured by guilt. Magdaveya tries to distract the young man from his gloomy thoughts by giving him some opium and summons the snake charmer. With the sound of the pipes and the influence of the opium, Solor hallucinates and conjures up a vision of the dead Nikiya. She appears out of the gloom in the kingdom of the shades and her vision is multiplied by the corps de ballet in a long line extending down from the mountain heights. Nikiya is calling him as they reminisce of their love together…

Scene Two

Solor is lying on his divan in his former room but his sleep is troubled. Magdaveya enters, stops by his master’s side and sadly looks upon him. Solor wakes up suddenly thinking he is in Nikiya’s embrace.
Solor recalls the oath made by Nikiya, whose shade is haunting him. Not being able to withstand the pain Solor approaches the bag with the snake in which has been left by the Fakir. He is bitten by the snake.

Dear friends! We are pleased to announce our Swan Lake performance on 26.11.2022! Its will take place in St Petersburg at the CSC Arena accompanied by the orchestra. ⠀ We are waiting for the performance, tickets are already on sale.

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