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September 10, 2019

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Czech ballet presents Indian love tragedy

The Czech National Ballet will perform “La Bayadere,” a dance adapted from the Indian myth, this October in Shanghai.

“La Bayadere” (The Temple Dancer) is a two-act ballet based on the Indian story of “Shakuntala,” telling the triangle love story of bayadere Nikiya, warrior Solor and princess Gamzatti.

Nikiya has secretly sworn her eternal love to the warrior Solor. When she rejects the High Brahmin, he determines to take revenge on Solor. The High Brahmin reveals the secret affair to Princess Gamzatti, Solor’s fiancee. To his horror, she arranges Nikiya’s murder. Solor is haunted by Nikiya’s ghost at his wedding to Gamzatti. The angry gods tear down the temple, killing all. Solor and Nikiya are united in death.

Premiered in St Petersburg in 1877, “La Bayadere” was choreographed by Marius Petipa and composed by Ludwig Minkus.

Thanks to its rhythmical versatility, remarkable choreography and range of emotions, it is regarded as an encyclopedia of symphonized forms of classical dance, as well as a demanding piece for dancers with regards to the techniques needed.

The most frequently performed sequence in “La Bayadere” is the dream-like Kingdom of the Shades, when a mesmerizing procession of ballerinas dance in unison across a moonlit-like stage.

Founded in 1883, the Prague-based Czech National Ballet has 80 dancers. Its technical and active approach to classical works has enhanced its status in Central Europe. It offers audiences a combination of traditional classic and modern contemporary theater works.

Date: October 25-26, 7:15pm

Tickets: 80-1080 yuan

Venue: Shanghai Oriental Art Center

Address: 425 Dingxiang Rd, Pudong New Area


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