Bayadère Re-Envisioned

Nikiya’s forbidden love is taken to a whole different level in the Royal Danish Ballet’s new production of La Bayadère. At the Guggenheim’s Works and Process showing, artistic director Nikolaj Hubbe spoke about RDB’s restaging, and his dancers performed excerpts wearing costumes by Richard Hudson (who also designed costumes for The Lion King).

 

RDB’s version, choreographed by Hubbe and Eva Draw after Petipa, takes place during the British occupation of India, and some of the major roles have new names and ethnicities: Solor is now a British lieutenant named Sir William, Gamzatti becomes Lady Emma and the Raja is the Viceroy. In the Pas d’ Action in Act II, the choreographers added a solo for Sir William (Solor) and incorporate children from the RDB school to dance a Peacock mating dance (originally the Parrot dance). But the Kingdom of the Shades? Too iconic to mess with. “The first arabesque and its repetition signify the clarity and aesthetic value of hard core classical ballet. It is staggeringly beautiful cause it is so simple,” explained Hubbe. The fourth act with the revenge of the gods and the destruction of the temple is eliminated, but the Bronze Idol variation remains—except, the idol is now blue and called The Blue God. According to Hubbe, the restyling of the role is his salute to Nijinsky, and Hudson also noted that the change adheres more to the god Shiva in Indian culture who is also blue.

 

Watch the event for yourself here. The full ballet will premiere on November 10 in Copenhagen.

Latest Posts


Laurent Liotardo (post-production by Nik Pate), Courtesy ENB

Catch English National Ballet’s Rising Stars in the Emerging Dancer Competition Livestream

The coronavirus pandemic may have postponed English National Ballet's annual Emerging Dancer competition last spring, but the show must go on—digitally! You can still watch ENB's best and brightest talent during the competition's livestream, taking place on September 22 at 7:20 pm BST (that's 2:20 pm ET). Now in its 11th year, the competition for the Emerging Dancer Award will be broadcast live from the company's East London production studio for the first time. Tickets are available for $6.99 per device and will remain available to view on demand until September 29.

Keep reading SHOW LESS
From left: Alaina Broyles, Courtesy Werner; Courtesy Underwood

Gaynor Minden's Latest Dancer Lineup Features a Body-Positivity Activist and Its First Guy

Pointe shoe brand Gaynor Minden recently welcomed 32 young dancers to its coveted roster of Gaynor Girls. But this year, the company included two applicants who push the boundaries of what it means to dance on pointe. While both Mason Simon Underwood and Colleen Werner are longtime GM wearers, they stand out from the rest of this year's group: Underwood is the first ever Gaynor Guy, and Werner is a body-positivity activist.

Keep reading SHOW LESS
Dylan Giles, Courtesy Festival Ballet Providence

Festival Ballet Providence's New Leap Year Program Gives Dancers Facing a Gap Year a Place to Grow

A new training program at Festival Ballet Providence called Leap Year is welcoming pre-professional and professional dancers who don't have a studio or company to dance for this season.

The endeavor is the brainchild of Kathleen Breen Combes, FBP's executive and artistic director. "I kept getting these emails of dancers saying they just need a place to train this year," says Combes. "I thought, What if we could provide a space for dancers to get stronger, experiment and try new things in a nonjudgmental and no-pressure environment?"

Keep reading SHOW LESS

Editors' Picks