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LA BAYADÈRE - new premiere of The Czech National Ballet!


The grand Romantic ballet set in India, featuring spectacular sets and virtuoso performances.

The Czech National Ballet is preparing the premiere of a new version of LA BAYADÈRE. The famous late-Romantic ballet to Ludwig Minkus’s music, telling the story of a beautiful Indian temple dancer, characterised by exquisite sets and replete with virtuoso performances, has been frequently staged at leading dance venues worldwide and hence is now becoming part of our company’s repertoire too. The story of ill-fated love, featuring spectacular sets and colourful costumes, is a real treat for those with a penchant for grand classical works, as well as a great challenge for the Czech National Ballet itself.

A new version of La Bayadère is being prepared by the Mexican choreographer Javier Torres and his staging team, already familiar to Czech audiences from the highly acclaimed and popular production of The Sleeping Beauty.


‘Dramatic stories in which a tragic earthly love is lost by death and then redeemed in a spiritual world were particularly fashionable in Petipa’s era because they followed the ideal of unreachable love that characterised the Romantic period.

It was also popular to set these stories in faraway lands little known by the audiences because it added a touch of the exotic and mystery. It is evident that to those audiences it was more appealing to see a serious yet sensual production that involved temple dancers than one with western nuns. Moreover, the lack of common knowledge about these faraway cultures gave the artists of the period the liberty to produce works in fairy-tale fashion without worrying if some aspects in them would be completely illogical. It is enough to look at the name of the ballet to see these facts. The name Bayadère has nothing to do with an Indian name; it is a French translation and was used as a title since it sounded more romantic than the original Indian word Devadasi.

With this awareness, it is evident that La Bayadère had the perfect story for the period. A young warrior is trapped between his love for a bayadère (a young maid dedicated to worshipping the deity of a temple) and his obligation to marry the daughter of a powerful Rajah. After the Rajah and his daughter conspire to have the bayadère killed, destruction falls unto everyone, allowing the lovers to go to a spiritual world where they finally unite. ‘

(Javier Torres)


Choreography: Javier Torres, Marius Petipa

Stage director: Javier Torres

Music: Ludwig Minkus

Musical preparation: Václav Zahradník

Sets: Annukka Pykäläinen

Costumes: Erika Turunen

Light design: Daniel Tesař

Video: Lunchmeat Studio

Assistant to the choreographers: Ingrid Němečková, Michaela Černá

Ballet masters: Marie Hybešová, Tereza Podařilová, Jiří Kodym


Musical adaptation: Jan Valta, Václav Zahradník

Conductor: Václav Zahradník / Sergej Poluektov

State Opera Orchestra

Soloists and corps de ballet of the National Theatre


1st premiere: 20. 11. 2014 at The State Opera

2nd premiere: 21. 11. 2014 at The State Opera

Re-run: 23. 11., 3. a 11. 12. 2014