Stanton Welch's La Bayadère Makes Australian Debut, Aug. 28

Stanton Welch's La Bayadère Makes Australian Debut, Aug. 28

One of Bollywood's brightest stars, Australian born Pallavi Sharda will add a touch of Bollywood glamour to the opening night of Stanton Welch's La Bayadère when she joins Melbourne's glitterati for its Australian première this August.

Fresh from working with some of India's biggest superstars, Sharda will make a special trip home for the première of the ballet blockbuster which is bursting with passion and Bollywood drama.

Set in a romanticised vision of India, this spectacular re-imagining of a 19th century classic makes its Australian première at Arts Centre Melbourne on 28 August for 12 performances only, before opening at Sydney Opera House on 6 November.

Joining the company onstage for La Bayadère will be some of the biggest international names in dance today. Two of Stuttgart Ballet's most popular dancers,Elisa Badenes and Daniel Camargo, will guest star with The Australian Ballet during the Melbourne season. In a thrilling first, American Ballet Theatre prima ballerina, Gillian Murphy, will make her debut with The Australian Ballet during the Sydney season of La Bayadère.

The Artistic Director of The Australian Ballet, David McAllister, said it was an unmissable opportunity to see three of ballet's greats.

"This is a rare opportunity to see one of American Ballet Theatre's biggest stars on Australian soil plus two of the most dynamic and popular dancers we have ever hosted," said McAllister.

"Elisa Badenes and Daniel Camargo blew audiences away when they performed with the company at our 50th Anniversary Gala and along with Gillian Murphy - one of the most acclaimed ballerinas in the world today - they are set to do the same in the exotic spectacular that is La Bayadère," he said.

Bollywood fans will have the chance to meet Pallavi Sharda when she joins Artistic Director David McAllister on Saturday 30 August for McAllister in Conversation.

Created in 2010 for the 40th anniversary of the Houston Ballet, Stanton Welch's La Bayadère follows the epic tale of temple dancer Nikiya who falls in love with the warrior Solor. A kaleidoscope of beauty, colour and spell-binding movement, La Bayaderetraces their fight for love, and the vengeance that keeps them apart.

Spiced with opulent sets and costumes by acclaimed English designer Peter Farmer, La Bayadère evokes a dramatic vision of the exotic East.

The third act features one of the most infamous and beautiful scenes in ballet today - the Kingdom of the Shades. Showcasing 24 female dancers in white tutus, executing 38 synchronised and seamless arabesques while descending onto the stage, it demands absolute precision and control from the corps de ballet.

La Bayadère was originally conceived by Marius Petipa and premiered on February 4, 1877 at the Bolshoi Theatre in St Petersburg. Resident Choreographer of The Australian Ballet and Artistic Director of Houston Ballet, Welch brings a masterful dimension to the classic, crafting the story with unrivalled dance technique and Bollywood sass.