Pennsylvania Ballet Will Return to the Stage with LA BAYADERE
Pennsylvania Ballet begins the spring season with Artistic Director Angel Corella's first ever re-staging of the passionate and dramatic masterpiece La Bayadère. Visually and technically impressive, this iconicballet runs from March 5 - 15 at the Academy of Music.
"I am ecstatic to re-stage the beautiful La Bayadère for the first time with Pennsylvania Ballet," said Angel Corella. "Solor in this ballet was one of my most celebrated roles as a young dancer. These variations are some of the hardest in the ballet repertoire, but I'm confident in the talent of our incredible dancers. Philadelphia is in for an unbelievable experience."
La Bayadère is the moving story of eternal love between the bayadère (or temple dancer) Nikiya and noble warrior Solor, made complicated by Solor's engagement to the Rajah's daughter Gamzatti and the High Brahmin's declaration of love for Nikiya. Set in Royal India of the past, La Bayadère is made famous for the sublime entrance of the shades in The Kingdom of the Shades scene, featuring 24 dancers descending a ramp in perfect harmony. One by one, each dancer steps forward, assumes a flawless arabesque and continues as the next dancer files in behind, completing an alluring and ethereal unison of spirits.
While some productions of La Bayadère have received recent attention for their cultural insensitivity, Corella is working to ensure a more thoughtful ballet. "This is a historical piece of art that was produced at a certain place and time-Russia in the 1870's-and is not based on reality any more than other ballets of the time like Swan Lake or The Sleeping Beauty. That being said, I think we can find ways to be more mindful when staging it today." The Company recently invited Swarthmore Dance Professor Pallabi Chakravorty to a rehearsal to demonstrate hand positions and gestures that may have inspired La Bayadère's choreography. Added Corella, "We've had many discussions as a company since signing on to the Equity Project two years ago on the need for ballet companies to be more culturally sensitive, so it's something that I've been thinking about throughout this entire process."
Regarded as one of the greatest ballets in the classical repertoire, La Bayadère is a grand example of exquisite artistry and challenging technique and musicality. Led by conductor Beatrice Jona Affron, the Pennsylvania Ballet Orchestra will take the audience through this classic journey of love, mystery and revenge with Ludwig Minkus' graceful score. As dance critic Clive Barnes wrote in 1963, "If you don't enjoy La Bayadère,you really don't enjoy ballet."
La Bayadère opens Thursday, March 5 at the Academy of Music at 240 South Broad St. Purchase tickets online at paballet.org or call Ticket Philadelphia at 215-893-1999. Ticket prices range from $35 to $159.
Performances at the Academy of Music
• Thursday, March 5 at 7:30 PM
• Friday, March 6 at 7:30 PM
• Saturday, March 7 at 2:00 PM
• Saturday, March 7 at 8:00 PM
• Sunday, March 8 at 2:00 PM
• Thursday, 12 at 7:30 PM
• Friday, March 13 at 7:30 PM
• Saturday, March 14 at 2:00 PM
• Saturday, March 14 at 8:00 PM
• Sunday, March 15 at 2:00 PM