La Bayadere


A few notes about Minkus’ Bayadere.

There are many productions of La Bayadere available to watch online. It’s an embarrassment of riches! I’ll start by suggesting two (though I’m no where near done watching them all).

The Mariinsky production by the Kirov Ballet is stellar! The video has a few odd jumps in it but sets are impressive and the dancing is pristine. There is less mime work in this production so the story comes off as more metaphorical and less melodramatic than others.

The Paris Opera Ballet launched a production of La Bayadere in 1995 that was staged by Rudolph Nureyev as an honor to his legacy. If you haven’t heard of Nureyev, see the biography on his Foundation site. This production features more context than the average ballet video (character names, dancer names, story locations), as well as a lot more mime, which means you’ll understand more of the story. This may create things for you to explain to your child. Example: In class, I tell the dancers the Brahmin wants to be friends with Nikiya. In this production he tries to hug and kiss her. The video begins with a brief verbal introduction explaining that as Nureyev is dying he launched this production to honor his legacy—this is lovely and valuable but your child might ask you what AIDS is, so it’s worth knowing that could come up.

If you opt to only watch a part, I suggest choosing the second act (the betrothal) featuring the most unique dances and characters. The children learn something about these dances in class, like the jump of the golden idol and the pitcher dance.

I hope you love it!


Miss Sara