......As the drama unfolds, the ballet features spectacular set pieces, including the mesmeric Kingdom of the Shades, which has been called one of the choreographic glories of the world. A ballet of the grandest scale, featuring elephants, tigers, cobras, fakirs and spectacular oriental costumes, La Bayadère tells a magnificent tale of jealousy, murder and above all, love. Accompanying the Semperoper Ballet from Dresden is the NDR Radiophilharmonie Hanover, widely regarded as one of the most versatile orchestras in Germany.
Review of the performance.
The inclusion of La Bayadère as part of the Abu Dhabi Festival was an inspired choice, as it plays well to seasoned and first-time ballet watchers. For the latter, the plotline was easy to follow (the hefty programme book also helps) and dancers did an exemplary job on a performance that was heavy on both emotion and technical virtuosity.
Ralf Arndt was a towering presence as Raja Dugmanta, as he marauded the stage conveying his fury at his son, Solor's, hidden love affair. Jirí Bubenícek also gave emotional resonance as Solor. Where he could have easily portrayed the noble warrior as a macho hunk, he remained expressive throughout in a role that sees his emotions transform from unbridled joy to deep despair.