From February 21-March 3, 2013, Houston Ballet presents Stanton Welch's La Bayadère ("The Temple Dancer"), a historic classic staged by Houston Ballet Artistic Director Stanton Welch and set in royal India of the past. La Bayadère is a dramatic ballet of eternal love, mystery, fate, vengeance and justice, featuring spectacular scenery and costumes by the acclaimEd English designer Peter Farmer. This lavish production recounts the story of Nikiya, a temple dancer, her lover Solor, and the vengeance that keeps them apart -- at least in this life. Houston Ballet will give seven performances of La Bayadère at Wortham Theater Center in downtown Houston. Tickets may be purchased by calling 713 227 2787 or by visiting www.houstonballet.org.
La Bayadère's third act, the famous Kingdom of the Shades section, showcases 24 female dancers in white tutus, executing 38 synchronized and seamless arabesques while descending onto the stage, and is one of the purest forms of ballet-blanc, or white tutu ballet. "The Kingdom of the Shades is a challenging segment because it requires such control and precision from the corps de ballet women," says Mr. Welch. "There are few works in the classical repertoire that require more precision from the corps de ballet." The Kingdom of the Shades is so popular it is often performed on its own. Houston Ballet first performed The Kingdom of the Shades scene, staged by Ben Stevenson after Marius Petipa, in March 1994 and revived it in 1998.
Mr. Welch choreographed La Bayadère for Houston Ballet in 2010. "La Bayadere is a grand 19th-century classical ballet, and Peter Farmer has given us a big, visually stunning, Bollywood-like production. It's a colorful story that's sexy, provocative and very dramatic," observed Mr. Welch.