Thursday, April 16, 2015

Pick of the Week -The Pittsburgh Premiere of "La Bayadère"

"La Bayadere" Photo by Duane Rieder

    For its 45th Anniversary Season finale, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre will stage the company’s largest classical ballet to date with the Pittsburgh premiere of the mesmerizing “La Bayadère” with the PBT Orchestra, onstage April 17-19, at the Benedum Center.
    “La Bayadère” is a grand, 19th-cent
ury classic featuring a drama-charged storyline and more than 100 roles. Set in ancient India, “La Bayadère” tells the story of Solor, a noble warrior, and Nikiya, the temple dancer he loves. Ensnared in a love quadrangle by imperial powers, the couple finds themselves ripped apart by jealousy, intrigue and betrayal before fate reunites them in a climactic ending.
    “La Bayadère” claims fame for its pure classicism, epitomized by the ethereal “Kingdom of the Shades” scene and the stunning synchronization of the corps de ballet. Artistic Director Terrence S. Orr is re-staging the 138-year-old Russian classic based on interpretations of the original Marius Petipa  choreography.
    The original production received its world premiere in 1877 by the Imperial Ballet at the Bolshoi Theatre in St. Petersburg. PBT’s production will feature costumes and scenery after original designs by Sergiy Spevyakin, and the PBT Orchestra will perform the Ludwig Minkus score under the direction of Maestro Charles Barker.
"La Bayadere" Photo by Duane Rieder
  Performed by some of the largest ballet companies in the world, “La Bayadère” marks an ambitious season finale  for the company. Choreographic standouts include the  iconic “Kingdom of the Shades” scene, featuring the hypnotic effect of 2 ballerinas descending on the stage in arabesque, and the technical feats of the statuesque Golden Idol. Accented by rich jewel tones and gilded scenery, the sets and props create a mythical ambiance with opulent temple and palace scenes and sweeping vistas.

    Performance times are at 8 p.m. on Friday, April 17, 2 and 8 p.m. on Saturday, April 18 and at 2 p.m. on Sunday, April 19. Tickets start at $27 and can be purchased online at, by calling 412-456-6666, or by visiting the Box Office at Theater Square in the Cultural District. Groups of 10 or more receive up to 50% off by calling 412-454-9101.

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