Dutch National Ballet presents

La Bayadère Natalia Makarova after Marius Petipa


Duration 2:40

Breaks 2

Due to the current measures against the further spread of the coronavirus, this production by Dutch National Ballet will unfortunately not be able to go ahead this autumn. Read more information here: operaballet.nl/corona-update

La Bayadère trailer
Bekijk hier een trailer van La Bayadère.
Opium scene La Bayadère (2009)
Bekijk hier fragmenten van de bekende 'Opium scene' uit La Bayadère.

The pure dance in the ballet classic La Bayadère offers all the dancers of Dutch National Ballet a chance to shine. And so they do! With this love ballet full of intrigue, jealousy and deception - and with one of the most beautiful white acts - they always manage to win a lot of hearts.

Natalia Makarova

The ballet about the love between the Indian temple dancer Nikiya and the warrior Solor has been a favourite for 140 years. The renowned American dance critic Clive Barnes once wrote: ‘If you don’t enjoy La Bayadère, you really don’t enjoy ballet.’ He was referring to the version created by the former Russian prima ballerina Natalia Makarova. This production, which Dutch National Ballet brought into its repertoire in 2007, is considered to be the most beautiful and poetic version ever made of this ballet classic.

For La Bayadère Makarova based herself on the original from 1877 by Marius Petipa, known from 'all time favourites' such as The Sleeping Beauty, The Nutcracker and Swan Lake. The music is by Ludwig Minkus (1826-1917) who in his time was considered the 'master' of ballet music.

Petipa's exotic spectacle
Without ever having set foot in India, Petipa offered his vision - naive as it might seem to us nowadays - of the country and its customs. That the exotic spectacle still attracts and enthralls ballet-goers is not only thanks to the timeless love story but also to the brilliant choreography, which includes one of the most splendid ‘ballets blancs’ in history.

Makarova: 'The 'white act' in La Bayadère is the most amazing choreography ever created for a corps de ballet, with its formalism, harmony, precision and required crystal clear performance'.

The plot

The story takes place in India where the temple dancer (La bayadère) Nikiya and the warrior Solor declare love to each other. But a Radja decides that Solor must marry his daughter Gamzatti. Nikiya is then deliberately poisoned by the bite of a snake. After her death, she visits Solor - together with other ghosts - in a vision induced by opium. During the wedding ceremony of Gamzatti and Solor, Nikiya reappears ...

    Wed 27 Jan The New York Times over La Bayadère

    Dramatically gripping and spectacularly beautiful.

    Thu 20 Feb De Telegraaf - La Bayadère

    A must for ballet lovers and all those who can become one.

La Bayadère
Natalia Makarova,
after Marius Petipa
Ludwig Minkus - La Bayadere,
orchestrated by John Lanchbery


Dutch Ballet Orchestra
led by Ermanno Florio

Dutch Ballet Orchestra
Since its foundation in 1965, the orchestra has been the proud orchestral partner of Dutch National Ballet and Nederlands Dans Theater. This way of working is unique in the Netherlands. Dutch Ballet Orchestra, with Matthew Rowe as its principal conductor, consists of a permanent core of 45 musicians, supported where necessary by highly qualified guest players. This gives the orchestra a unique character: flexible, dynamic and of high quality. Dutch Ballet Orchestra combines music and dance to provide an enchanting experience: from classical ballet to modern dance, from music education to talent development. An optimal synthesis between music and dance is the orchestra’s mission. The orchestra masters a rich repertoire, which includes the crown jewels of ballet history such as Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker, Stravinsky’s Sacre du Printemps and Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet. This repertoire is always complemented by the best works of contemporary composers, selected by the leading choreographers of today. The orchestra reaches dance lovers and enthusiasts of ballet music as well as children and adolescents. The educational projects of the orchestra have won several (international) awards, including the Young Audiences Music Award in 2016 for Creatures, a collaboration with dance company ISH.


Experts share their thoughts on current productions Dutch National Opera & Ballet offers an introductory talk 45 minutes before each performance. An expert will share background information, context and interesting details that can give your theatre visit more depth. The talks are in Dutch and are free to all the ticket holders. You can also find an abridged version of the introduction on our website as a podcast.
Time: 45 minutes before the performance
Location: Odeonzaal; ground floor entrance